BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless today launched National Prepay Wireless service which offers similar advantages of the company's all-inclusive digital SingleRate plans -- no long distance charges and no roaming fees throughout most of the company's national network-- with the simplicity and predictability of paying in advance. The new service is the best national prepay value available, with per-minute rates that are the lowest of national prepay plans and competitive with many post-pay plans, and calling on the most comprehensive, advanced wireless network in the US.
With National Prepay Wireless, replenishment cards come in denominations beginning at $30 for 60 airtime minutes, and ranging to $150 for 750 minutes. Depending on the denomination, calls could be as little as 20-cents to 50-cents per minute, which includes local and long distance calling, and roaming on most of the company's national network. And as with the company's traditional digital plans, features like Voice Mail and Call Waiting are included. The unique advantage of National Prepay Wireless for consumers is that there are no monthly bills, monthly fees, credit checks or long-term agreements.
"This is a high-quality wireless option for prepay customers, combining prepay's predictability with the simplicity of flat-rate pricing and the sophistication of digital features and national calling," said Debra Carroll, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless. "This product continues our commitment to offer simple, affordable, national products."
A specially-priced "starter kit" is available. When customers purchase a Prepay starter card beginning at $30 and one of several digital tri-mode phones the company offers, there's a limited-time offer of a mail-in rebate for two $30 Prepay cards. National Prepay Wireless requires a tri-mode digital phone, which allows users to roam for a flat rate on most of the company's coast-to-coast network.
National Prepay also features real-time account updates to the consumer. Before every call, the customer hears a recording with their available minutes for that particular call. After every call, the customer hears a recording with their dollar account balance. Additionally, customers receive a reminder tone every minute when the balance reaches four minutes.
For convenience, starter kits and Prepay replenishment cards will be available at most of the company's 16,000 retail outlets, including the company's own 1,100 Communications Stores. Prepay cards also can be replenished by calling an 800 number and using a credit card or on-line at www.verizonwireless.com.
"National Prepay Wireless signals the mainstreaming of prepaid wireless, because it makes sense for wireless users across many segments—from the business traveler whose company wants to manage telecom expenses, to the college student whose cross-country parents want her to keep in touch, but not without spending limits," Carroll added.
According to the Yankee Group, a Boston based research group, 23 percent of wireless subscribers will be on prepaid wireless plans by 2004, up from just 10 percent by the end of this year.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 27.5 million wireless voice and data customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 38,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.