Sprint Corp., clinging to its third-place rank among U.S. mobile carriers, is trying to squeeze more growth from the prepaid market by extending its "cut your bill in half" offer to AT&T and T-Mobile users.
Starting today, Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid unit is offering T-Mobile's MetroPCS and AT&T's Cricket Wireless customers 2.5 gigabytes of data for $20 a month, according to a statement. Similar plans from MetroPCS and Cricket offer 2 gigabytes and 2.5 gigabytes for $40 a month.
Since taking over as Sprint's CEO last year, Marcelo Claure has been able to reverse years of customer losses with half-price offers and tablet promotions. The effort has been particularly successful with prepaid customers. In the first quarter, Sprint added 546,000 pay-as-you-go users, surpassing those of AT&T, Verizon Communications and T- Mobile combined.
Sprint's focus on bargain hunters underscores the challenges the carrier faces in a market where growth has been slowing. Cutting prices is one of Sprint's few options as T- Mobile continues to attract more of the lucrative post-paid customers that tend to be more loyal, and add additional family members and devices to their plans.