T-Mobile and Sprint's plan prices may chase Verizon and AT&T, as carriers ditch the discount model

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We hate to be a harbinger of bad news, but not only are phone prices going up with no end in sight, but affordable carrier plans will be few and far between going forward, it seems. After their merger failed, Sprint and T-Mobile will now have to focus on expanding their networks, and boosting profitability on their own, which will be affecting their plan pricing, and their heretofore "affordable carriers" mojo. 

Sprint, which reported a much larger customer churn than the other three carriers, due to its promos expiring en masse, already said last week that from now on it will be chasing only valuable customers, rather than engage in breakneck market share pursuit with discounts that come to bite your bottom line a year or two down the line.

Ditto for T-Mobile, which already raised its pricing, making its two big rivals more competitive than they used to be. T-Mobile expects fewer postpaid customer gains this year, as it is rejiggling away from market share expansion, and "takes into account our desire to balance growth and profitability." This could mean that the Uncarrier's amazing deals and plan discounts would be phased out for a more profit-oriented approach, after it scooped a lot of customers with its offerings in the last two years or so. A push into rural areas will "afford us the opportunity to be less promotional in existing markets," said the CTO Braxton Carter.

Needless to say, Verizon and AT&T's prices would become more competitive in the eyes of consumers in this case, so the battle for subscribers is just starting, it just won't be a race to the wireless plan bottom any more, it seems. "We’re going to have a lot of room to increase our price of unlimited to get to similar prices as Verizon and AT&T in the future," said Sprint's CEO in a conference call with investors last week, and added "You get that by having an amazing network." 

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Yes you do, but having one costs money, and with 5G on the horizon, carriers might be done with the plan price wars, just like they gave up on the phone subsidies model, leaving us users with a little choice but pay up the hefty bills.

source: WSJ

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