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Summary:

Engadget reports that Verizon Wireless is introducing various types of unlimited calling plans, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. They are the second large phone company to contemplate such plans. Sprint is said to be toying with its own version of flat rate plans earlier. Oops, looks […]

Engadget reports that Verizon Wireless is introducing various types of unlimited calling plans, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. They are the second large phone company to contemplate such plans. Sprint is said to be toying with its own version of flat rate plans earlier.

Oops, looks like Verizon beat them to the punch. On surface it might seem that Verizon is trying to kick Sprint when its down, but in reality the move foretells a troublesome future for the entire industry. If Sprint and Verizon offer unlimited plans, it is only a matter of time before AT&T and T-Mobile counter with their own plans.

Bottomline: the US mobile industry growth is slowing much faster than previously thought and the only game left for carriers to play: steal business from competitors. Guest columnist and analyst Jason Kowal wrote about the coming slowdown earlier this month. Kowal outlined some of the moves carries are going to make to counter the slowdown. These unlimited plans are part of the prescription, just like selling 3G data services.

  1. It seems like this is a good move for consumers. Verizon’s new plans will already save many consumers (like me) at least 20 dollars a month.

    Once AT&T drops its prices, hopefully others (verizon, sprint, tmobile, alltel) will drop theirs even further in an attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

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  2. It’s about time we saw some healthy competition. US carriers have been ripping us off for long enough. In Europe equipment is usually free or very cheap, incoming calls are free plus they are known for giving away items such as gaming consols when signing a contract.

    It’s about time we saw some of this in the US. Hopefully this is the first step.

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  3. I do applaud the effort that some of these cell phone companies are going through to offer new and more appealing services, however, Verizon has nickle and dimed me enough. That and the fact that they disabled my phone’s features so that I have to pay Verizon for those exact same features I alread have/had. I’m too disgruntled with Verizon to stay with them…

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  4. This is exciting news, indeed. At least if the cost of these unlimited plans is in the range of reasonable. I’ve gone over on my minutes every other month, so it would be nice to not have to worry about that. I’d probably still end up saving money in the long run, even if they charged a fairly high fee for unlimited calling. It’s nice when a struggling industry is forced to take such steps that benefit the consumer.

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  5. We’ll see more of this – if you look at the greater economics of the market, $100 per voice sub is almost double market ARPU. Wall Street will like this if they get a decent penetration rate. Pricing for voice continues to go down, and it has not been offset by data services. All part of the maturing process, and I agree with other posters – I hope this reignites competition.

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  6. the only way for verizon,att,tmobile usa,sprint to grow is to launch a suicide ARPU model that bankrupts on of them and take those customers

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  7. I know it is ancient history (5 years ago), but AT&T Wireless offered a $99 unlimited plan when the GSM network debuted. If I remember correctly the offer was only open for about 3 months. I wonder how many people are still on that plan?

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  8. Om,
    Sprint has offered unlimited plans for quite a while. They might not be advertised heavily or available nationwide, but they’re available at least in the SF Bay Area. I recall seeing ads for them in the SJ Merc, and last week my local Sprint store had signs up for “unlimited everything” for $120/month, and unlimited everything + PC modem for $150/month.

    Here’s a link:
    http://www.phonenews.com/sprint-now-offering-unlimited-access-plan-online-2703/

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