Phone Companies Find Bundles of Joy
Packages that combine wireless, Web, and other services could be just what the telecoms need to boost revenues and retain customers. Way back in 1998, AT&T; introduced its Digital One Rate plan, which promised the same per-minute charge for long-distance and local calls made via cell phone -- and it was a huge financial hit. That year, the plan got credit for a third-quarter increase of 19%, to $1.42 billion, in the revenues of AT&T; Wireless, which hadn't yet been spun off from AT&T; (T ). The division's subscriber list grew 74% in that quarter alone, to 325,000. "The Digital One rate has turned out to be a home run," Michael Armstrong, AT&T;'s chairman, said at the time.