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6

AT&T Changes Data Plans

AT&T has modified their data plans to offer more affordable alternatives to those who might not need an unlimited plan.

President and CEO Ralph de la Vega stated in the press release, "To give more people the opportunity to experience these benefits, we’re breaking free from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ pricing model and making the mobile Internet more affordable to a greater number of people."

Beginning June 7, 2010 AT&T will begin to offer the following plans.

  • Dataplus Plan: 200mb data for $15 per month. Customers exceeding 200mb of use will receive and additional 200mb for $15 to use during the billing cycle.
  • DataPro Plan: 2gb of data for $25 per month. Customers exceeding 2gb of data will receive an additional 1gb for $10 to use during the billing cycle.
  • Tethering Plan: For $20 per month, customers can add tethering to their data plan.

Additionally, AT&T will provide services to help customers monitor their data usage. When customers begin to approach their monthly usage limit, AT&T will send out three text notifications; when customers reach 65%, 90%, and 100% of their plan. Customers can also dial *DATA# to receive a usage summary and there will be an iPhone app to check data usage.

The good news, for now, is that current smartphone customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. You can check out the full press release at AT&T's website.

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Comments

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says:

This is all a pre-emptive strike for them to get people more amenable to ponying up for tethering plans. People have started to get acclimated to paying for data plans now. And since even carriers are going to have a hard time preventing casual tethering now (as it's increasingly ingrained in the various platforms themselves or easily augmented via various apps) so this gives them a chance to make an easier upsell to tethering. Sure, you may be able to tether with your non-tethering plan. But good luck not hitting your 2Gb cap if you plan on using it more than a day or so.

says:

I think that it's just their way to assure themselves that people don't tether without a tethering plan. The data volume difference between browsing on a smartphone and downloading while tethered can be massive. Multiply it by tens of thousands of users and any network can be crippled. Face it. The rapid development of phone features has redefined cell phones in the past few years. Unlimited data was an all-you-can-eat. New phones have redefined it to mean all you can pack up and load into your car. I think that the change was required and that all the other providers will follow.

That's also the first time that I've ever defended a telecomm utility. I feel like washing my hands.

says:

I'm afraid that I'm going to have to buck the trend here and state that the move looks more positive for consumers than I expected. Yes, there's a 3 GB ceiling, but 60% of AT&T customers will get a $5 monthly bill reduction and many will get a reduction of $15. Those using between 2 and 3GB of data will wind up paying an additional $5.

Looking at a population of just two users I know that I'd be saving $15 and my son would be saving $5. Except that we've already ordered Droid Incredibles and will be leaving the AT&T party completely.

BTW - AT&T has raised their rates for operator assistance and is charging for calls unanswered in 30 seconds. As a result anyone who wishes can cancel their contract through July without incurring an ETF penalty.

says:

Im curently on att and i would love to switch to verizon but i dont have the money to pay the etf, can you give me more specifics on being able to cancel without the ETF? any specifics on what exactly voided my contract and when i am able to cancel would be great! thank u!

says:

Hasn't AT&T always had a 2GB cap on their "unlimited" plans?

says:

No, I think it was 5 GB like Sprint and Verizon (and maybe Tmo)