07.11.2006Corporate

Verizon's New Slimmed-Down Unlimited Calling Plans Add Choice and Value in 9 More Markets

NEW YORK - Verizon customers in nine more states now have two new options for flat-rate, unlimited, any-distance calling. Customers can combine the new phone plans with Verizon 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 $44.99 a month. Verizon Freedom Value, offering any-distance domestic calling but no calling features, costs $39.99 and is the company's lowest-priced any-distance calling plan.

The new plans are available starting today in Oregon, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The Freedom Value and Freedom Essentials plans were introduced last year in 11 other states and are coming soon to other East Coast markets where customers are choosing the value-based calling plans to build bundles of calling, Internet access and entertainment service provided by DIRECTV to meet all their home-communications needs.

With the new calling plans, customers can have unlimited calling at as little as $39.99 and entry-level DSL at connection speed of up to768 kilobits per second (Kbps) downstream* at $17.99 for a combined cost as low as $57.98 per month. DIRECTV service from Verizon can be added for a total of as little as $100.97 per month.

All calling is over Verizon's reliable local telephone network and does not involve Internet protocol services some cable companies offer, which is a key differentiator for many customers. Verizon's new calling plan prices and broadband charges are not dependent on purchasing other services, as can happen with cable plans.

"These are brand-new calling plans, not temporary offers," said Eileen Cassidy, senior vice president for voice and bundled solutions 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.

Telecommunications and wireless industry analyst Jeff Kagan said, "New competition in the industry is driving creative, cost-cutting innovation. 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."

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.

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 (megabits per second) downstream and 768 Kbps upstream. In some areas where network construction is complete, the company also offers three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for qualified consumers. These fiber-optic based services come with maximum downstream/upstream connection speeds of up to 5 Mbps/2 Mbps, 15 Mbps/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, Internet service and entertainment.

*Actual downstream and upstream speed may vary based on numerous factors.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

####