Hours after rival Verizon Wireless announced cheaper unlimited plans and an overhaul of its data pricing, AT&T Mobility on Friday introduced new unlimited calling plans of its own that mirror those from Verizon. AT&T's smartphone customers--including iPhone users--can now get unlimited voice and data for $99.99 per month.
And, just like Verizon, AT&T broke its pricing down into three separate, phone-based categories:
- Feature phone users can get unlimited talk for $69.99 per month. Family Talk customers (prices assume two lines) can choose unlimited talk for $119.99 per month. Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited use for individuals and $30 for Family Talk plans.
- Quick messaging device customers (those who own devices that do have Qwerty keyboards but are not smartphones) can get unlimited talk and text for $89.99 per month. Quick messaging device customers with Family Talk plans can choose unlimited talk and text for $149.99 per month.
- All smartphone users, including iPhone users, can get unlimited voice and data (but not messaging) for $99.99. For smartphone customers with Family Talk plans, unlimited voice and data is now $179.99 per month. Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited plans for individuals and $30 for Family Talk plans. AT&T's previous pricing for iPhone users included $99.99 for unlimited voice and $30 for unlimited data. Reducing the cost of iPhone usage is notable considering Pali analyst Walter Piecyk recently estimated that fully 40 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers use an iPhone or are in a family plan with an iPhone.
Earlier on Friday, Verizon said it would lower its unlimited voice plan to $69.99 per month, down from $99 per month, and would offer unlimited voice and text for $89.99 per month. This isn't the first time AT&T has aped Verizon's pricing strategy. During the winter of 2008, all four of the Tier 1 carriers unveiled unlimited plans in quick succession.
Both Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA currently offer unlimited plans that are cheaper than those put forward by AT&T and Verizon. Both Sprint's Simply Everything Plan and T-Mobile's Even More offering include unlimited talk, text and data for $99.99 per month.
Not to be outdone by its larger rivals, Tier 2 carrier U.S. Cellular announced its own unlimited plans today. The company is offering unlimited voice calling for $69.99 per month for one line and $119.99 per month for two lines; customers can get up to three additional lines for $49.99 each. U.S. Cellular said existing customers can migrate to the new plans without a contract extension.
- see this AT&T release
- see this U.S. Cellular release
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