Getting Some Value Out Of Airfone

Bundling of various communication products is an unstoppable trend. Every analyst has poked fun at the lousy airfone services that are in domestic flights. They were priced so far out of reach, and never saw any profitable adoption rates. When digital cellphones came along, everyone was now more willing to hold their calls until they landed, and airfone use dropped further. Finally, Verizon has found a way to extract a little value from this (old GTE) dog. Verizon Wireless and Verizon Airfone, two separate divisions, have agreed to offer a discount on airfone use by VZW subscribers. Verizon Wireless users will be able to sign up for an airfone subscription for $10/mo. which drops usage rates down to $0.10/min., or they can simply pay 69 cents/min. Either option is much more reasonable than the current rates: $3.99 for call setup plus $3.99/min. The deal bundling airfone usage with wireless usage certainly allows Verizon to increase the value their PCS service offers frequent travelers. This will probably win them additional business (at the cost of discounting basically unused airfone capacity.)

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