NEW YORK Verizon Communications Inc will introduce an unlimited data plan on Monday, its first in more than five years, in its latest effort to lure customers as competition rises between network carriers.
The introductory plan, announced on Sunday, will give unlimited data to customers on smartphones and tablets on its 4G LTE network. It comes days after competitor Sprint Corp introduced a new unlimited data plan of its own.
The unlimited option appears to be a change in direction for Verizon after one of the company's top executives said last month it was not looking at unlimited products when asked by analysts whether Verizon needed to be more aggressive in the market.
"We constantly look at... what's out there. Unlimited is one of the things that some of our competition has at this point in time. That's not something we feel the need to do," Matthew Ellis, Verizon's chief financial officer, told analysts during an earnings call on Jan. 24.
"But as I say, we continually monitor the market and we will see where we head in the future," he added.
Verizon's unlimited plan is $80 per month for unlimited data, talk and text for the first line with paper-free billing and autopay, and $45 per line for four lines. The company stopped offering unlimited data plans for most customers in 2011.
(Story corrects pricing in paragraph 6.)
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Anjali Athavaley in New York; Editing by Bill Rigby)