Your Cell Phone Bill Just Got Hit By Inflation — Here’s How Much Verizon and AT&T Are Raising Rates

Cellphone Providers Settlement, New York, United States - 02 May 2017
Bebeto Matthews / AP /

For the first time in two years, Verizon customers will see an increase in their monthly wireless phone bills. Verizon started notifying customers and larger corporate clients of the coming rate hike on May 16.

Millions of customers will see a $1.35 increase in administrative charges for each voice line beginning in June, Bloomberg reported. Verizon representatives also said that business customers will see an “economic adjustment charge” beginning on June 16, as well as mobile phone data plans rising by $2.20 a month and basic service plans going up by 98 cents.

AT&T also raised its prices earlier this month by $6 on single lines and $12 for families.

However, these price increases could cause some problems, according to a Recon Analytics mobile intender survey. A separate Bloomberg report noted that customer deflections for AT&T could rise to as much as 12% per month from its usual 1%.

Wireless carriers cite the state of the current economy for the price hikes. According to the Labor Department, the all items index increased 8.3% year-over-year in April, not seasonally adjusted.

“We’re all feeling the pressure and we’ve been in the process of deciding how much of that pressure we can share with our clients,” Tami Erwin, head of Verizon Business, recently told Bloomberg.

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Large mobile carriers are also trying to balance higher prices with better service, like switching customers from older plans to the new 5G network, Bloomberg reported.

Walt Piecyk, an analyst with LightShed Partners, told Bloomberg that “5G and free streaming services have not been enough to stimulate migration to higher bundles that are needed to generate revenue growth in the wireless industry.”

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