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Going All-In To Combat Cellular Confusion

Understanding a phone bill wasn’t easy back when the landline-phone monopoly calculated the price of a call by something called message units.

It hasn’t changed much in the wireless era.

Back in the 90s, when the first PCS-band (1900MHz) carriers lit up their networks, one of the new PCS carriers promised simplified rate plans to differentiate itself from the 800MHz incumbents. The movement didn’t catch on. Decades later, choosing a rate plan is still more complex than choosing a mortgage or trying to figure out your income tax.

Maybe Sprint’s All-In plan will change things, but if we’ve learned anything from telecom history, it won’t.

With its All-In plan, Sprint is challenging what it calls its rivals’ confusing advertising and plethora of plans. The All-In plan bundles the lease of select phones with unlimited talk, text and LTE data for $80/month. That’s $20 for the phone and $60 for the airtime. Eligible phones include the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and LG G4, all top-line models.

I like it, though I prefer to own a phone, not lease it.

So how about similar plans featuring less expensive phones? And how about offering tiered service plans at, say $20, $30, $40, $50, and $60 for a single line, each incorporating a certain amount of talk time, messages, and high-speed data.

Family plans? Just give me a certain percentage off when I add a second, third or fourth line to my account.

That was easy. And I won’t have to waste a weekend figuring it all out.