Verizon will begin marketing its Flex Double Play Bundle this week which offers wireless service with broadband and/or FiOS TV, and no need for a wireline. The new bundle applies to Verizon’s DSL plans of 3 Mbps or FiOS broadband plans of 20 Mbps. It does not apply to their 7 Mbps DSL or 50 Mbps FiOS plans, or their DirecTV video plans. The bundle provides a discount of between $8 and $20 per month, depending on the services selected. Verizon spokesman Bill Kula tells the Associated Press, “We remain very bullish on the traditional copper-based phone service, but we also recognize that there’s a growing segment of society that wants to have wireless as its principal home service.”
AT&T launched a similar bundle without a landline last year. These moves are recognition by larger telecom service providers of wireless substitution. Carriers with wireless and broadband assets are at a competitive advantage, relative to wireless substitution, because they have the option of pursuing customers who want to cut the cord. From a wireline carrier’s point of view, having the ability to serve customers who leave the wireline behind with a wireless product presents a tremendous competitive advantage, especially against competitors who can only offer video and broadband options. We always talk about the triple play in terms of voice, video, and data. We’ll begin to see the context of triple play expand to include wireless, video, and data.