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Mobile

AT&T offers $5 unlimited calling to Mexico after Iusacell buy

The carrier previously charged 1 cent a minute to wireless and landline numbers in Mexico.

AT&T's acquisition of Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell has already yielded one benefit.

AT&T will attempt to press its advantage with a Mexican carrier in the fold. Pictured: the headquarters of the company's mobility unit. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Dallas telecommunications giant said Tuesday that it would begin offering unlimited calls to any number in Mexico as part of its World Connect Value plan. The program costs $5 a month. Previously, AT&T charged 1 cent a minute for wireless or landline calls.

The announcement comes just days after the news that AT&T, the second-largest wireless carrier in the US by subscriber, had closed its acquisition of Iusacell. The deal allows AT&T to enter the faster-growing Mexican market, with Iusacell covering 70 percent of Mexico's population of 120 million people.

But the unlimited calling is a boon to customers in the US who routinely make calls to friends and family in Mexico, potentially shaving off a significant chunk of the monthly international phone costs.

"Mexico is the most frequently dialed country among our wireless customers -- and now they can call as much as they want with our enhanced World Connect Value package," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T Mobility.

The announcement comes after AT&T revised its World Connect Value package in December, increasing the rates to Latin American and Caribbean countries to 5 cents to 20 cents a minute, depending on the country. The increases goes into effect after January 31. Calls to Canada under the program remain at 1 cent per minute.

Verizon offers a plan similar to AT&T's older World Connect Value package, while T-Mobile offers a $10 unlimited calling plan to landlines in Mexico (a package that includes mobile costs $15 a month).