Verizon, T-Mobile trade blows on price rises - Mobile World Live

Verizon, T-Mobile trade blows on price rises

01 JUN 2022

T-Mobile US and Verizon took the gloves off this week, as each issued press releases attacking the other’s pricing strategies to convince wireless consumers they offered the best deals.

US operators T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T have each increased the prices or fees of some of their wireless services over the past month or so, starting with AT&T raising the prices on several legacy mobile plans.

A few weeks later, Verizon took a different tack by announcing it was adding administration fees to monthly bills of $1.35 per single voice line up to $3.30 for four lines.

Yesterday (31 May), T-Mobile announced its Carrier Callout Throwdown, which included offering up to $1,000 to customers switching from AT&T or Verizon.

T-Mobile noted in its press release that Verizon’s extra charge would “generate $100 million more per month” for its rival.

The operator’s initial salvo at AT&T and Verizon’s increases was a Price Lock announcement which promised not to raise the cost of some its plans.

T-Mobile has literally made a living off being the underdog ever since its days as the nation’s third-largest carrier.

Hidden fees
But Verizon wasn’t taking T-Mobile’s latest attack lying down, responding with a pledge not to “sit on the side-lines” while it’s rival “continues to hoodwink consumers by dazzling them with one catchy announcement after another”.

Verizon outlined what it said were increases in taxes and fees after T-Mobile announced it would no longer charge them.

T-Mobile raised prices and fees on consumer and data lines in January which Verizon noted “seems like a lot of fees for a carrier that cut them out a few years ago”.

News site T-Mo Report wrote T-Mobile plans to implement an “assisted support charge” and an “upgrade support charge” of $5 for new accounts or additional lines on an existing account.

Verizon highlighted customers’ “plan price may not change, but your admin fee has gone up and it now costs $35 for support?”

After the three US mobile operators added 9 million new phone subscriptions across prepaid and post-paid in 2021, subscriber growth looks to be slowing in 2022 which means companies are looking to boost revenues by other means.

In addition to offsetting supply chain costs and inflation, the increased fees and rates by the operators will bolster their bottom lines.

A report by LightShed Partners analysts Joe Galone and Walter Piecyk noted administrative fees by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile generated around $8 billion to $9 billion of revenue per year.

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Mike Robuck

Mike Robuck is the U.S. Editor at Mobile World Live. He joined the Mobile World Live staff in February of 2022. Prior to joining GSMA, he was editor of FierceTelecom and of Light Reading’s Telco Transformation microsite. He has a...

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