AT&T offers shared landline, cell plans

The carrier begins selling AT&T One, which lets subscribers use a block of minutes on either a cell phone or landline.

Ben Charny
Ben Charny Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Ben Charny
covers Net telephony and the cellular industry.
Long-distance carrier AT&T said on Monday that its calling plans now include unlimited night and weekend minutes that can be used by either a landline or a cell phone.

AT&T is the latest carrier to begin selling cell phone service along with its traditional landline plans. While trying to make service easier for telephone users, the new plans often confuse even the most experienced modern-day dialers.

"That's true, but it's also true that consumers are much savvier today than five years ago," AT&T spokeswoman Janet Wyles said.

In all, AT&T introduced eight new "AT&T One" dialing plans on Monday, which for now will be available only in Tampa Bay, Fla., and San Diego, Calif. Wyles declined to comment on when the plans would become available in other cities.

Aside from the shared minutes, AT&T One subscribers pay seven cents a minute for weekday long-distance calls from their landline telephone. They also get a free cell phone plus between 200 and 1,100 minutes to use any time for wireless calling. AT&T One plans cost between $37 and $100 a month.

The carrier said its AT&T One plans are the first to offer such shared minutes during traditionally off-peak hours. "We don't know of any other carrier doing this," Wyles said.

The new service plans resulted from an agreement reached in May with AT&T Wireless, a former AT&T subsidiary that's now an independent company.