By BRUCE MEYERSON, AP Business Writer
AT&T customers who subscribe to both its Cingular Wireless and traditional phone services can now make and receive unlimited free calls to and from any other AT&T or Cingular customer.
The expanded "free calling" network will consist of roughly 100 million phone numbers.
The new AT&T Unity service, slated for launch Friday, is being introduced just weeks after AT&T completed its acquisition of BellSouth Corp., gaining 100 percent ownership of Cingular and BellSouth's nine-state local phone business. Both Cingular and BellSouth are being renamed under the AT&T brand.
Cingular, like many major wireless providers, already offered free in-network calls where no airtime minutes were deducted from monthly plans for calls between any two of its roughly 60 million cell phone customers.
To qualify for the expanded offering, a customer needs be both a cellular subscriber and have an unlimited AT&T local and long-distance account for a landline within the company's 22-state region. Such customers will not use up any wireless minutes or incur extra charges on a regular phone bill for any calls to or from another AT&T wireless or landline customer.