Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has announced a new discount to its More Everything plan to match a discount that rival AT&T (NYSE:T) began offering at the end of February, offering families the option to share up to four lines for $160 a month. AT&T grabbed a lot of headlines with its “Best Ever Prices” campaign, and Verizon was essentially forced to match it in order to remain competitive.
Verizon’s More Everything plan increases discounts from $20 to $25, meaning smartphones on the plan are $15 per line rather than $40. This only applies if you’ve elected to purchase your device at full cost and pay it off on a monthly basis with Verizon’s Edge plan, rather than choosing a device subsidy. The Edge plan also allows for early upgrades as soon as the device is at least halfway to being paid off.
That $15 per line includes unlimited talk and text, but no data. If a 10GB shared data plan is purchased on top of that for $100 a month — and buying a data package with at least 10GB is required — then for a family of four, the plan will amount to $160 a month plus the cost of the devices, which is exactly the same as the offer AT&T is pushing.
Before on Verizon’s More Everything plan, each line cost $20 a month with a shared data plan of at least 10GB for customers also on Edge, Fierce Wireless reports. Now, the price for each line has seen a $5 discount. That may not seem like much, but in the ultra-competitive wireless industry, the company that can offer the lowest price, even if it’s only $5 below other companies, has a big advantage.
If you choose a data plan of 8GB or less, each line costs $30 and the pricing stays the same at $40 a month for those who choose a smartphone subsidy rather than buying the device at full price.
Last month, Verizon also revamped the More Everything plan for prepaid customers. Verizon’s new prepaid plans, AllSet, start at $25 per month for feature phones, a price lower than the cheapest prepaid smartphone plan, which starts at $45 per month for unlimited voice and texting and 500 MB of data.
Verizon’s plan mirrors those promises, except it only offers 500 voice minutes; 500 MB of data could dissuade users from investing in AllSet because that usage guarantee is much more modest than other plans’ figures. However, Verizon has recognized this potential problem and offers a feature that allows customers to add more data on their smartphones via Bridge Data, offering them the opportunity to increase their data allowances as many times as they want and whenever they want.
Verizon and AT&T have long been the dominating forces in the U.S. wireless industry, but T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), the nation’s fourth-largest carrier, has been increasingly challenging them with innovative plans and billing itself as the “un-carrier.” AT&T’s recent acquisition of prepaid carrier Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) and its 4.57 million customers is also enough to make Verizon nervous. In a wireless landscape where whichever company can offer the lowest price is the winner, Verizon is seeking to stay competitive by copying its rivals.
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