Sprint Nextel will be making life easier for its text-happy subscribers thanks to the introduction of new unlimited text-messaging plans priced at $10 and $20 per month for individual and family plans, respectively. The Sprint Nextel unlimited plan will apply to all lines (up to a maximum of 4 lines) on a family plan. Only subscribers on family plans with monthly fees of $70 or more per month will be able to sign up for the unlimited plan. Cingular, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless all recently announced plans to increase the cost of an a la carte text message from 10 to 15 cents per message. Verizon Wireless currently offers unlimited in-network messaging and 500 out-of-network messages for $10 per month. Cingular (soon to be renamed AT&T) offers 400 messages and 1 MB of data for $10 per month. T-Mobile is the only other national carrier to offer unlimited text-messaging plans ? pricing their plan at $20 per month on family plans for up to five lines of service. From a consumer point of view, wireless phone users who are shopping around and plan to make extensive use of text-messaging should probably consider an unlimited text-messaging plan. In January 2005, TRAC surveyed text-messaging plans and found that consumers who send or receive more than 30-50 text messages per month would benefit from purchasing an optional text-messaging plan versus paying for a la carte messages. With the rising price of a la carte text messaging, it now makes even more sense to consider an optional text-messaging plan.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org