Sprint positioning prepaid as alternative to unlimited plans

|About: Sprint Corporation (S)|By:, SA News Editor

With U.S. wireless carriers rushing back to "unlimited" data as an anchor point for plans, Sprint (S -0.2%) is setting up prepaid as a lower-cost option for its consumers.

The carrier -- No. 4 among the Big Four -- has become the latest to revamp pricing plans, eliminating tiers and pricing its unlimited plan to undercut rivals. It's dropped its "cut your bill in half" promotion, but at $50/month its unlimited offering is cheaper than competitors.

As for prepaid, Wave7 Research points out the company's prepaid option (at 3 GB for $40 for auto-payers, or 5 GB at $50) for customers who want to save money.

But handset choice is limited, the firm says. “Currently, few Sprint stores have Sprint Prepaid displays (and boxes are empty when there are displays),” Wave7 writes. “Stores do have small signs offering unexplained prepaid discounts on iPhone 5S units, but reps are mostly unable to articulate this offer.”

That leaves plans for the strategic approach of a relaunch of Virgin Mobile up in the air, FierceWireless' Colin Gibbs notes. The brand was supposed to come back at the end of 2016 before being delayed, and Sprint will need to sort out how to make it a "disrupter brand" that doesn't conflict with its other prepaid strategies.