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Students Get Free Cell Service, But There’s a Catch

By technology editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A wireless provider and a big box store are trying to woo students with an offer of free cell phone service.

And it’s not just for college kids.   Sprint and Best Buy are targeting elementary, middle, and high school students, too.

The deal is all the talking and texting you like and up to 1 gigabyte of data, for no charge, for a year.  That’s a savings from Sprint’s normal rate of $70 per month.

The smartphones include the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S.

So what’s in the fine print?   As you might imagine, there are a couple of catches.

First, you have to buy the devices at or near full price:  about $600 for the iPhone 5C, or $750 for the Galaxy Note 3.

For unlimited data, it’s an additional $10 per month; otherwise, there are fees if you exceed the gratis 1 GB.

The student line becomes a regular line after a year, though you can cancel before that.

The offer is at Best Buy stores through January 4th.

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