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Price War: Verizon Wireless Cuts Pricing for Unlimited Talk, Text Plans; AT&T Cuts, Too

By January 18, 2010

Verizon Wireless
Image Verizon Wireless
While AT&T continues to receive service complaints from iPhone users, Verizon Wireless on Monday upped the ante in its price war by debuting reduced pricing on its unlimited voice and text plans.

Beginning today, the carrier's Nationwide Unlimited Talk plan is $69.99 per month to call anyone in the U.S. Its new Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text adds unlimited texting for $89.99.

Prior to this change, Verizon Wireless used to charge $99.99 for unlimited talk only. That plan now costs $30 less. The unlimited talk and text plan used to cost $119.99. It now costs $30 less.

For $5 more per month, a prepaid wireless version of the talk plan costs $74.99 instead of $69.99 for the contract plan. The no-contract version of its talk and text plan is $94.99 instead of $89.99.

While the carrier is continuing to offer its lower-priced, minute-based plans at the same prices, Verizon Wireless is also lowering the price of its share plans for families.

Its Nationwide Unlimited Talk Family SharePlan is now $119.99 per month with two lines. Its Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Family SharePlan is now $149.99 per month with two lines. Each additional line (up to three) costs $49.99 extra.

AT&T
Image AT&T
Verizon Wireless is also making a $9.99-per-month data plan with 25 megabytes mandatory for its high-speed 3G customers. Consumers should be careful about monitoring these 25 megabytes because excess usage could be costly. A previous data plan for $19.99 a month will now be discontinued.

The design of the changes is to capture market share from rivals of Verizon Wireless. The carrier also wants to convince customers to spend more money on higher-priced unlimited plans and to use data, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said on a Jan. 15, 2010 conference call.

For the purposes of simplification and to reduce the demands on the carrier's service staff, McAdam also said that Verizon Wireless is immediately reducing the number of mobile phones offered to 50 from 80 handsets.

To fight back, AT&T on Monday debuted dollar-for-dollar changes. AT&T has cut the price of its unlimited voice and data plan for smartphones (like the iPhone) from $129.99 to $99.99 per month. That's a $30 savings.

Verizon Wireless currently has about 89 million customers while AT&T has approximately 82 million wireless customers.

Update on Jan. 19, 2010: U.S. Cellular also just announced new unlimited national plans.
Comments
January 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm
(1) Postal says:

Readers digest version of changes… HUGE price increase for “bandwidth limited” data plans with Verizon. They completely eliminated the popular single and family Connect plans which included unlimited data and mobile email for “multimedia” phones. To get the equivalent plan now you will pay $30 more per phone, per month. Great gimmick saying they are lowering cost but they are really gouging you because all new multimedia phones they offer have to have a data plan associated with them now. The smart phones really don’t change because you had to have a Smart phone data plan anyway. This results is more dollars out of your pocket into there’s, no saving just plain old greed. The 9.99 25 Mb plan, most users will go over that amount in the first week alone causing them to pay per Mb @ .20 per Mb. If your using a voice only plan your in luck with the sweeping price changes, but ask yourself, who do you know that uses voice only anymore? Verizon loves articles that point out only the voice pricing change and don’t mention how they actually had a more cost effective product “The connect plan” for the consumer before this sweeping price / structure change.

January 19, 2010 at 2:52 am
(2) Andy says:

Guess I’ll stick with my Sprint plan…$99 for EVERYTHING….when will Verizon and AT&T clue in???

January 19, 2010 at 3:00 am
(3) Jeremy Kay says:

This is pure greed and unethical!
I’ve enjoyed convenience and superb reception coverage of verizon but there is no other option but to quit verizon when next month comes for my family renewal.

January 19, 2010 at 3:15 am
(4) Andy says:

one final comment…I went into Verizon last week because I am interested in the new Droid phone. I like the iPhone, however, I prefer a true keyboard and have heard AT&T’s coverage is spotty and that their customer service sucks. I have no idea if these are true or not…just heard this from friends. Anyway, for the same EXACT plan I have with Sprint I am spending $50 per month LESS…I think that should be the REAL story here…not this BS…for the record, I am not a Sprint employee…just a guy with a cell phone…

January 19, 2010 at 10:44 am
(5) Dara says:

I don’t know why more people aren’t using Sprint. They have better priced plans- always have. My coverage is better than AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Is it because everyone else were hoodwinked by expensive marketing campaigns? I have unlimited everything for 3 lines (my family shareplan) and I’m only paying $159

January 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm
(6) Wayward says:

I work on the web and iPhone app development team at my office and need to be on the iPhone for obvious reasons. Luckily, my fiance gets discounts on AT&T service through his place of employment. It’s still steep though. We can get out of our contract in Feb. 2010 and we are definitely looking into our options.

January 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(7) KRYSTAL says:

AT&T IS AWESOME =D

January 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm
(8) Lyca says:

why most people wont deal with sprint is that their customer service sucks.

good dame cellphone!

in till they start teat people with respect.

they will always have problem get new customer!

for us we just stick with our old cheap page plus cellphone!

January 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm
(9) Kimberly says:

I was with AT&T for years, but just as 2010 began I switched carriers and am now happily with Straight Talk. Verizon’s network really is the best and more dependable and I am so glad Straight Talk operates on that network – I have coverage everywhere. I’ve never used a pre-paid company before, but Straight Talk’s unlimited $45 a month plan includes everything and its on such a wonderful network. The phones are super affordable as well – I was finally able to purchase a Smart Phone and I love my Samsung Finesse.

Straight Talk is really the best.

January 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm
(10) jerry says:

Myself. I am a sold out consumer of t-mobile. I have been with them for around 6 yrs. I have been up & down the coast of California. I have no problems with their reception. Though i wish their 3G coverage was greater i still am a very happy consumer at 59.99. Happy with my behold 2.

January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm
(11) Norm says:

No seriously, this is no price war! More like price collusion among the big carriers.
If they were really engaging in a price war they would have to go much lower. They have quite a way to drop those prices before they get to compete with some of the prepaid unlimited plans available out there.
I use the Straight Talk service which costs only $45 for unlimited talk, texts and data. It makes the $70 (voice only) Vzn plan look REALLY expensive, doesn’t it? But ST actually uses the Verizon network!

January 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm
(12) adelide says:

People are finally getting smart about budgeting their lives in a way that isn’t going to cave in under their feet during a prorated economic earthquake. AT&T has simply fallen behind and not providing adequate service outside of the major urban enclaves. Verizon has fantastic coverage but continues to gouge consumers. Even their latest attempt at rolling back basic service from $99 to $69 a month is outrageous because what they’re doing is adding other fees to monthly bills and making just as much.

I agree that more and more people are realizing they don’t need to sign a two year contract with a cell phone company to get great service. I have been using a TracFone for about a year, since my income level decreased and I began to take serious stock of my new household budget. I realize now that I was way overpaying. I’m actually saving more than half what I used to with a smart phone. My Tracfone was less than $20 and for $20 I can buy 60 minutes of talk. I now pay as I go.

January 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(13) Pat Yoe says:

I have Straight Talk on the Verizon network. Bought it at Walmart and it’s an amazing deal. The Samsung Finesse is a very cool smartphone and paying only $45 a month for unlimited everything is the best deal going!

Who needs an iPhone? LOL!!

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