Verizon, AT&T Cut Unlimited Plan Pricing

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless on Friday reduced prices on its unlimited voice plans as part of a broader overhaul of its service plans aimed at boosting mobile data use. Starting Jan. 18, Verizon customers will be able to get unlimited voice for $69.99, down from $99.99. Unlimited voice and text will cost $89.99 a month, and prepaid versions of the new unlimited plans will cost $5 more each.

Verizon is reducing the overall number of plans from 40 to six single-line plans and eight family-share plans to simplify the process of selecting an option. The carrier is also streamlining its mobile data packages by organizing them into three groups according to type of device.

For 3G smartphones, which offer Web browsing and applications and span and include BlackBerry, webOS, Android and Windows Mobile platforms, Verizon will offer a $29.99-per-month unlimited data plan. The minimum $9.99 plan required for smartphones (for 25 MB of data) has been extended to mid-tier 3G multimedia phones, while customers with regular phones can choose between the $9.99 and $29.99 plans, or pay $1.99 per megabyte.

Verizon and the other major carriers are counting on rising mobile data use, from Web surfing to video-watching, to drive wireless growth in the coming years. The U.S. wireless data market increased 27% to $11.3 billion in the third quarter, with Verizon and AT&T accounting for 80% of the growth, according to industry research firm Chetan Sharma.

While the new pricing and plans could spur increased data traffic, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said the carrier's network is equipped to handle any surge. "There has been a lot of speculation about usage caps," he said. "We don't feel we need to worry about that at this point." The service plan revamp comes as Verizon prepares to roll out its 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network in 25 to 30 cities this year and nationwide by 2013.

Responding to Verizon's price reductions, AT&T Friday afternoon said it was cutting its unlimited voice plans for regular phones to $69.99 to match its wireless rival. And with its unlimited texting plans unchanged at $20 monthly, the combined cost of $89.99 for voice and text would match that of Verizon's new unlimited voice and text package.

AT&T smartphone customers, including iPhone owners, will have the option to get unlimited voice and data for $99.99 -- down from $129.99. Unlimited texting would cost another $20. The changes will go into effect Jan. 18, the same day as Verizon's.

1 comment about "Verizon, AT&T Cut Unlimited Plan Pricing ".
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  1. Jenine Li from housewife and more, January 18, 2010 at 1:59 p.m.

    I don't understand how this new pricing strategy is so great. Both providers claim they're lowering rates, but now they're forcing folks to buy web acccess for $10-$20! Well, my kids for one, don't use nor need this at all, so why should i be forced to buy it? I dropped ATT long ago and now have the Straight Talk plan which gives me all things unlimited for $45 a month. This includes calls, text and web access - no other fees, no hidden fees, no mandatory fees!! I think this is fair - I just use what I need, and at least I know what I'm paying for. This plan, which I bought at Walmart, is serviced by Werizon, so the connectivity is awesome. The phone is a slider w/ a keyboard which is great for texting. ATT and Verizon really need to look at what consumer's needs are and not try to impose services just to make up their numbers. The real competition is not another contract providers (they're all copying each other) - they need to look at what the prepaids are doing so well and try to copy that! For now, I'm sticking w/ the Straight Talk plan for $45 a month... and that's where the real news is!!

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