Verizon Offers Holiday Travel Freebies for 'Connection Day'
Verizon is getting creative this holiday travel season, teaming up with content providers to add a little holiday cheer aimed at travelers on one of the busiest days of the year -- the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which the wireless provider is calling Connection Day.
Any consumer, not just Verizon's customers, can get most of the freebies, many of which focus on easing the holiday travel experience.
Holiday Head Start
Here's some of the promotions:
Verizon is offering special mobile access to popular movies and TV shows from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, compliments of Verizon FiOS, when you download the free FiOS Preview app.
Gifts from Amazon include a selection of 10 free and discounted apps, two free Audible book downloads for new members, or a $10 Audible credit for current members. If you are an Apple fan, you can get a special iTunes offer to be revealed on Connection Day, Nov. 26.
Conde Nast is offering free digital edition downloads of 17 publications, including Vanity Fair and GQ. You can also get a free 30-minute Internet session through Boingo Wireless at airports and Gogo Technologies in-flight. And if you are on JetBlue from Nov. 26 to Dec. 24, you can get free Fly-Fi Wi-Fi. Pandora is offering a free seven-day trial of Pandora One.
Consumers, whether Verizon customers or not, can access the gifts and register online at Verizon's site, for a reminder on Nov. 26.
Verizon's More Everything plan customers who register at the site by Nov. 26 will get 1 GB of shareable data per account on the day they register until the end of their current billing cycle, as well as an additional GB per account for the next billing cycle free of charge.
Telecom Industry Is Changing
We reached out to Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his thoughts on the Verizon offer and the holiday wireless wars that are clearly moving into high gear a little earlier than normal this year. He told us it's good to see Verizon getting a head start with its holiday incentives.
"The industry is changing. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have been starting to go
down a different path, which customers really like," Kagan said. "Verizon is not fully embracing this [new direction] yet, and it is having an impact on them."
In April Verizon lost cell phone customers for the first time as its competitors amped up the battle for new subscribers. The firm lost about 138,000 postpaid phone customers in the first-quarter results, which shocked some analysts.
"The holiday shopping period is one of the few key segments of the year for
wireless," Kagan said. "I fully expect Verizon to try and grease the skids to get as much value out of the holiday season as possible."
Waiting for Show Stoppers
Of course, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are also likely to add plenty of grease to their own skids this holiday shopping season. Kagan said it's time to buckle up and get ready for the ride.
"Every year this holiday shopping season get's bigger and louder and attracts
more attention. I don't think this year is any exception to that rule," Kagan said. "I expect to see deals galore from all the players, including wireless and wire line."
As Kagan sees it, the 2014 holiday shopping season will see some competitors reinvent the economics of the wireless game. He sees players like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile being really active in this new space.
"I see Verizon being the lone holdout. They are always the last one to the party, but eventually they do join as well," Kagan said. "It will be interesting to see what holiday show stoppers will be in play this season."