Alltel’s MyCircle plans near unlimited calling

If you are like most consumers and don’t regularly call more than 25 people, Alltel’s latest MyCircle plan will – for all intents and purposes – be an unlimited plan to you. The carrier, recently acquired by Verizon, today expanded its My Circle calling feature to include five additional numbers for unlimited calling. Without raising the cost, Alltel upped the number of friends a subscriber can call by five – totaling 25 for those on My Circle 20 and 15 for those on MyCircle 10.

Alltel pioneered social networking-oriented calling, a path which T-Mobile quickly followed with its Fave5 package back in 2006. Since it launched its first Circle, Alltel has continuously added to and expanded the service. In February of 2008, the carrier began offering the ability to move from 10 circle members, the original standard, down to five or up to 20. The plans also evolved last summer to include unlimited texting, video and picture messaging to anyone in a consumer’s circle, as well as other Alltel customers. The new My Circle 15 and My Circle 25 will maintain their rates of $59.99 for 900 anytime minutes and $99.99 per month for 2,100 minutes, respectively. The plans all include unlimited free calls to and from any combination of home phone, office or wireless numbers anywhere in the United States.

Alltel, the fifth-largest carrier, wants its consumers to know that even as Verizon melds it in with its own business, it’s not going anywhere. Alltel still owns 91 cellular market areas spanning 22 states that Verizon is required to divest, which will continue to operate as Alltel Wireless until they are sold. Alltel has always prided itself on being the customer’s advocate, a role which Verizon, the nation’s largest carrier with the help of Alltel, is hoping to adopt. Verizon has already admitted the power of the Circle, letting Alltel customers keep it with Verizon and offering it to its new and existing customers under the guise of β€˜Friends & Family’ plans.

Alltel’s adjustments today don’t make exactly make it an unlimited plan – although Alltel does offer a $99 unlimited alternative to MyCircle – but with the ability to call 25 people, I imagine it comes close for most – or maybe I just need to get some more friends.

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