AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA have joined Verizon Wireless in introducing flat-rate unlimited calling plans for cellular subscribers. The three companies, which between them account for more than 65% of all wireless customers in the US, are planning to go head-to-head with smaller firms such as Leap Wireless and MetroPCS which have been using the flat-rate business model for some time. The flat-rate tariffs offer a combination of local voice calls, text messages and/or long-distance minutes for a single monthly fee, giving customers more control over their spending. The deals are also likely to bring increased competition for the country’s wireline operators, with more customers being tempted to cut their landline usage or close their accounts altogether.
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