Verizon covers move by Sprint and offers unlimited data to US customers

Oliver Gill
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Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2016
Verizon is the US' largest mobile phone operator and is well-known for its sponsorship of the country's popular slam dunk competition (Source: Getty)

Competition between US mobile phone firms is set to hot up as the country’s largest operator announced plans to introduce unlimited data packages.

Verizon’s move – seemingly at odds with statements made by one of its top executives last month – comes after competitor Sprint last week introduced similar plans.

Through an introductory plan announced on Sunday, the unlimited data offering will be open to Verizon’s 4G customers on smartphones and tablets.

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“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,” Verizon finance chief Matthew Ellis had told analysts in January, according to Reuters.

However, Ellis did say unlimited data contracts were something the firm could reintroduce – after stopping them in 2011 – in the future.

The news comes following an increasing global trend of greater price competition.

In India, Reliance Jio shook up the mobile phone market last year by slashing prices in an attempt to gain market share on the country’s major players: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

Read more: Vodafone in £10bn Indian merger talks

Earlier this year, Vodafone confirmed it was in talks with Idea in an attempt to bolster operator strength in the face of Reliance Jio’s pricing.

FTSE 100 firm Vodafone sold its 45 per cent in Verizon’s wireless business back to Verizon’s parent company in 2014 in a deal worth $130bn.

Vodafone has also come under increasing pressure in the UK after rival EE was bought up by telecoms giant BT and a failed attempt by Three to buy the fourth major UK operator, O2.

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