Alltel adds texting to My Circle plans

Alltel is enhancing its popular My Circle rate plans by letting customers add unlimited text, video and picture messaging for $7.99 per month. This addition lets My Circle customers send messaging to anyone in their Circle as well as other Alltel Wireless customers. My Circle plans let customers make and receive unlimited free calls to and from their My Circle picks regardless of whether those calls are to other Alltel customers or customers of other wireless or wireline operators. Customers can also select other message pack plans for $7.99 per month or $12.99 per month which provide users with 400 or 1,000 additional text/video/picture messages to those outside their Circle or that are not Alltel customers.

The company also is debuting new My Circle Family Choice plans that let customers receive two lines with 1,000 shared minutes and the ability to call any 10 numbers on the network for $84.99 per month. For $114.99, families get two lines with 2,000 shared minutes and unlimited calling with their Circle of 20 numbers. Both plans also have the choice of either getting free evening calls starting at 7 p.m. or 1,000  text/picture/video messages. Garry Bledsoe, vice president, strategy at Alltel, said in an interview with FierceWireless, that the company is trying to emulate what it has done with My Circle plans for voice calling by doing the same with messaging. "We are extending the benefit of the My Circle to messaging."

Bledsoe also said that Alltel is still experiencing strong demand for its My Circle plans even though the company in March introduced an unlimited voice calling plan for $99 per month. "The value proposition for My Circle is still strong. Many people don't need to have completely unlimited calling," Bledsoe said. He also noted that the My Circle Family Choice plans, which are priced at either $84.99 per month or $114.99 per month for two lines, are far more economical than the unlimited family rate plan offered by competitor T-Mobile. Earlier this month, T-Mobile USA announced a flat-rate family plan that offers unlimited nationwide calling, text, picture and instant messaging for $99.99 per month for the first line.  Additional lines cost $49.99 per month.   

For more:
- see this press release

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Alltel jumps on unlimited bandwagon
T-Mobile takes flat-rate to the family