Within hours of Sprint announcing its game-changing, industry-first Any Mobile, Anytime feature (place and receive calls unlimited with any U.S. cell phone for free), AT&T is maintaining the status quo by unveiling a copycat of a feature T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Alltel all unveiled some time ago.
Image © AT&T
AT&T announced on Wednesday the launch of A-List so its users can add up to 5 numbers on an individual plan or up to 10 shared numbers on a FamilyTalk plan for unlimited calling to and from any landline or cell phone on any network. The feature will go live on Sept. 20, 2009 and the A-List numbers can be changed any time online.
Sound strangely familiar? Thatís because itís the same, commonplace offering from T-Mobile (since 2006), Verizon Wireless (since Feb. 2009) and Alltel. Since it was already so late to this pick-your-numbers game, AT&T missed a golden opportunity to change the playing field in the way Sprint just did with Any Mobile, Anytime.
T-Mobile allows you to do the same with its myFaves feature, Verizon Wireless does as well with its Friends & Family offering (with plans purchasing 900 anytime minutes or more) and Alltel does the same with My Circle.
A-List has the following requirement, too: You must be purchasing a plan with 900 anytime minutes ($59.99) or more per month or your FamilyTalk plan must come with 1,400 anytime minutes ($89.99) or more. A-List still works with AT&T Rollover, which means you keep unused minutes the following month.
In other AT&T news, the carrier announced this Wednesday that six U.S. cities Ė Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte, N.C. Ė will be the first cities to see doubled data download speeds by the end of 2009.
Following widespread speed complaints, iPhone 3G S users should notice the speed boost. Despite AT&T speeds in practice of about 1.4 Mbps (with a current cap of 3.6 Mbps), the new theoretical download cap will be 7.2 Mbps. Verizon Wireless is aiming for average download speeds of 7 Mbps to 12 Mbps in 2010.