Verizon joins AT&T in boosting wireless prices, citing inflation

Talking on your cellphone is going to get more expensive next month.

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Verizon Communications Inc. announced it will raise prices on its wireless bills for the first time in two years, citing inflation, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Beginning with their June telephone bill from Verizon, consumers will see an administrative increase of $1.35 per line to $3.30, according to Fox Business. The administrative charge for data lines will remain unchanged, Bloomberg reported.

Business customers will see a new “economic adjustment charge” beginning June 16, with mobile phone data plans increasing by $2.20 a month and basic service plans rising by 98 cents, according to Verizon representatives.

“From time to time, we review and make adjustments to fees to defray some of Verizon’s administrative and telco expenses and costs of complying with regulatory requirements,” a Verizon spokesperson told Fox Business. “This is not a price plan increase.”

Verizon’s increase follows price bumps by rival AT&T, which is raising monthly fees for non-unlimited plans by up to $6 per month for single-line customers and up to double that for family accounts, Fox Business reported.

The prices for those plans have not increased in three years, according to the business website.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications’ first-quarter profit fell 13%, and executives said that higher consumer prices, more corporate expenses and rising interest costs could impact earnings in the coming months.

Matt Ellis, Verizon’s chief financial officer, said Friday that rising interest rates could push up the company’s cash interest costs on outstanding debt by another $150 million to $200 million, according to the newspaper. He also said worker wages, contractor prices, electricity prices and fuel costs all factored into the financial projections for the nation’s largest wireless carrier.

“We’re at inflation levels that we’ve not been at for 40 years and the wireless industry hasn’t existed for 40 years,” Ellis said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “But many other industries have obviously been here. … and competitive industries can still pass on price increases.”


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