In the last four days, three of the nation’s four major wireless carriers announced new pricing and product packages, underscoring the increased competitiveness of the U.S. wireless market.
The latest announcement comes from AT&T, which will launch a lower priced 2 gigabyte (GB) Mobile Share Value plan starting at $65 a month for one smartphone beginning March 16. That amounts to a $15 price reduction, AT&T said.
Mobile Share plans give customers the option of purchasing a phone through an installment program and do not require a contract. The plans also include domestic unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited international messaging from the U.S. to “select” countries.
“We’re continuing the trend of offering more value to our new and existing customers,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T Mobility, in today’s announcement. “Not only are families and small businesses able to save more on their monthly data plans, we’re now delivering that same great value to individual customers.”
In addition all new and existing AT&T customers will receive a $100 bill credit for each new qualified line of postpaid wireless service added. The credit is available to customers with smartphones, tablets, feature phones, mobile hotspots or AT&T Wireless Home Phone.
AT&T’s announcement follows announcements from T-Mobile and Verizon made on Friday.
T-Mobile said that beginning March 23, it will double the amount of data it offers postpaid customers on LTE data plans. A customer on the $50 Simple Choice plan will get 1 GB of data.
Customers do not have to request the additional data; they will get it automatically, T-Mobile said.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere was his usual confrontational self in a quote included in the T-Mobile announcement.
“In the mobile age, wireless data caps and overage fees are just this side of extortion,” said Legere. “Take the basic plans from the Big Two with ridiculously low data limits that hit you with fat overages each month. It’s like getting your data from the neighborhood loan shark and paying 100% interest when the bill comes due. It’s the classic shakedown.”
Verizon’s announcement was that people who have a smartphone on its network and who subscribe to the company’s FiOS Quantum triple-play bundle can save up to $20 a month. The offer was effective immediately but will only be available through April 19.
“Loyal customers have come to know the reliability and strength of Verizon’s networks, and they now have even more reason to value these communications services, while new customers have an additional incentive to try these industry-leading 4G LTE and FiOS networks,” said Verizon in its announcement.