While the top three US wireless service providers often need quite a bit of time to react to one another’s best promotions and publicity stunts, it sure didn’t take long for Verizon to join AT&T in raising prices.
Of course, both carriers had been exploring various avenues to keep up with rising inflation for at least the last few months, as confirmed by top executives in April
. Verizon seems to have settled on a substantially different path towards “economic adjustment” from that of its arch-rival, preparing to add a special charge to virtually all wireless bills starting June.
That’s obviously the bad news originally reported by Bloomberg today
, but the good news is many customers might not even notice the change once it’s implemented. Compared to AT&T’s $6 and $12 monthly increases
for single lines and families respectively, Big Red’s universal $1.35 consumer hike sounds like peanuts.
Then again, while the nation’s third-largest mobile network operator by subscribers only decided to overtax “older” plans in a move partially aimed at boosting “unlimited” user numbers, Verizon’s latest surcharge could affect its entire (industry-leading
) customer base, undoubtedly generating a lot of extra profit for investors going forward.
That also includes business customers, mind you, with their monthly bills due for an increase of as much as $2.20 in the case of mobile phone data plans and as little as $0.98 as far as “basic service plans” are concerned.
Once again, that doesn’t sound very drastic or dramatic and it’s unlikely to cause a significant decline in subscriber figures in the short run, but if T-Mobile can resist this worrying and unusual trend, we might be looking at yet another (small) reason why Verizon
‘s long-term supremacy is far from guaranteed.
Keep in mind that T-Mo expressly invoked the nation’s “high inflation climate”
when unveiling Price Lock, a new “Un-carrier” initiative designed to protect “all new postpaid and broadband customers on eligible rate plans” from any such future moves mimicking the competition. Of course, “new” and “eligible” are the key words there that leave plenty of room for Magenta to soon follow AT&T’s suit, at least in part, so don’t be surprised if that’s exactly what will go down in a week or two.
One policy specialist is describing this as a “raise-your-prices-while-you-can” moment for many companies across the US, and whether or not T-Mobile needs to join the party to keep investors happy, it might prove hard to resist seizing said moment to maximize profits.