This week, Sprint threw down the competitive gauntlet against wireless market leaders Verizon and  AT&T with plans to halve the monthly service rates of Verizon and AT&T customers who switch to the Sprint network.

The “Cut Your Bill in Half Event” launched today by Sprint offers to match the current data  allowance (and unlimited voice and text service) of new customers for half of what they currently  pay to Verizon or AT&T. As an example, a subscriber to Verizon’s “More Everything” plan who pays  $240 per month for four lines and 10 GB of shared data would pay $120 for the same service on the  Sprint network. Sources report that the promotion targets customers of AT&T and Verizon  specifically and that Sprint is not targeting subscribers of T-Mobile, which already offers rate  plans that undercut Verizon and AT&T. Although the half-off promotion is due to expire on January  15, customers who sign up during the promotion period will be able to keep the discount rate as  long as they remain on their plan.

To be eligible for the discount, customers would need to upload a copy of their current Verizon or  AT&T wireless bill to the Sprint website and bring a copy of their latest bill to a Sprint store  along with all of the devices on their Verizon or AT&T account. At that point, a Sprint  representative would assist the customer in selecting the plan that most closely resembles their  current Verizon or AT&T data plan. Customers would be required to purchase a new Sprint device at  full retail or through one of Sprint’s leasing or installment payment options. Sprint, in turn,  would pay customers up to $350 per line through a Visa prepaid card to offset any early termination  fees they would incur when switching from their previous carrier.

Sources indicate that the promotion  aims to spur a turn-around in the fortunes of Sprint which  suffered declining revenues this year as a consequence of subscriber losses and investments needed  to upgrade its network. Asserting the “Cut Your Bill in Half” event is “not just a promotion” and  that the plan promises “the customer’s ongoing price,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure boasted that “Sprint delivers the best value in wireless.”