YOU ARE AT:CarriersAT&T Mobility’s Mobile Share Value plans target rivals big and small

AT&T Mobility’s Mobile Share Value plans target rivals big and small

AT&T Mobility’s latest move to expand its Mobile Share offering with a no-contract option would seem to be hitting back at the success seen by smaller rival T-Mobile US with its Simple Choice plans, though analysts note the move could also be a pre-emptive strike against larger rival Verizon Wireless.

The plans, which were announced yesterday, now allow customers to select a no-contract option that the carrier said will save smartphone users $15 per month compared with the current Mobile Share plans. That savings is tied to consumers selecting AT&T’s Next option, which calls for customers to make monthly payments towards the full price of a mobile device; bringing their own smartphone to the plan; purchasing a smartphone at full retail price; or when a device is no longer under contract and the customer switches to the new “value” offering.

To further promote its Next program, AT&T said it was adding an 18 month upgrade option that will be available for up to four smartphones per account and will spread the payments on those devices over a 26 month period in a move to lower the per-monthly costs. Customers will be able to get a new smartphone after 18 monthly payments for no down payment, no upgrade fee, no activation fee and no financing fee. The current Next program, which was launched in July, spread payments over a 24 month period and allowed customers to upgrade their device after 12 months.

Bill Ho, Principal Analyst at 556 Ventures, spoke with RCR Wireless News Editor-In-Chief Dan Meyer on the impact AT&T’s rate plan changes could have on the market and competitors.

Bill Ho, principal analyst at 556 Ventures, noted that the new offerings take a stab at the route taken by T-Mobile US in providing to customers either a lower cost of admission or the appeal of not being tied to a service contract. Ho added that in turn the move could force Verizon Wireless to become more aggressive in the no-contract space, a segment it has typically targeted through resell or mobile virtual network operator partners.

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