There's an overlooked story in the excitement over the escalating price war in the wireless service business. AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) this week unveiled unlimited calling plans for $100 a month. T Mobile matched that and included text messaging. Now Sprint (NYSE:S) is expected to leap in with a similar plan at an even lower price.
Price wars always hurt somebody. In this case, the worst damage won't be in the actual cellular business. The real victims will be land-line operations of AT&T and Verizon. Verizon, for instance, has a Verizon Freedom phone package that's roughly equivalent to what you'd get with an unlimited cell plan -- unlimited local and long-distance calling and features such as call waiting. The Freedom package costs $57. If you live alone, get an unlimited cell plan and have good cell coverage in your home -- why would you have a land line? Couples or roommates might ask the same.
For what it's worth, I haven't had a land line for six months, relying instead on my cell and Skype. I'm not missing the land line.