One week after T-Mobile US announced plans to allow its subscribers to stream the video content of Netflix, Hulu and other online video service providers free of charge, Sprint Corp. answered with its own competitive challenge in unveiling a new promotion that promises to cut in half the wireless bills of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile customers who switch to the Sprint network. 

Sprint launched the offer this morning as company executives confirmed the expansion of the company’s upgraded “LTE Plus” wireless broadband network to 77 markets nationwide.  Building upon a similar initiative which Sprint targeted last December to subscribers of Verizon and AT&T, the new half-price promotion runs through January 7 and provides any qualifying customer who signs up with deep rate discounts through January 8, 2018.  Unlike last year’s “Cut Your Bill in Half” promotion, Sprint’s latest offer also applies to subscribers of T-Mobile’s “Simple Choice” rate plan.  (T-Mobile customers with unlimited data plans, however, are not eligible.)  Verizon and AT&T subscribers with monthly data buckets of 25 GB or less will qualify, and the half-price rate will also apply to per-device access fees on those data buckets.  In contrast to last year’s promotion, which required customers to trade in their existing handsets, new customers will be able to keep their existing devices.  Although current Sprint customers will not qualify for the half-price rate deal, the company will offer existing customers the option to pick up a free Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 7 tablet on a two-year service contract which includes one free year of service. 

As a further enticement, Sprint will reimburse new customers who port at least one line from their former carrier up to $650 to cover fees for early contract termination and device installment payments.  Admitting, “there’s a lot of skepticism about our network,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told reporters that Sprint would give new customers an initial 28-day trial period after which they could walk away with no charges and no questions asked.  As he maintained that “our network has come a long, long way,” Claure voiced confidence that his company would experience no ill effects from any drop in revenue that results from the offer, asserting: “we’ve done a lot of financial analysis, and we expect to see a growth in the number of customers we will attract.”