Late last week, I got an email from Sprint asking me to participate in something they are calling the Sprint Ambassador Program. At current, it’s an invite only program that is targeting bloggers and Jeff, Scott and Steve are also blogging about it. This program is a clever attempt to get a Sprint phone plus free service to people that blog about technology. As part of the program, I get a free Samsung A-920 phone and 6 months of free service that apparently includes the Sprint Music Store, live TV broadcasts, gaming and other items that are part of the Sprint Power Vision Network. The only thing I have to do is provide feedback – how often or how little is up to me.
It’s pretty easy to guess Sprint’s intention here – They are hoping and counting on people that are in the program to blog about their experience. With free calls and data services for 6 months, I know I will be using it quite a bit and probably blog about it as well.
The Samsung A-920 is billed as a Razr killer and is a dual-band CDMA phone that supports EV-DO for high-speed data downloads, stereo speakers, Bluetooth, 1.3 megapixel rotating camera with flash and camcorder capabilities, dual color displays, and an internal antenna.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve accepted the offer and hope to get the phone soon. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should add that I get to keep the phone after the 6-month experiment is over. I can at that point sign up for Sprint service using that phone but I would have to pay the normal charges. I should also add that I used to be a Sprint customer till about 2 years ago when I switched to AT&T. I was happy with the Sprint service but the thing that made me switch and pay the $450 ($150 times 3 phones) to get out of my Sprint contract was the lack of devices. With Cingular, I’ve bought GSM phones off eBay or other websites and just slid in my SIM card to make the phone work. At the time when I was a Sprint customer, they would let you get a new device but you had to re-up your contract for a 1 or 2 year period. So I ended up paying $450 to get out of my Sprint contract to sign a 2-year AT&T contract. But in the time I’ve been with AT&T, I’ve gone through about 6 different phones before settling on my current phone, the Audiovox SMT 5600. I have a data-plan through AT&T or Cingular now and I use the browser all the time on my phone.
I’ll blog about this topic again when I get the phone. I guess its mission accomplished for Sprint. Free swag is another great benefit of blogging.