Sprint has been struggling to make a name for itself for a while now. Ever since the days of the original EVO 4G have disappeared, Sprint has has trouble keeping customers due to increasing competition in the mobile carrier wars and a general decline of fast network infrastructure on Sprint’s part. Those days are hopefully nearing an end though as Sprint continues to make strides to both improve their network and their subscription plans as well. The latest in these efforts was the Friends and Family plan, dubbed “Framily” in Sprint’s latest series of advertisements that you’ve no doubt seen, and it includes a rather tantalizing pricing structure that makes the plan cheaper for everyone as you add more people to it. Individuals who sign up with their framilies all get individual bills that are evenly split between all parties, getting rid of the hassle and stress of collecting checks or PayPal accounts of everyone on the plan for that big monthly payment. Using basic math it’s pretty easy to see how adding one line and continuing to divide by more people would make the bill cheaper for everyone, and it seems that others are taking notice of this as well as Sprint’s newest plans are setting the carrier’s return rates on fire.
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In an investors call with Deutsche Bank on Monday Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer spoke about the new Framily plan and how well it has been doing. Specifically on the call he mentioned that the plan has “clearly been well received” and “Maybe it’s done a little better than expectations.” Right now the Framily plan is only available at corporately run stores and not the myriad of smaller third party stores around the nation, and that the Framily plan offerings would soon be extended to those establishments and customers. This will bring the availability of the plan to more people and in turn likely make it even more successful for the Nation’s 3rd largest wireless carrier. Right now Sprint’s biggest problem is still the speed of their network, which has dropped drastically in recent years even with the advent of 4G LTE networks. Sprint has been working on building out their network, including a new tri-band LTE network they call Spark that’s supposed to significantly increase network throughput and overall data speeds for customers. In areas where Sprint has been continuing to build out their new LTE network customer turnover rates have been abnormally high, but it seems that Sprint has been able to recover the customer base once that network has been completed in an area, giving hope to investors and customers that a newer, better Sprint is just around the corner.
Right now Sprint is only heavily advertising the Framily plan in areas that have been significantly built out, such as Orlando or Chicago, and that as more cities come online with the new network that Framily will likely continue to grow in popularity. Since T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere has been pushing at the heels of the wireless industry we’ve seen some significant changes in the last year or two in the industry as a whole, with more Framily-like plans being pushed out seemingly every month. It’s this sort of customer-friendly atmosphere that will continue to grow companies like Sprint and T-Mobile in the future, and it’s great to see this change happening as a whole.