media logos

Sprint introduces Common Cents plans with round down minutes

When sprint announced big changes for Virgin Mobile, they eliminated Virgin’s pay-as-you-go plans. They wouldn’t go away entirely, though. Instead, the company announced that it would add a fourth brand — in addition to Virgin, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless — to cover pay-as-you-go. This morning they made the official announcement. The new brand, Common Cents, will launch at 700 Wal-Mart stores on Saturday, May 15.

Sprint has actually taken a decent angle on this one. With almost every pay-as-you-go provider, you pay full price for a fraction of a minute. That is, if you talk for one minute and one second, it gets rounded up to two minutes. Common Cents takes the opposite tack, rounding down all minutes after the first. So, for instance, if you talk for 1 minute and 59 seconds, it gets rounded down to 1 minute. That will certainly please many people.

As for rates, Common Cents will undercut a number of providers by offering seven-cent minutes and seven-cent text messages. Customers can refill with either a $20 card, which expires in 30 days, or a $30 dollar card, which expires in 60 days. Unlimited text messaging is available for $20 per month, and data is available for a dollar per day.

The service will launch with three low-end handsets. The LG101 will cost $19.77, the Samsung M340 will cost $39.77, and the Kyocera S2300 will cost $69.77. Clever clever with the pricing.