ATandT, on Verizon's Big Day, Launches Mobile to Any Mobile Plan

AT&T customers can now call Verizon customers without watching their minutes, thanks to a Mobile to Any Mobile Plan that launched the same day as the Verizon iPhone.

Yoo-hoo, over here!

AT&T Wireless called attention to a new, unlimited offer, as rival Verizon Wireless readied itself to offer a new Code Division Multiple Access version of the iPhone 4. The AT&T offer isn't for data-on that front, it has realized that tiered pricing is best-but for voice calls. Beginning Feb. 10, AT&T customers can sign up for Mobile to Any Mobile, a plan that lets customers with an unlimited messaging plan and qualifying voice plan place an unlimited number of calls to any mobile phone, on any wireless network.

That's including friends with a new Verizon iPhone.

Individual plans are being offered for $20 a month, while FamilyTalk plans with up to five lines are $30 a month.

"We're giving customers more options and even better value," David Christopher, AT&T Mobility's chief marketing officer, said in a Feb. 9 statement. "And when you include Rollover Minutes, a benefit available exclusively from AT&T that lets customers keep their unused minutes for all domestic calls, including to landline numbers, it's clear that AT&T offers the most flexibility in the industry."

Flexibility and a diverse device portfolio are big agendas for AT&T, particularly in regard to that Verizon iPhone-which today ends AT&T's reign as the exclusive U.S. provider of Apple's smartphone sensation. (AT&T sold 4.1 million of them during the fourth quarter of 2010.)

During that earnings call on Jan. 27, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson acknowledged that the beginning of the year "may be rocky ... kind of volatile, hard to predict," but that AT&T will be able to work through it, partly by moving more of the burden onto the shoulders of Android, which until now it has been slow to pay much attention to.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, in a Feb. 10 earnings call, similarly acknowledged that he's expecting repercussions from the Verizon iPhone.

"We are doing what we can to make sure our customers stay with us and continue to have attractive offers out in the marketplace," Hesse told media and analysts on the call.

In the weeks building up to the Verizon iPhone, AT&T-following T-Mobile's lead-also began referring to its HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) network as 4G. Later this year, however, AT&T plans to begin rolling out a 4G network that-like Verizon's-is based on LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology.

In 2011, AT&T is planning to add twenty 4G devices to its network, including a mix of Windows, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, as well as new tablets.

"We think we have a lot of opportunity in tablets," Stephenson said during the earnings call.