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.
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.