WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Faced with mounting pressure from competitors, top U.S. wireless carriers are expanding their data offerings to retain customers and preserve their bottom lines.
Verizon Communications on Wednesday doubled the size of its data packages at no extra charge for new and existing customers on data plans starting at 20 gigabites, following similar promotions from rivals AT&T Inc and Sprint Corp in the past week.
For months, carriers have slashed rates in a price war that Wall Street analysts worry will increase pressure on already tight margins and rattle dividends. But the latest spree of promotions gives customers access to more data without reducing their monthly spending.
Last week, AT&T announced it would double the data offered on Mobile Share plans starting at 15 gigabites.
Sprint one-upped AT&T on Wednesday by offering double the data of AT&T's promotion at a discounted price for customers on plans starting at 32GB. The carrier also waived a $15-a-month access fee for new customers who sign up for installment billing.
All of the promotions do not automatically take effect for existing customers. Rather, customers have to sign up online, through a customer service line or at a retail store.
The promotions will remain in effect for as long as customers stay on their data plan, but subscribers must sign up by the end of October to benefit. (Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Dan Grebler)