AT&T drops long distance, adds Rollover for Unity

It's official: After a false start for AT&T's Unity plan offering, the carrier has dropped the requirement for long distance service and allowed existing subscribers to take their Rollover Minutes with them if they switch to the bundled offering. In May, AT&T's CMO Rick Welday indicated that the carrier would update Unity with fewer requirements and Rollover Minutes. The updated Unity was expected to launch in time for the iPhone launch, but missed it by about one month.

Now, Unity subscribers only need to sign up for AT&T local wireline telephony and wireless service to have a combined bill for the services. The wireless plan includes free domestic calling to and from other AT&T numbers, unlimited nights and weekends as well as a package of anytime minutes. The addition of Rollover Minutes lets AT&T Unity subscribers keep their unused minutes for up to one year.

So, it looks like AT&T followed our advice to include Rollover Minutes in Unity. Back in January, we wrote: "AT&T Unity plans do not include Cingular's Rollover service, once a mainstay of the carrier's offerings. Rollover plans allow customers to roll their unused monthly minutes into the next month for up to 12 months." Back then, AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel explained: "With AT&T Unity, you don't get Rollover, but given the size of the calling circle (100 million Cingular Wireless and AT&T wireline customers) you really don't need Rollover." "Needs" and "wants" are two separate things, whatever the case may be, the carrier has now decided that Rollover could spur more subscriptions to its bundled plan.

For more on AT&T's new Unity offering:
- read this press release

PLUS: AT&T's GPRS network went offline early Friday morning in part of the Northeast. The outage affected many BlackBerry users, but no iPhone users since that handset only supports EDGE. Article (WSJ sub. req.)

AND: The carrier formerly known as Cingular will have to face a class action lawsuit that alleges the carrier overcharged subscribers in Washington state, according to a ruling from the state's Supreme Court that allowed the case to proceed. Article

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