Following some rumors of a new prepaid option, Sprint has confirmed today with FierceWireless that it will be launching the new service under its own brand name on January 25th. Cleverly named "Sprint As You Go" will offer unlimited talk, text and data for $70 per month on smartphones or $50 on featurephones, with no annual contract required. The prepaid service will not throttle data, unlike its subsidiaries Boost and Virgin which have set plans to throttle data usage after 2.5GB.
Also unlike its other prepaid carriers, Sprint will only be selling these new Sprint As You Go plans in its own retail stores rather than with third party partners. The carrier is positioning these plans as a higher-end option that offers users most of the same features of the postpaid plans, but without a contract.
Sprint will unfortunately be limiting these new plans to just four phones right now, two of which are smartphones. The LG Optimus Elite for $150 and Samsung Victory for $250 are the smartphone options, the latter having LTE data connectivity. It's understandable that the new plans should launch with a limited selection of lower end devices, but we surely hope that this opens up quickly. Sprint is going to have to do something special to compete with other prepaid GSM carriers that offer similar (or lower) prices and a vastly wider selection of devices.