In 2008 we saw the traditional Tier 1 operators introduce unlimited airtime rate plans at the high-end of the price spectrum. In early February, three of the Tier 1 operators--Verizon, T-Mobile USA and AT&T--launched $100 unlimited airtime rate plans, effectively cannibalizing their customers on higher priced rate plans of $150 and $200 per month in order to offer the allure of unlimited calling for $100 per month.
Sprint followed suit a few weeks later with its "Simply Everything" plan that provides unlimited voice, data, text, email, Web-surfing, Sprint TV, Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, Direct Connect and Group Connect for $99.99 a month. The company also has an unlimited voice-only plan for $89.99 per month.
Sprint has been avidly marketing its Simply Everything plan to consumers as a cost-effective alternative during challenging economic times. So far we haven't seen the other Tier 1 operators drop their prices to meet Sprint's offer but in 2009 we expect to see carriers start to experience price pressure and we think that the unlimited calling plan pricing will drop to the $80 per month range.