Verizon brings back unlimited plan

Verizon launched its unlimited data plan Monday. That’s the first time it has offered the all-you-can-eat data plan in five years. Fred Katayama reports.

(REUTERS / HANDOUTS FROM T-MOBILE, NYSE) – Verizon is doing an about-face. The wireless carrier brought back an unlimited data plan Monday. That’s the first time in more than five years that the company is offering one.

It’s a sign of just how competitive the market has become. Verizon had been selling plans that priced data based on usage. And just last month, a top executive said it had not been looking at unlimited products. But competitors were offering all-you-can-eat data plans, and Verizon’s move comes just days after Sprint introduced its new unlimited plan. Verizon priced its new plan at $80 a month for unlimited data, talk and text for the first line. That’s $10 more than T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan.

Moffett Nathanson analyst Craig Moffett said, “We’re back into full-blown price war mode.”

Moffett added that the price war between Sprint and T-Mobile got Verizon to respond. That, he said, could raise doubt about whether regulators would ever allow a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, a move regulators blocked in 2014.

Verizon shares slipping at the market open Monday, deepening their 9 percent loss this year.

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