Verizon, ATT, Sprint, and T-Mobile launch $99.99 “unlimited” plans

Within the span of one week, all the major carriers have launched or are studying a $99.99 “unlimited” calling plan. There are some major implications involved in decision: 1. Mobile lines, like landlines, are becoming a commodity. Remember when $0.10/a minute was a big deal price for a landline? Now we have $100 (let’s call it what it is) unlimited plans and the price is only going to drop from there. Let me say this one more time — the mobile phone business is becoming a commodity. The carriers better figure out what to do next before they become the next Embarq (whose business is babysitting a slowly dying, but dependable, business model). 2. The carriers all made announcements within days of each other. How could these turtle-like giants pull this off? They must have already studied the business aspects of this proposition. Likely, no one wanted to be the first to take this step since it begins the slow, inevitable roll towards commodity status. However, the moment one person took that step, the rest were business plan ready to follow suit.

The plans are not quite as good as they sound. $99 gets you unlimited talk. Nothing more. No text messages (except with T-Mobile). No internet. Probably not even a free ring tone. I am sure there are some people who only use their cell phones to talk. However, the people who talk so much that they need an unlimited plan are also likely users of text messages and, potentially, internet applications. That means the price goes up. It still might be a good idea and is certainly going to save some people some money.

Verizon unlimited plan

Verizon’s unlimited plans

The first shoe drops…

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2 thoughts on “Verizon, ATT, Sprint, and T-Mobile launch $99.99 “unlimited” plans

  1. I have an unlimited min, data and text plan from Sprint. For my 3 lines I pay $145/mo including tax. This is a combination of a promo price from a few years back, corporate discount and loyal cust discount. I will never consider leaving Sprint or this plan unless something at a better price comes along that offers higher-speed mobile web access with the great call coverage- I never have dropped calls. If all carriers offered such a deal customers would probably be a lot more loyal because they know 1) how much their bill will be every month 2) that they can pay with autopay and not have to worry about varying amounts and 3) that they have the freedom to talk whenever they want without stupid time restrictions. I think this is a great idea. It also provides carriers with steady predictable income, and reduce cust service complaints for over minutes, text msgs, data usage etc. It simplifies the whole industry for consumers and the carriers

  2. Treo,

    You make some interesting points. The main thing to remember is that you are a loyal customer and know the ins and outs of the system. The average cell user is not like you. They don’t know that you can receive corporate or other similar discounts and have probably switched carriers on a fairly frequent basis.

    The $99 plan might seem very intriguing because it is relatively cheap and, most important, simple.

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