Cell phone companies – much more than phones

Now that Cingular is buying AT&T Wireless, but in many ways even before, cell phone companies have to be more than just cell phone companies. The New York Times is reporting that cell phone companies have to offer more than just cell phones but bundles of services that will attract customers with lower prices and more features.
The big feature to be offered, will be from those companies with local phone company connections. For example, buy local phone service from Verizon? Well they can throw in a great deal for a cellular plan also.
NY Times: Mr. Pitchford said bundling was essential. But he said Qwest would approach bundling through partnerships, at least for now. Starting March 1, Qwest will sell wireless services operated by Sprint in its region. Mr. Pitchford said Qwest would offer its local telephone customers a $5 savings on any cellphone plan.
Verizon, BellSouth and SBC offer similar discounts to entice their customers to sign up for their affiliated wireless services, said Roger Entner, an analyst with the Yankee Group. In a slightly different twist, he said, Sprint PCS wireless customers get 50 free minutes of long-distance calling each month if they are also Sprint long-distance customers.
In addition to the discount for wireless, Qwest’s bundled plans offer high-speed Internet digital subscriber lines to customers with Qwest local phone service for $26.99 a month; without local service, which costs $25.99 a month, the cost of a high-speed line is $34.99, Mr. Pitchford said.