Verizon Wireless, leading an increasingly competitive market that in the last year has also been challenged and antagonized by scrappy fourth-place carrier T-Mobile, has introduced More Everything, a "new way of looking at wireless plans," it said in a Feb. 13 announcement.
For the first time, Verizon added, it's bringing together all the tools people need when they use their smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.
More Everything adds more to subscribers' current plans—more data, more messaging and more storage. Data caps are getting a bump. Those with a 500MB cap will see it rise to 1GB; those with 1GB now get 2GB; and 2GB plans are being bumped to 3GB.
Each More Everything line can now use up to 25GB of cloud storage (or up to 250GB on a 10-line account).
In an obvious response to a recent T-Mobile offer, Verizon has added unlimited international messaging to unlimited domestic text, picture and video messaging offers. (In October, T-Mobile folded free international data roaming and text messaging into its Simple Choice plans at no extra cost.)
Finally, Verizon is sweetening its deal for those who choose Edge—a monthly financing and early upgrade offer that, like AT&T's Next, was also a response to T-Mobile. More Everything customers who choose Verizon Edge will be eligible for $10 off monthly smartphone access for those with data caps up to 8GB and $20 off plans with 10GB or more.
For an additional $5 per month—and free for the first three months—Verizon is also offering Family Base, a way for parents to set limits on phones for young users, and lowering international calling rates.
"Verizon Wireless led the way with the introduction of shared data plans, and More Everything is the next leap forward with more storage, more messaging and more choice, all on a 4G LTE network that is unmatched in coverage and capacity," Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Ken Dixon said in a statement.
On Jan. 21, Verizon announced fourth-quarter 2013 results that beat Wall Street's expectations for revenue and profit, but showed a significant slowdown in new-customer additions. During the quarter, Verizon activated 8.8 million smartphones, compared with 12.9 million a year ago.
Verizon's stance has been that the customers it has lost to T-Mobile were those on low-revenue accounts, and the ones it's kept are Share Everything users who are buying in according to plan. Verizon's average revenue per account increased 7.1 percent year over year, rising to $157.21 during the fourth quarter.
"Our Share Everything plans are doing everything we expected," CFO Fran Shammo said during the earnings call.
During Verizon's 2013 third quarter it also lost customers to more value-driven plans.
"I can't tell you we don't lose customers to our competitors," Shammo said during the Oct. 17 call. "We do have some basic phone customers, and older 3G phone customers, and we're seeing them shift over to the lower-end pricing plans of our competitors. But we'll continue to get more competitive [about trying to keep them]."
While Verizon customers will get more for their money with More Everything, it's unclear whether it will help Verizon hold onto customers interested in paying less.
T-Mobile, on Jan. 8, began offering customers as much as $650 a line (it will pay subscribers' early termination fees) to switch from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint.
On Jan. 3, AT&T—which during its fourth quarter saw subscriber growth fall by 27 percent compared with a year ago—offered T-Mobile customers $450 per line to switch to its network. That offer has since expired.