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The first product of December’s AT&T-BellSouth merger has already been released. AT&T announced recently that they will be starting a service named “AT&T Unity.” This service will allow AT&T Unity plan subscribers the ability to call or receive calls on their Cingular wireless phones from any of the 100 million AT&T members, wireline and wireless, for no cost.

Unlike many companies’ mobile-to-mobile plan, Unity extends this concept to anyone on the AT&T network. The starting price for an individual Unity plan is $59.99 and it comes with 900 anytime minutes and unlimited nights and weekends. The company’s Family Talk plan starts at $69.99 for two lines and 700 anytime minutes. In order to qualify for this service, however, a customer must have unlimited local and long distance wireline phone plans from AT&T. Such plans typically cost $40 or more per month.

Also, especially for those customers with Cingular wireless plans, the company specifically states that it does not offer Rollover minutes in the Unity service, and any minutes accumulated by Rollover will be lost upon switching to a Unity wireless plan. Consumers interested in the convenience of this plan may want to do a little research to see if it makes sense for them financially. Mark A. Winther, a telecommunications analyst with IDC, a technology consulting firm, says the package would probably appeal to high-volume customers, both in the consumer market and in small businesses, not to the shopper looking for the lowest monthly rate.

Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org


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