Sprint is preparing to launch a prepaid service called Sprint As You Go later this month for individuals that aren't keen on signing a two-year service agreement. The wireless provider will have four participating handsets available when the new service kicks gets rolling on January 25.

Of course, this won't be the only way to get Sprint service as Boost Mobile, Republic Wireless and Virgin all use the carrier's network. For the budget-minded consumers, the $49.99 Samsung M400 and the $79.99 Samsung Array feature phones are where you'd start. Those with a bit more cash to throw down up front can choose between the LG Optimus Elite and the Samsung Victory smartphones for $149.99 and $249.99, respectively.

The two feature phones are sold alongside a $50 per month service plan that includes unlimited voice, unlimited text, unlimited voice roaming and 1XRTT Data roaming. A similar plan for the two smartphones will run you $70 per month. It's worth pointing out that in both instances, EVDO roaming is not included. As with most prepaid services, there is no credit check, no activation fees and no late fees or early termination fees.

In the event that you are already a Sprint customer or happen to own a handset compatible with their network and want to use it, well, you're out of luck. Only the four aforementioned phones will work with Spring As You Go service.

While it's always nice to see more competition enter the mix, the gang at Android Police brings up a valid point in wondering why any well-informed consumer would pick Sprint's option over Boost or Virgin when the two latter options offer a much better value on the same network.