Verizon announces unlimited calling plan

Verizon announced Tuesday that it is offering unlimited wireless calling plans starting at US$99.99 a month for consumers and businesses. Rob Miller, Verizon’s vice-president of marketing, says that Verizon’s flat-rate plans are truly unlimited, and that if callers were to spend an entire month talking on the phone to people within the United States, they would not be charged any extra money. Miller also says the plans eliminate any long-distance and roaming charges. The unlimited voice service only extends to domestic calls and does not include international calls, Miller says.

Customers will have an opportunity to talk as much as they want without having to worry about being charged for exceeding their monthly limits, according to Miller.

“Customers want predictability, and they don’t want to worry about overage charges,” he says. “This is an opportunity for us to deliver for those callers.”

Verizon had previously gotten into some trouble for offering “unlimited” broadband for its NationalAccess and BroadbandAccess services and was fined $1 million by the New York Attorney General’s office for “wrongfully disconnecting” customers who had used too much bandwidth on their “unlimited” plans.

Verizon’s flat-rate wireless plans are being offered to businesses and consumers. The basic flat-rate plan charges consumers and business users $99.99 per month for unlimited voice services for calls anywhere in the United States, with an additional charge of $1.99 per MB of data sent over the network. The select plan charges $119.99 per month for unlimited voice and text messaging, and also carries a $1.99 charge per MB of data sent over the network. Finally, Verizon’s premium plan charges $139.99 for unlimited voice, text messaging and data services.

Verizon is also offering special international deals for business users that give unlimited e-mail usage for “more than 100 destinations worldwide.” The unlimited voice service for these plans, however, is still limited to calls made to people within the United States.

Verizon’s flat-rate wireless announcement comes little more than a week after Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told USA Today that his company was looking at offering its own unlimited calling plan as a way to set Sprint apart from its competitors. Sprint has an unlimited service but it not a national plan.

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