Sprint Corp. is aiming a bundle of office services including high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi and landline and mobile calling at small businesses as the battle for new users moves beyond consumers.
The package unveiled Monday is part of Sprint’s OfficeFuel drive to get small companies to buy most communications technology and management from one vendor. It starts at $200 a month per employee with an optional $40 a month for unlimited wireless texting, calling and data, about $10 less than rival plans, according to Mike Fitz, vice president of business solutions.
The push to sell managed-services packages to small businesses is a spillover from what has been an active period of price cuts and promotions in the consumer market. The move brings Overland Park-based Sprint head-to-head with AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and a rejuvenated T-Mobile US Inc., which is expected to introduce a business-focused offer Wednesday.
“Sprint is trying to steal T-Mobile’s thunder,” said Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics, an industry research firm in Dedham, Mass. “This gives Sprint a two-day head start on headlines.”
T-Mobile introduced free international roaming last year, which has appeal for business travelers. Since then, the company has been a “no show in the enterprise” market, he said. T- Mobile’s invitation to its Wednesday event in New York, is titled: “This one’s a real piece of work.”
Sprint’s bundle, targeted at companies with 20 to 100 employees, offers access to Microsoft Corp.’s Lync and 365 services, a single bill and one company to call for help, Fitz said. To sweeten the deal, Sprint is throwing in a 5-gigabyte data service plan for tablets for $5 a month.
“Small-business owners are looking for simplicity and always trying to make their costs as variable as possible,” Entner said. The Sprint package “means they don’t have to hire an IT team or systems integrators.”