Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has sent a promotional offer to current customers that would provide unlimited data and messaging for $69.99 per month, a move that gives Verizon subscribers a plan that is remarkably similar to Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) Everything Data plan.
According to Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, the new offer is not an official rate plan. She said that Verizon has started an email and direct mail campaign where certain customers are provided an opportunity to receive a $20 credit on their smartphone bill, meaning they end up paying $69.99 for their total bill.
Verizon's plan offers unlimited data, messaging, mobile-to-mobile calling to other Verizon customers and 450 voice minutes, according to a Verizon promotional advertisement. The main difference between this plan and the Sprint plan is that Sprint offers unlimited calling to any U.S. mobile number, regardless of the network.
Raney confirmed that the offer is being made to "select customers," but declined to comment on how long the offer will last, whether it will be expanded or why Verizon is making the offer.
Importantly, this new offer is different from Verizon's "Unlimited Any Mobile" plans, which it has been trialing in markets across the South and Midwest. That plan adds the unlimited calling function to five standard calling plans, which start at $59.99 for 450 anytime minutes on a single line and $99.99 for 700 anytime minutes on a family line.
"Verizon has been able to expand market share while remaining at a premium to its peers so it might be a surprise to some investors that Verizon is willing to drop this low, even if it is only targeted at existing customers," BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk wrote in a blog post about Verizon's offer. "Often times, Verizon's trials expand into offers for all customers."
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Correction, Nov. 8, 2010: The new offer from Verizon is not an official rate plan, as the original article implied, but is an offer for certain customers to receive a $20 credit, reducing their bill to $69.99.