Verizon is reportedly weighing whether to introduce a $5/month landline service. The service would be fairly limited, only allowing incoming calls and restricting outgoing calls to 911 and customer service. The reasoning behind the plan is obvious – Verizon lost 3.7 million access lines last year. The idea is outlined in a Wall Street Journal article (subs. required). Verizon is also considering a $10/month plan which would allow limited outbound local calling.
It’s an interesting idea. But will it work? One question we’d like answered is, will such a service escape regulatory charges like the subscriber line charge and other regulatory recovery fees and local taxes? All of those probably add up to more than $5, which would make for interesting bill presentment. Additionally, would such a plan actually accelerate losses associated with wireline, as customers see the $5 and $10 plans as incentives to give up more traditional (and higher ARPU generating) wireline calling plans. It could be an attempt to slow cable’s success with phone service and the triple play. Verizon has the largest wireless network (in terms of total subscribers) in the U.S. Perhaps this strategy is an attempt to steer customers towards a bundle of Verizon wireless and a ‘peace-of-mind’ landline for 911, over a competing bundled phone offering from cable competitors.
What do you think? Does this plan make sense? Provide your input using the comment tool below.