Hmmmm... there's another answer to contract renewal. TING!
And that's not a sound, but a cellular provider. They are partnered with Sprint, so if you're happy with Sprint service but not their prices then there's Ting
I've done some investigating of this service and it's quite attractive. Unfortunately there's a big cost on LTE phones upfront, but... the savings is in the long run. If you're one of those people who likes the freedom of unlimited calling/text/data, but find that you really don't push it, then Ting may be for you.
With an employer discount, I'm paying $70/month. Based on my average use, I'd be paying $38/month with Ting. So, with the full retail phone price, I have only a marginal savings for the first year. The next year the savings are huge. I'm really thinking seriously about joining it. Unfortunately, the old HTC Hero can't be used. But it's still a useful WiFi device.