Wireless communications company MetroPCS Communications, known for its unlimited, flat-rate, contract-less service parameters, announced an offer of unlimited calling to more than 100 countries for $5 per month. For the additional $5 a month, unlimited international calling can be added to MetroPCS’ $40, $45 and $50 service plans, including family plans, which already include unlimited long distance service to the 48 continental United States and Puerto Rico.
MetroPCS is also offering a free first month of service with the purchase of a phone. The service can be added to MetroPCS’ $40, $45 and $50 service plans, including family plans, which already include unlimited long distance service to the 48 continental United States and Puerto Rico.
“Unlimited international calling at such an affordable rate can dramatically reduce monthly long distance costs and is yet another example of MetroPCS’ commitment to providing industry-leading value to consumers in today’s tough economic climate,” said MetroPCS’ president, CEO and board chairman Roger D. Linquist. “MetroPCS is eliminating the worry of high international calling fees, counting minutes and dialing a connecting number, typical of traditional calling cards. With MetroPCS’ international calling, consumers are truly unlimited now more than ever.”
The offering comes at a time when consumers and SMB (small to medium-size business) owners looking to shave communications costs in an unstable economic climate are increasingly turning toward VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) solutions. VOIP providers such as Skype (which is a free for Skype-to-Skype account calls) and Speakeasy, a Best Buy company, argue that in addition to financial savings, advantages of VOIP include increased productivity, improved competitiveness and enhanced functionality.
In March, Skype announced Skype for SIP-a beta program for a limited number of users that will bring VOIP service to the office PBX. Some analysts have suggested that as PBX systems reach retirement age, Skype is positioned to enable enterprises to make better use of existing SIP PBXes and to alter the impression of Skype’s capability in the business world. Skype is also a free application for the Apple iPhone and business-oriented BlackBerry smartphones.
Speakeasy maintains there are several myths about VOIP that is affecting adoption among midmarket businesses, including the complications involving set-up and management and worries over voice quality and connection reliability. However, a report from Dell’Oro Group, a marketing research firm, predicted that IP lines will grow to almost 60 percent of small business line shipments by the year 2011, while digital and analog shipments are expected to decline at an average of 10 percent per year. Traditional systems are expected to fair even worse, declining to less than 5 percent of the total market by 2011.