The third-largest U.S. carrier is offering its corporate liable accounts a $39.99 plan that provides 500 MB of monthly data. This is two to 10 times what Verizon Wireless and AT&T, respectively, offer for similarly priced data plans. Additionally, Sprint's overage feeds are 5 cents per megabyte, which is about half of what the competition charges for plans with the same price tag.
"Sprint saw a clear need for a plan that meets the needs of corporate liable business users whose data usage is moderate, while providing superior value," said Tim Donahur, VP of business marketing for Sprint, in a statement. "No matter how much data they typically use, business users need to know they'll have all the mobile broadband bytes they need at a reasonable price."
The mobile broadband uses Sprint's EV-DO 3G network, and it works with various USB dongles, as well as devices like Novatel Wireless' MiFi hotspot. The MiFi is about the size of a credit card, and it enables the user to utilize 3G data to create a personal Wi-Fi cloud that can be used by up to five devices.
The move shows the growing importance of mobile data options in the wireless space. For the corporate user, it potentially enables employees to be more productive on the go. The carriers see mobile data plans as a much-needed revenue stream as traditional voice revenue declines. Sprint also offers a $60 mobile data plan with a 5 GB cap, and an $80 3G/4G plan that gives users access to WiMax networks where available.
Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).