When it comes to wireless usage pricing, the world is flattening out. AT&T and Verizon have announced $99.99 (gee, I’m glad it’s not $100!) flat rate ‘all-you-can-eat’ talk plans.
The chief losers here are MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless, as well as the other flat-rate carriers who have found a niche in this sector. Oh, yes, AT&T iPhone users are also losers since the AT&T flat rate plan won’t apply to their phones. Too bad, so sad.
Below is Verizon’s press release, followed by AT&T’s press release
BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless is moving the industry forward with the introduction of game-changing voice and data plans. The builder and operator of the nation’s most reliable wireless network today announced the immediate availability of new Nationwide Unlimited Anytime Minute Plans. The plans give customers all their calls – anytime to anyone in the U.S., including landline phones – at a flat rate for $99.99 monthly access. BroadbandAccess Plans are also being enhanced so customers now have two choices for Internet browsing, e-mail access and downloading files. The new BroadbandAccess plans, available on March 2, will offer customers monthly data plan options of 50 Megabytes (MB) or 5 Gigabytes (GB) (5,120 MB).
“Verizon Wireless is changing the way customers think about wireless,” said Mike Lanman, Verizon Wireless chief marketing officer. “The new flat rate voice plans truly free customers from the worry of counting minutes, while the new data plan options allow more customers to experience the freedom of mobile broadband. These enhancements are also an acknowledgement that wireless has evolved and more people than ever depend on it as a primary means of communication in every aspect of their lives.”
BroadbandAccess, the company’s flagship data service, allows customers to experience average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and average upload speeds of 500-800 kbps, which means customers can download a 1 MB e-mail attachment in about eight seconds and upload the same-sized file in less than 13 seconds. Customers will be able to take full advantage of these speeds with two options: 50 MB data usage for $39.99 monthly access or 5 GB data usage for $59.99 monthly access.
“These new flat rate plans make mobile broadband more affordable than ever,” said Lanman. “The $39.99 plan is perfect for the occasional or light data user, while the $59.99 plan meets the needs of the majority of heavy data users. The plans are easy to understand and give customers the technology they need to manage their lives – both business and personal.”
Verizon Wireless can make this industry leading move because it has invested nearly $44 billion since it was formed – $5.5 billion on average every year – to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. The company was also the first to offer customers a guarantee that pays for equipment and service if customers are not satisfied within 30 days and want to move their service to a different carrier.
“Wireless service is a powerful tool that has vastly changed the way we live. Verizon Wireless decided to take the next step by evolving our plans to meet the needs of customers who depend on our service to stay connected. We have enhanced our pricing portfolio because some customers just needed more freedom for their wireless dollar,” Lanman added.
Here’s AT&T’s press release:
AT&T to Launch Unlimited U.S. Calling Plan
$99.99 Plan Available Feb. 22 for New and Existing Customers
San Antonio, Texas, February 19, 2008
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today new unlimited voice plans targeted to wireless users who want the predictability of flat rate pricing for unlimited minutes. The plans will be available to new and existing wireless subscribers for $99.99 a month for unlimited U.S. calling on all devices with no domestic roaming or long distance charges. The plans can be combined with any current wireless data plan to give customers the ultimate in wireless freedom.
The new plans, available Feb. 22, can be ordered at one of AT&T’s 2,200 company-owned retail stores and kiosks, at www.att.com, or at one of the thousands of authorized AT&T retail locations. Existing customers can choose unlimited calling without extending their contract. New customers have the option of a month-to-month, 12 or 24 month contract.
As with other voice calling plans, AT&T customers can choose from a variety of MEdia Net and messaging plans to meet their needs. For example, customers with standard wireless phones* can choose a data plan such as $5 for 200 text, picture, video and instant messages or $35 for unlimited messaging and MEdia Net access.
“We are pleased to offer our customers these great new plans that deliver value and simplified pricing,” said Ralph de la Vega, president & CEO, AT&T Mobility. “This is a highly competitive market and we’re committed to moving fast to meet customer needs.”
AT&T customers benefit from the nation’s largest digital voice and data network, with 3G broadband available in more than 260 major metropolitan markets. The company recently announced plans to expand its 3G network to 350 markets, including all of the top 100.
*Standard wireless phones do not include smartphones or PDAs or the iPhone.