NEW YORK - Verizon customers in nine East Coast markets now have two new options for flat-rate, unlimited, any-distance calling. Customers can combine the new phone plans with Verzion high-speed Internet and DIRECTV services to meet or beat the best offers from cable.
Verizon Freedom Essentials offers unlimited local, regional and domestic long-distance calling with the three most popular calling features - Home Voice Mail, Call Waiting and Caller ID - for as little as $34.95 a month. Verizon Freedom Value, offering any-distance domestic calling but no calling features, starts at $29.95 in some markets and is the company's lowest-priced any-distance calling plan.
The new plans are available starting today in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Freedom Value and Freedom Essentials plans were introduced last month in Florida, California and Texas and have proven very popular, bringing new long-distance customers to Verizon and promoting sales of service packages that include Verizon Online DSL and DIRECTV all-digital entertainment services.
With the new calling plans, customers can have unlimited calling at as little as $29.95 and entry-level DSL at up to768 kilobits per second (Kbps) downstream at $14.95 for a combined cost as low as $44.90. DIRECTV service from Verizon can be added for a total of as little as $84.89 per month.
"These are brand-new calling plans, not temporary offers," said Judy Verses, senior vice president of regional marketing for Verizon. "We're giving our customers great new prices on calling plans and offering a foundation for very competitively priced bundles of services.
"This is the kind of competitive marketing that will grow our customer base and reinforce the loyalty between Verizon and its residential customers," she said.
Verizon can modify the prices of various bundle elements to meet or beat competitor prices in individual markets. For example, with Freedom Value at as little as $29.95, 768 Kbps DSL at $14.95 and DIRECTV with three movie services at a three-month introductory price of $39.99, the combined price of $84.89 soundly beats one cable company's one-year promotional price of $90 for calling, Internet and entertainment. Verizon's new calling plan prices and broadband charges are not dependent on purchasing other services, as can happen with cable plans.
"New competition in the industry is driving creative, cost-cutting innovation," said telecommunications and wireless industry analyst Jeff Kagan. "Verizon is offering a variety of service and pricing options that should be attractive to all their customers. On one hand, it offers a simple package with the lowest price for calls, and on the other hand, it also offers a very low price on a super bundle of services, including DIRECTV.
"As Verizon competes with cable television companies, this is the kind of offer that customers will love," he said. "It should allow Verizon to attract and retain customers."
Promotional material for the plans read: "On the phone. And on the money. Unlimited calling to anywhere in the U.S. for our lowest price ever," and, "We've trimmed down our unlimited calling plan. Get everything you need and nothing you don't. At a new, slimmer price."
The new Freedom calling plans complement other calling service options that allow customers to virtually customize their calling plans, building from a local calling package, to per-minute priced or unlimited regional and long-distance calling. Verizon service personnel will analyze a customer's bills and calling habits and suggest the most efficient plan. All calling is over Verizon's super-reliable domestic network.
Pricing for the new plans is as follows:
|STATE||FREEDOM VALUE||FREEDOM ESSENTIALS|
|New York (Downstate)||$29.95||$34.95|
|New York (Upstate)||34.95||39.95|
|New Jersey||29.95||39.95 ($10 vs $5 difference)|
Verizon offers two high-speed DSL Internet service plans to qualifying consumers -- one with maximum connection speeds of up to 768 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream and another with maximum connection speeds of up to 3.0 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream. The company also offers three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for qualified consumers. These fiber-optic based services come with maximum downstream/upstream speeds of up to 5 Mbps/2Mbps, 15Mbps/2 Mbps and 30 Mbps/5 Mbps.
The DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE package offers more than 135 channels of 100 percent digital video and music programming, providing a higher quality picture and sound than cable's older analog signals. The package also offers the ability to add advanced services like digital video recorders, interactivity and high-definition programming. Customers with a qualifying voice package and DIRECTV service can get bundle discounts and a single bill for calling and entertainment.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.