Sprint has announced that they’ve lit up 6 new markets with Sprint Spark upgrades, which brings their 4G LTE on new wireless spectrum that offers better building penetration and improved speeds. The six markets you can find new speeds in are Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That brings us up to 11 markets with speeds up to 60 megabits per second.
While Sprint’s roster of Spark-enabled devices is thin right now, you can expect the carrier to outfit most of their future smartphones with the radios. We already know that a Spark-equipped LG G Flex is coming, and Sprint also announced plans to relaunch the Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark inside. In addition to those phones, there are a number of mobile hotspot and USB modem devices with the functionality already.
With that, Sprint also introduced a new “framily” plan. Nope, not a typo. The “Framily” plan will give you the ability to get a cheaper bill as you add more people. Folks will start out at $55 alone, but the plan gets $5 cheaper for each member that signs up (though you’ll be capped at $30 in savings at some point). Each line is billed individually, and each line has its own set of data plans and services.
For one line of service, new Sprint customers pay $55 per month per line for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data. For each additional new Sprint customer that joins the Framily group, the cost per person goes down $5 a month up to a maximum monthly discount of $30 per line. Build a group of at least seven people and everyone gets unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data for $25 per month per line (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).
All members of the group can customize their plan to meet their unique needs. For only $20 per month per line, Framily members can buy up to unlimited data plus get a new phone every year. Plan members can share the savings, without the hassle of sharing a bill. Each account can be billed separately. Unlimited features are while on the Sprint network.
For an example, Sprint says someone on a 7-line framily plan can pay as little as $25 per month for unlimited talk, texts and 1GB of data. Comparable plans on T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon cost $50, $70 and $90, respectively.
Those savings are pretty steep, though it’ll be tough for a lot of people to find that many folks to share a plan with and get maximum savings. With T-Mobile forcing the competition to step up and provide people with the services they want for the prices they want, we should see more carriers make moves like this in the future.