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Catching up: AT&T now offering unlimited messaging

As has become commonplace between the nation’s two largest wireless providers, AT&T Inc. has followed its smaller rival Verizon Wireless in unveiling unlimited text messaging plans for its wireless service.
The AT&T offer, dubbed Messaging Unlimited, provides customers with unlimited text, picture, video and instant messages to any wireless phone in the United States for $20 per month. AT&T previously capped its messaging offers at 3,000 messages per month.
AT&T is also offering an unlimited in-network messaging add-on to its traditional 200 message kit for an additional $5 per month, bringing the package total to $10 per month.
AT&T also boosted the messaging capabilities of some of its bundled data packages. The carrier’s $15 MEdia Works package received an additional 500 messages, bringing its total to 1,500 messages plus 5 megabytes of data transmission, while the MEdia Max package grows from 3,000 messages to unlimited text messaging with unlimited data for $40 per month.
Verizon Wireless launched its unlimited messaging service earlier this month, providing customers with unlimited messaging to any domestic U.S. wireless device for $20 per month. Verizon Wireless did one-up AT&T by extending the offer to its family plans, allowing all lines to send unlimited cross-network messages for $30 per month.
Current Analysis’ William Ho noted “this can potentially generate better data revenue for AT&T/Cingular, but will lose points for being family unfriendly, especially when Verizon Wireless now offers such an option.”
Sprint Nextel Corp. offers unlimited text messaging for individual accounts for $10 per month and for family plans for $20 per month; T-Mobile USA Inc. offers unlimited messaging for $15 per month on individual accounts and $20 per month for family plans.
One advantage of the AT&T offer is that is does not require a contract extension or a new plan as it’s an add-on option.
AT&T noted that it carried 180 million multimedia and 12 billion text messages during the fourth quarter.

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