As was promised back in August, Sprint has finally killed off their two year contract. The dionsaurs of old have finally fallen.
Not so long ago a leaked AT&T internal memofinally marked the death of the two-year contract in the United States. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true.
Mobile providers still typically offer installment plans for new phones that are very similar to the traditional two-year contract, but customers no longer have to pay subsities for phones they have already paid off.
With Sprint no longer offering two-year contracts, this brings us to a very important question.
What’s the point of choosing Sprint?
Sprint has a history of supporting MVNO’s. An MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, is a company that, instead of using only their own infrastructure, uses other already established equipment from other compaines.
Basically, an MVNO resells other providers services under their own branding, and Sprint is the king of MVNO’s.
Take a look at this wikipedia list and sort by “Host Network.” Go ahead, check it out and just scroll through it. Sprint clearly dominates the list.
Not only do they support a rediculous amount of MVNOs, but they even own a couple.
Ever hear of Virgin Mobile? How about Boost Mobile? Yep. They own both of them.
This is where the question stems from. The main draw to the Sprint name, as opposed to their many MVNO options, is the two-year contract subsidied phones.
Anyone who already has a phone, or wants to buy their own in full, would be better off, strictly from a cost perspective, choosing Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. With the main brand now being pre-pay like the rest of their products, what’s the point?
Who knows, but this segways nicely into our next topic.
Is Sprint responsible for the death of the contract?
T-Mobile and their rock star CEOJohn J. Legere(Warning: He is NSFW at times) are often credited with starting the demise of contracts, but Sprint had a pretty big role here.
For years, while other mobile operators would charge rediculous prices with massive restrictions for their off-contract plans, Sprint offered their MVNOs at reasonable prices.
Let’s not forget about Ting which started its life running with the Sprint network (supports T-mobile now as well) and offers only contract-free devices. Hell, they even offer to pay up to 25% of early termenation fees for new customers.
T-Mobile may have been the first major brand to kill off the contract, but the poison has been in the well for a long, long time.