No Contract Unlimited Calling from Sprint-Nextel?

sprintnextel1.jpgSprint’s chief executive Gary Forsee told a Goldman Sachs investor conference yesterday that Sprint is thinking about expanding the test area for an unlimited calling plan that doesn’t require customers to sign a contract. Customers pay a monthly fee for as long as the service is required or affordable. Rivals Leap Wireless and MetroPCS already offer commitment free unlimited calling plans.

People with poor credit are wary of signing contracts that lock them in to monthly payments for 12-24 months. Most unlimited calling plans require such a commitment. Sprint is hoping to add subscribers by enticing contract shy consumers with the bait of unlimited calling.

Plans offered by Rivals Leap and MetroPCS are limited to their coverage areas, which is in no way national in scope. Nextel has more national coverage in America and could make inroads into the less populated parts of the country, while competing in large markets. Mr. Forsee didn’t give any particularities about Sprint’s new venture, so you’ll have to keep reading MobileCrunch for updates.

Unlimited calling plans can be notorious for fees that consumers aren’t aware of because they don’t carefully read their contracts. This is also true with the unlimited plans offered by Rivals Leap Wireless and MetroPCS. For example, roaming minutes may be limited, which incur cost when calling outside the coverage area. Sprint can capitalize on the competition by pointing out its coverage is greater, reducing roaming costs.

Wireless providers like the accountable income stream that contracts provide. The largest providers may shun contract-less unlimited calling plans, keeping this as an enticement to commit to a long-term agreement. Since Sprint-Nextel is the #3 provider in the U.S., it is looking for divergent ways to increase its market share. No contract unlimited calling may be the gimmick that a cash strapped nation looks to for its mobile phone service in the future.

Rivals Leap Wireless