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Verizon Wireless is in a giving mood.
The company is preparing a bundle of freebies to hand out on November 26 -- the day before Thanksgiving -- in what it is calling "Connection Day." The freebies, which range from free apps to free in-flight Wi-Fi, are available to anyone, although Verizon "More Everything" customers can snag a "one-time gift" of 1GB of sharable data and another 1GB of data in their next billing cycle.
The gifts, which come via partnerships with several companies, are largely short-term promotions but represent the carrier's extra effort to grab attention during the critical holiday-shopping season. Connection Day lands a day before Thanksgiving and two days before Black Friday -- the unofficial kickoff to America's annual shopping frenzy. As competition heats up with carriers offering lower prices and higher amounts of data, a company such as Verizon -- which has traditionally charged a premium because of its network superiority -- is likely wary of its more aggressive rivals.
Verizon is also increasingly working with other brands. In July, it launched a Smart Rewards points program that creates discounts to partner retailers -- although the program has been criticized because it allows the partners to market to customers who opt in.
The upcoming freebies -- all tied to the theme of connecting people to content on their smartphones -- include mobile access to movies and TV shows on the Verizon FiOS app on November 26; 10 Amazon app store apps; two Audible.com book downloads (existing Audible members get a $10 credit); digital edition downloads of 17 Conde Nast publications, including Wired and Vanity Fair; a 30-minute Wi-Fi session at airports through Boingo Wireless and in-flight through Gogo Technologies; in-flight Wi-Fi on JetBlue between November 26 and December 24; and a seven-day trial of Pandora One, a premium subscription music service that normally costs $5 a month.
Verizon also mentioned that Apple is planning a special iTunes offer that will be revealed on November 26.
More details are offered at Verizon's Connection Day site, where consumers -- including Verizon customers -- must sign up to receive the gifts.