As you may have heard, Verizon made some headlines today by unveiling new, cheaper plans to its customers. Specifically, they cut the price of their unlimited voice plans by $29 down to $69.99. As some noted, this looked to be a way to undercut its biggest rival, AT&T. Not surprisingly, AT&T is now matching that offer.
AT&T customers with “feature phones” will now have the option to get unlimited voice minutes for $69.99 a month. Text message plans will remain $20 a month for unlimited usage, so they’re matching Verizon’s $89.99 unlimited voice + text offering too. But wait, before you get all excited, you should note that “feature phones” do not include the iPhone. That is apparently a “smartphone” which is different in AT&T’s eyes (and Verizon’s for that matter). Smartphone owners will have the option to get unlimited voice plus data for $99.99, which is still a nice discount over previous unlimited iPhone plans which ran $129.99.
But what really sucks with these “unlimited” voice and data plans for the iPhone is that you’ll still have to pay $20 on top of that if you want unlimited texting too. So that’s $119.99 for truly unlimited iPhone usage. Again, cheaper than it was, but come on, why can’t we include text messaging? Because the carriers would make a lot less money without that rip-off pricing in play, that’s why.
These new plans go into effect this coming Monday, January 18. Existing customers will also be able to alter their plans without any sort of penalty, including no contract extensions, which is great.
Here are the full details of AT&T’s changes which were just announced:
DALLAS, Jan. 15, 2010 – AT&T* today announced new unlimited plans across all devices –including its industry-leading lineup of smartphones — to provide more value and choice for customers who want to talk, text and surf on the nation’s fastest 3G network.
“With more than twice the number of smartphone customers as our nearest competitor, we are committed to offering great value and choice for customers who want to talk, text and surf on the nation’s fastest 3G network,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Our new plans reflect customers’ continuing desire to do more with their phones – including talking and browsing the Web at the same time. Plus these new plans make it even more attractive to choose AT&T which already offers customers the best 3G experience and the industry’s most popular and innovative devices.”
The new plans, which will be available beginning Monday, Jan. 18, can be ordered at AT&T’s 2,200 company-owned retail stores and kiosks, through convenient online service at www.att.com, or at one of the thousands of authorized AT&T retail locations.
- Feature Phone customers may choose unlimited talk for $69.99. Family Talk customers (prices assume two lines) may choose unlimited talk for $119.99 per month. Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited plans for individuals and $30 for Family Talk plans.
- Quick Messaging Device customers may choose unlimited talk for $69.99 and Family Talk plans may choose unlimited talk for $119.99 per month (for two lines). These plans require a minimum of $20 per month for individual plans and $30 per month for Family Talk plans in texting and/or Web browsing packages for new and upgrading customers.
- All smartphone customers, including iPhone customers, may now buy unlimited voice and data for $99.99. For smartphone customers with Family Talk plans (prices assume 2 smartphones), unlimited voice and data is now available for $179.99. Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited plans for individuals, $30 for Family Talk Plans.
Beginning Monday, existing AT&T customers can change to any of the new plans without penalty or contract extension with the online account management tool at www.att.com/wireless.
For customers who do not choose an unlimited voice plan, AT&T offers Rollover, which lets customers keep the minutes they don’t use. In addition, AT&T offers A-List, which offers unlimited calling to up to 10 domestic phone numbers.