The Norman Transcript

Commerce

June 9, 2008

Tech Bits

T-Mobile cuts price for additional lines on 'unlimited' plan

NEW YORK -- T-Mobile USA Wednesday said it would let subscribers to its "unlimited" calling plan include family members for half price, adding another wrinkle in a cross-carrier scramble to define new pricing models.

Verizon Wireless introduced a plan with unlimited nationwide calling in February for $99.99 per month and was quickly matched by its competitors. T-Mobile's plan, which costs the same, also includes unlimited text, picture and instant messaging. Verizon charges $119.99 for that plan.

T-Mobile is now allowing subscribers to add up to four additional lines to an unlimited plan for $49.99 per month each. Competitors charge full price for additional lines on unlimited plans.

The introduction of unlimited plans initially depressed the stocks of U.S. wireless carriers, but Verizon Communications Inc. and AT--T Inc. have said the plans actually increase their sales. More people upgrade to unlimited plans from cheaper plans than downgrade from older, more expensive plans, they have said.

Since few cell-phone subscribers use up all the monthly minutes on their cheaper, limited plans, the unlimited plans are good value only for a small percentage of consumers. But the plans have become a major point of comparison and competition for the carriers.



College fights music downloading

ROLLA, Mo. -- A tech-savvy university near the Missouri Ozarks is resorting to an old standby to reduce illegal music downloads by students: the pop quiz.

Missouri University of Science and Technology now requires students to ace a six-question quiz on digital copyright law to get six hours of access to peer-to-peer software they can use to share music and movies online.

The quiz has cut copyright complaints on campus from the recording industry to eight this academic year, down from 200 in 2006-07, said Tim Doty, a campus systems security analyst.

-- AP

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