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Carrier Price Wars Heat Up With Sprint Half-Off Deal

Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint pulled out the big guns in the intensifying carrier price wars, offering to halve the bills of Verizon and AT&T subscribers who switch to Sprint.

The offer goes into effect Dec. 5 and is available only through Sprint-owned stores and Sprint-brand stores operated by affiliates. The carrier said it doesn’t yet know if it will expand the program to other indirect retailers.

Consumers who sign up get the half-off price for as long as they stay on the plan that they select. The offer, however, is available only for a limited time that hasn’t been defined.

The offer is available on top of an existing offer to pay up to $350 per line to buy out the contracts of consumers who switch to select Sprint plans. The payment takes the form of a Visa prepaid card and applies to early termination fees or the balance of a subscriber’s phone-installment contract.

To participate, consumers must buy an unsubsidized Sprint phone up front or through an EasyPay installment-payment plan.

Sprint will base its half-off rate on the monthly voice, text and data charges for all lines on the customer’s Verizon or AT&T bill. Verizon customers paying $140/month for four lines of service will be able to get the same four lines of service from Sprint for $70/month, a spokesperson said. Customers are entitled to the half-off rate as long as they remain on the plan.

Whatever the Sprint rate comes to, Sprint will provide unlimited talk and text to anywhere in the U.S. regardless of the switching customer’s current plan, as long as they call and text while on the Sprint network. The customer’s data allowance will be priced at half the customer’s rate on the AT&T or Verizon network. Sprint-store personnel will select the service plan that “most closely matches” the data allowance in the customer’s current rate plan.

The $350/line buyout offer has been available since August and is due to expire Jan. 15, 2015, though a spokesperson mentioned that “we have extended similar offers on and off during the year.