Verizon offers discounts to compete with cable

Adding cellphones to the mix for a quadruple-play offer

NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications is advertising new discounts on Monday for customers who sign up for four of its telecommunications services, as it looks to recoup market share from cable rivals in the holiday shopping season.

The company has been pushing so-called triple-play service discounts for customers who use Verizon home phone, broadband and video. It is adding cellphones to the mix for a quadruple-play offer with annual savings of $59 to $179.

"It's purposefully designed to attract more customers away from the cable companies who are unable to combine a wireless component to their voice, video and Internet service," said Verizon spokesman Bill Kula.

The company is pushing hard to promote its FiOS Internet and television services on its new fiber network by also giving a $150 Visa prepaid card to customers who sign up by Jan 16 for a quadruple-service bundle that includes FiOS.

Kula said the company had received a favorable response after quietly offering the service for just a week to consumers who called the company. It is now starting a multimillion- dollar advertising campaign for the offers on Monday.

Verizon and other U.S. phone companies have long been losing home phone customers as many consumers are disconnecting in favor of cable services or opting to use cellphones for all their calls to save money.

Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc have previously competed only with Verizon on home phone, Internet and television but both cable operators have recently started rolling out wireless Internet services in some markets using Clearwire's high-speed mobile network.

Verizon said the latest offer includes multiple combinations: For example, a $114.99 monthly plan includes 450 minutes of cellphone calls, wired broadband services, unlimited local and long-distance home phone calls, and DirecTV's satellite television service for annual savings of $59.

Another combination, which costs $144.99 a month and reaps annual savings of $179, includes Verizon's FiOS TV and high speed Internet service with unlimited local and long-distance home phone calls as well as 450 minutes of cellphone calls.