Verizon offers 'My Circle' alternative in wake of Alltel deal

Verizon Wireless has gone an extra step in integrating former Alltel customer's into the carrier's giant network by adding a plan that is strikingly similar to "My Circle," one of Alltel's signature features.

The new plan, called "Friends and Family," allows Verizon customers to add five to 10 numbers to a group that they can call and not have the used minutes count against their monthly plan. However, in order to qualify, customers need to be either on a single line plan with 900 or more anytime minutes or on a family plan with 1,400 or more anytime minutes. The single line customers can have up to five numbers and those on the family plan can have 10 numbers that can be shared among plan members.

Verizon joins other carriers that have a "favorites" calling feature. T-Mobile USA offers "myFaves," which gives customers unlimited calling to five numbers. This move may make the transition with Alltel customers smoother and help reduce churn during the transition.

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