Verizon Wireless Data Promotion Requires Voice Service

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The promotion, which began Aug 29 and is set to run through Jan. 5, 2006, gives resellers a 25 percent per month discount on two-year contracts for high-speed, 400-Kbps to 700-Kbps wireless Internet service using Verizon Wireless' 1xEV-DO air cards, according to Verizon Wireless' "Indirect Sales Quick Reference Guide," which was provided to CRN by Verizon partners who requested anonymity.

But to get the promotion's $59.99 per month price, customers must have either a pre-existing Verizon Wireless voice plan or purchase a Verizon Wireless voice plan in conjunction with the data plan, according to the reference guide.

The terms of the deal are one-for-one, meaning that if a prospective business customer wants 10 air cards, and has one Verizon Wireless voice account, the customer will have to buy an additional nine voice lines. In addition, the matching voice plans must remain active for the duration of the two-year WWAN contract for the promotional rate of the data plan to stay intact. Otherwise, the price of the data plan increases to about $80 per month. For every promotional plan purchased, two Verizon mobile numbers, two devices and two calling plans--one for broadband access, one for the voice line--must be in place, according to the eligibility requirements on the reference guide.

The Verizon Wireless partners who provided the reference guide said the voice service requirement could reduce their opportunity to sell customers data service under the promotion by as much as 50 percent.

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Verizon Wireless spokesperson Nancy Stark said the promotion was "to reward [Verizon Wireless&] voice customer." She said all agents and resellers of Verizon Wireless would have to comply to the restrictions of the promotion regardless of the size of a customer.

Other restrictions on the promotion apply to retail customers, who are limited to "five lines per account," the guide said. This means that even if a retail customer has three active Verizon Wireless voice lines, they can only add two wireless broadband accounts, "for a total of five lines," according to the guide.

Competitive information listed on the reference guide showed that standard pricing for wireless broadband from Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Cingular, was about even at $80 per month. Cingular's wireless broadband coverage is nationwide, Sprint covers 30 metro areas, and Verizon Wireless covers "50-plus metro areas," according to the guide.