The major US wireless carriers have been competing for customers in interesting ways over the past few years. Unlimited data plans are a thing again. Networks keep speeding up their networks and expanding their coverage maps. And price wars and bonus perks are commonplace.

Now Sprint is trying something pretty extraordinary: the company is giving new customers a year of free unlimited talk, text, and data service.

There are a few things to keep in mind before taking Sprint up on its offer:

  • You need to bring your own phone to the network, so if you don’t already have a compatible phone then you may need to pay full price to buy one.
  • Sprint’s “unlimited” plan does have some limits: you can only use up to 10GB of high-speed data per month when using your phone as a hotspot before throttling kicks in, for example.
  • Sprint also caps video speeds at 1080p, music streaming at 1.5mbps, and game streaming at 8mbps, while offering higher speeds on other 4G LTE activities when the network allows.
  • While the Sprint portion of your bill is waived, you will have to pay for a SIM card, pay an activation fee (which will be refunded), and pay taxes and regulatory fees. So you will probably end up paying a few bucks per month for the “free” service, and if you cancel autopayment and eBilling, then you’ll end up paying up to $7.99 per month extra.

In order to take advantage of the deal, you’ve got to sign up by June 30th and the deal expires on July 31st, 2018, after which time you’ll be billed at Sprint’s normal rates unless you cancel service.

There’s also one other very important thing to consider before signing up: Sprint’s coverage in your area. While Sprint’s coverage map does show that the majority of the most populated parts of the country are covered, Sprint covers a slightly smaller percentage of the United States than the country’s other four major wireless networks.

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