updated 10:15 am EST, Tue February 19, 2008
Verizon Unlimited Plans
Verizon today fired a salvo at AT&T with the introduction of its Unlimited Calling Plans. Validating an earlier leak, the carrier's service guarantees an unlimited amount of calling within the US regardless of the time of day or whether the destination is a landline or mobile. Extra plans also supply unlimited SMS (text) and MMS (media) messaging within the country as well as unfettered access to some of Verizon's data services, such as its Mobile Web 2.0 portal, V CAST Internet video, and VZ Navigator for assisted GPS mapping.
These plans are available immediately and start at $100 per month for just the basic calling plan, which charges for data at $2 per megabyte; moving up to $120 per month adds the messaging option, while a $140 monthly plan adds the unlimited V CAST, VZ Navigator, and related features in addition to removing the charges for general Internet use.
Additionally, the provider now has two flat-rate data plans for its computer-based BroadbandAccess cellular Internet services: a $40 plan offers 50MB of data per month for casual or e-mail only use, while a $60 plan boosts the transfer limit to 5GB for more serious travelers. These require one of Verizon's ExpressCard, PC Card, or USB adapters and should be available as of March 2nd.
Verizon's new plans make it only the second major US carrier after Sprint to offer an unlimited plan, a strategy that critics have often regarded as a means of luring customers from other networks in a market that leaves little room for new subscribers. AT&T already offers unlimited data packages for standard phones and the iPhone but continues to depend on capped plans for calling and messaging.