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Sprint's new $100, 20GB per month family plan: All the caveats and comparisons you need to know

Ian Paul | Aug. 20, 2014
Sprint's got a new CEO and the company is getting serious about catching up to its rivals with a new family data sharing plan. The carrier recently announced the Sprint Family Share Pack that lets you split 20GB of shared data on up to 10 lines for $100 per month. The new shared data deal will be available starting Friday, August 22.

None of this is out of the ordinary for phone plans, but it's worth knowing the true cost of what you're diving into — switching to Sprint to take advantage of this plan will definitely wind up costing you more than the advertised $100 per month. 

Sprint Family Share Pack versus the competition

Extra payments aside, Sprint's deal sounds attractive since the company is offering double the data allotment that you get on AT&T and Verizon — and it's $60 cheaper.

But is it worth switching carriers for a deal that's only going to last 16 months plus two weeks? Maybe. First, remember that those per-line access charges will come back to bite you after the promotional deal ends.

If you're on T-Mobile's deal, you only get 2.5GB of data per line, compared to a pool of 20GB that can be shared any which way on Sprint. Plus T-Mobile's deal is gone as of 2016, while Sprint is at least keeping the data package after the unlimited talk and text deal expires.

As for AT&T and Verizon, it's a somewhat harder sell, since Sprint's deal may very well end up costing the same as its rivals after the unlimited talk and text add-on disappears. Plus, depending on your location, your data connection on Sprint may end up being largely on 3G instead of LTE, as Sprint is still building out its 4G network.

But Sprint will eventually finish its LTE project, it is offering more data than its rivals (a good thing since the going rate for overage charges appears to be $15 per gigabyte), and you can connect more devices than under the competing plans. As always, you'll want to do the homework for your specific situation, but Sprint's Family Share Pack looks enticing indeed — if you're aware of the device costs and reside in an area that gets LTE, that is.

 

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