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Verizon Bundling Quadruple Services

Verizon Communications is taking a shot across the bow at cable companies by offering its Northeast and Mid-Atlantic customers a package with wireless calling, home phone, TV, and home broadband services.

The ability to have the so-called "quadruple-play" offering is a much-heralded feature for home service providers like Verizon because it enables these companies to generate more revenue per user, as well as have multiple touch points with the consumer. Surveys suggest consumers are attracted to this type of offering because it eases billing concerns, and bundled packages can be cheaper than buying the services individually from different providers.

The Verizon offering will include its fiber-to-the-home service where available, its FiOS DSL service, and DirecTV for cable. Users can pay $125 to $135 a month for home phone, cable, home Internet, and 450 wireless minutes, and the plans will require a one-year commitment. The FiOS service can include downstream speeds of up to 15 Mbps, and some users will also have free access to more than 14,000 Verizon Wi-Fi hotspots.

"We're offering the freedom and flexibility for customers to choose the Verizon voice service or combination of services that meets their individual or family needs, together with our complete line of industry-leading home-entertainment options," said Mike Ritter, Verizon's chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Rival telecom AT&T is also pushing into this space, as it offers quadruple-play services with its U-Verse offerings. The cable companies are taking different approaches to offering mobility options in order to combat these growing threats.

Companies like Comcast and Time Warner cable have invested in Clearwire and will likely resell WiMax services to their customers for mobile data services that could eventually include voice and mobile TV services. Cox Communications plans to use its portion of the 700-MHz spectrum to offer its own cellular services for voice and mobile data services.

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