In a move to attract new cell phone customers, and perhaps lure some away from its competitors, AT&T Wireless has announced special pricing promotions. And the promotion is very attractive: for cell phone customers who live in areas with AT&T Wireless’s new GSM/GPRS service, a cell phone service plan for $39.99 US per month for 1,000 minutes “anytime” is available, as is a $99.00 US per month deluxe package for “unlimited” calling. Included with this promotion is long-distance service without roaming charges to anyplace on AT&T Wireless’s network. Since AT&T Wireless’s merger with AOL TimeWarner, AT&T now has access to the industry standard Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) as well as the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), an enhanced GSM coupled with high speed Internet access. AT&T Wireless’s pricing on its existing Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) network is $34.99 US monthly for 300 minutes, up to $199.99 US monthly for 3,200 minutes. The GSM/GPRS network will eventually replace the TDMA network, as GSM/GPRS services are added in additional locations.
Not to be outdone by AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless is offering 300 “anytime” minutes for $35 US per month, and Cingular Wireless is offering 350 “anytime” minutes for $39.99 US per month. While this is a great deal for cellular customers, financial analysts have expressed concern that AT&T Wireless’s latest promotions might trigger a price war among the wireless industry, at a time when these companies can least afford to cut their prices.