In what may go down as the wireless equivalent of the "shot heard round the world," Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture of Verizon Communications
Verizon unveiled an unlimited talk plan for phones, starting at $99.99 per month, which includes roaming and long distance in the base price. Another $20 per month gets you unlimited messaging on a select plan, while paying $139.99 a month gets mobile email, television and navigation services as well. In addition, Verizon's broadband wireless plans are now split into two offerings -- a $39.99 rate gets 50 megabytes of monthly usage, while a $59.99 plan allows five gigabytes of data.
Just as when AT&T
Verizon and AT&T aren't the first to venture into the land of unlimited talk, however; Sprint Nextel
So now that the two largest service providers in the U.S. have offered unlimited talk on a national basis, the wireless industry will move into a new phase. Almost a year ago I wrote, "the question is not whether unlimited plans will be offered on a wide scale, it's when," and "unlimited plans are the next logical step for consumer wireless services." With today's news, that time has come, and I expect all other carriers to respond in kind.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock has been subjected to a few wireless conversations he wishes he hadn't heard. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Sprint Nextel is an Inside Value recommendation. SK Telecom is a Global Gains recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy can optionally be read aloud.