AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is taking a page out of Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) playbook with plans to offer customers the option of unlimited calling to any mobile number at any time--if they sign up for an unlimited messaging plan as well. The new offering is the latest marketing maneuver AT&T has made in the wake of losing its exclusivity over Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone to Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).
AT&T said that beginning Feb. 10 its new "Mobile to Any Mobile" plan will be available to new and existing AT&T customers with a qualifying voice plan who subscribe to unlimited messaging plans. Unlimited messaging costs $20 per month on an individual plan and $30 on a FamilyTalk plan, which allows up to five lines.
Sprint has been offering its own unlimited mobile calling plan, called "Any Mobile, Anytime," since September 2009. The feature is paired with Sprint's Everything Data plan, which starts at $69.99 per month, excluding taxes and surcharges. The Everything Data plan includes unlimited text, video and picture messaging, mobile data, GPS and services like Sprint TV, along with 450 anytime calling minutes to landline numbers.
In addition to the rate-plan changes, AT&T has also been beefing up its smartphone lineup. The carrier will throw its marketing muscle behind the Android-powered Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Atrix 4G to counter the Verizon iPhone. AT&T is placing a greater emphasis on smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform.
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