NEW YORK - Verizon Communications
The company is also looking at offering a $10 plan that includes limited outgoing calls to local numbers and compares with Verizon's current cheapest calling plans of $20 to $25 a month. For nationwide calls it charges about $40 a month.
Both offers may only be available to customers who also subscribe to Verizon high-speed Internet services.
Verizon said that while it was looking at its options for keeping customers it had made no firm decisions yet.
This is something we are looking at, company spokesman John Bonomo said. Any of the details could be changed. Things along those lines are things we're looking at.
The Wall Street Journal reported in a story citing unnamed sources that the company may offer the new options as early as this summer, but company spokesman William Kula said it had not yet decided on a timeframe.
We're merely considering a wide range of offers, he said. We will continue to compete very aggressively against the cable companies as well as the voice over the Internet companies.
Kula said that the main reason people want to keep their wired home phones is for reliability and safety.
We're looking at a number of different types of plans that would encourage people to continue to use their landline phones, Kula said.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Chris King said it made sense for Verizon to offer less expensive options to people who were planning to disconnect their home phone anyway.
It's $5 or $10 they wouldn't already have, if that customer had disconnected, King said, but he noted that such options would have limited appeal.
I think you're talking about a small percentage of the population who'd want to keep a landline to just dial 911, maybe for the elderly population if (they) don't have a cell phone, he said.
If you can't call anybody back I don't think you're talking about a sizable population base it would appeal to, he said.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Maureen Bavdek)