October 25, 2012 / 2:53 AM / in 6 years

Sprint unveils new data plans for 4G LTE tablets

(Reuters) - U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp said it will introduce new rate plans for 4G tablets that offer customers up to 20 percent more data than rivals for the same price.

A woman walks past a Sprint store in New York's financial district, October 15, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Competition is heating up among wireless carriers to meet growing customer demand for data as more people buy handheld devices with Internet browsing capabilities.

Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, also said in a statement that it is waiving for a limited time the activation fee on all 3G and 4G LTE tablets.

The wireless carrier said it will offer four monthly plans designed specifically for 4G LTE tablets, starting at $14.99 for 300 megabytes (MB) of data, $34.99 for 3 gigabyte (GB) of data, $49.99 for 6GB, and $79.99 for 12GB.

The new rate plans will be available for all Sprint 4G LTE tablets and require no contract.

Sprint also said its smartphone customers can add a tablet to their account with a discounted rate plan that includes 1 GB of data for $15 per month, or as little as $10 per month for 100 MB of data on the company’s network.

Unlike its major rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Sprint does not offer family plans for data.

Earlier this month, Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp said it would buy about 70 percent of Sprint Nextel for $20.1 billion, the most a Japanese firm has spent on an overseas acquisition.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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