Phone talk: Sprint doing away with contracts, subsidies; Verizon still No. 1 in network quality

Sprint is dumping two-year contracts for its wireless service, and will stop subsidizing the cost of mobile phones.

That’s three down and one to go for the major U.S. wireless carriers: T-Mobile did away with phone subsidies and contracts in 2013, and Verizon made a similar move earlier this month. AT&T still offers two-year contracts and phone subsidies.

Sprint has been offering a smartphone lease option since last year, and CEO Marcelo Claure told the Wall Street Journal Monday that the company will switch to entirely that model by the end of the year. Sprint made the announcement Monday along with the introduction of an “iPhone Forever” plan, which allows customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone for $22 a month, or, through the end of the year, $15 a month with a trade-in. Those costs come on top of the monthly wireless service charges.

Meanwhile, a new report about wireless network quality saw Sprint edge out T-Mobile for third place out of the four major U.S. carriers. RootMetrics, a wireless testing firm, today reported rankings for the first half of the year: Verizon retains the lead, followed by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Verizon came in first in overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance and call performance. AT&T did snag first place in text performance, and RootMetrics notes that it is “a close second” to Verizon in overall performance. RootMetrics notes that Sprint showed improvements, notably ending up in a second-place tie with AT&T in call performance.


Photo of an iPhone from Associated Press archives


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  • Dewed

    No.1 in quality … and quantity. Verizon covers more areas than anyone. Them and AT&T are the only two that cover my area.