AT&T kicks traditional data plans to the curb, it's Mobile Share or nothing

Under then banner of simplifying their array of plans, AT&T today announced that they're ending the availability of the traditional cellular plans on October 25 in favor of their Mobile Share plans. Mobile share, if you'll recall, is AT&T's shared data plan system, wherein you received unlimited phone minutes (you still use those?) and texts plus a bucket of data of a size of your choosing. Data packs range from 300MB per month for $20 up to 50GB for $500. Oh, and there's a monthly charge for every smartphone connected to the plan that starts at $50 on the lowest data tier and drops to $30 by the time you hit 10GB.

The mobile share plans are more reflective of how we use our smartphones these days, where most of us could care less how many minutes are attached to our plan, but care very much how much data we have available. AT&T's move to dump the traditional minutes+text+data per line also mirrors that of US rival Verizon.

AT&T claims that the Mobile Share plans offer a better value for "95 percent of customer use cases," and is careful to point out that those currently on traditional plans won't have to switch to a Mobile Share plan, even if upgrading.

But is this really a good deal for you?

Source: AT&T

 

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AT&T kicks traditional data plans to the curb, it's Mobile Share or nothing

137 Comments

I think they're doing T-Mobile a favor by doing this... That is, of course, people have 5 lines or less, since the maximum number of lines on a T-Mobile account is 5 (I think).

50GB of data for $500 is incredibly humorous.

They are doing T-mobile a big favor, AT&T acts very odd, they are getting more competitive with the prepaid department, while their Post paid department just follows in Verizon's footsteps.

Even having two separate accounts with TMo, it's still cheaper. Way cheaper.

I put 5 lines on one TMo account, and had a single line on it's own account. It came out to $160/mo for the 5 lines (2.5GB LTE each). And $60/mo for the single line (2.5GB LTE).

Total, I have 6 lines on TMo w/ 2.5GB each for $220/mo. That breaks down to $36.66/mo per line. (no tax or surcharges either).

AT&T would cost $300/mo plus tax, and that's only for the 10GB tier (which is significantly less than 2.5GB per line). That's $1,900 more over the life of a 2yr plan!!!

Best part about TMo is that they allow you to individually select which 4G data cap you want per line. If I made my line Unlimited and the other 5 lines have 500mb LTE, I would've saved another $80 or so dollars a month. TMo's pricing is freakin' awesome.

It's no coincidence Tmobile's attracting new customers that are very capable of doing simple math and/or the financially savvy type : ) The soon to be mine, my own, my precious Nexus 5, had paid for itself in 5.333 months post Verizon. Not too mention even Tmobile's HSPA+ speeds beat Verizon LTE in the general Philly area. Get riduculous Tmobile LTE speeds on my N4. Very happy customer. Go Tmobile!

Exactly!

The masses who would rather pay a little bit upfront for a subsidized phone but end up paying $2,000 more over the long run is a testament to how financially illiterate society has become. What's even worse are those who are explained the financial difference yet do it anyway because of how conditioned society has become to "instant gratification" regardless of the cost...

The only reasonable explanation for a regular Joe to have an expensive plan with AT&T/Verizon is because of service coverage. But with how tech is growing at a rapid pace, cellular coverage and data speeds among carriers are starting to become a level playing field.

Everything you just stated, I agree with, up until the "starting to become a level playing field" comment. T-Mo service may be great in your area, but once you take into account the entire United States, T-Mo service is nowhere near close to playing on a level field when compared to Verizon or even AT&T service for that matter. They are many years behind.

Yah they may be cheap and fast but their coverage area from a geophysical perspective is a joke.

In other words: they cover a lot of people but not much land.

Where I live and work, I'm getting the same down speeds as AT&T, but with more consistency on TMo.

As far as reception goes, where I live and work they get the same coverage; I haven't had dropped calls or poor signal during a conversation. There is a spot in my building that gets terrible reception regardless of carrier, but because of wifi calling, TMo has the advantage.

It's call roaming agreements, that's what AT&Tand T-Mobile do for each other.. They just don't mention this to customers like you.

Many years?

At the rate they're refarming and updating their network, in 2-3 years they'll have the coverage and reliability of AT&T.

Yes, I said it... And yes I have my flame suit on...

No, it will be the same.

There home territories will be served with faster towers. but they are not going to be able to match AT&T or Verizon's build out.

There best hope, as in the past, is to continue to negotiate high speed access over AT&T's network for the areas they don't have towers. You don't just build that many towers in 2 or 3 years. It takes longer than that just to get the permits.

Did you just listen to yourself? 2-3 YEARS?!? That's an eternity in the fast moving mobile tech world. From what you're admitting to a person can safely sign on the dotted line with Verizon or AT&T and by the time that's done T-Mobile MIGHT have close to the network they are already used to.

I agree with you but you're NOT making a case for T-Mobile. NEVER buy something based upon what it might do. Buy it for what it does now or will do very shortly.

I'm glad some of you get great service from T-Mobile but a large portion of us aren't that lucky. Here in Duluth MN (4th largest city in MN) supposedly have service with all 4 major carriers. Verizon and AT&T have LTE (Verizon being about 2x the speed in my testing) and sprint is supposedly testing it here but their basic coverage is spotty at best. The coverage map claims its pretty good but its not. I had an EVO LTE for 12 days last spring but had absolutely no signal at my house (2 blocks away from the Sprint store) supposedly because the road curves down (yes that was their excuse) and spotty and slow the other places l tested it. T-Mobile was even worse the 2 months I had one of their prepaid SIMs in the Nexus 4. People need to stop pretending that T-Mobile and Sprint are as good as Verizon and AT&T because overall they simply aren't. They know they aren't and that's why they are cheaper. You get what you pay for.

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I have to agree. I read about these really cool programs /w T-MOBILE and Sprint but then I remember what it is like to USE their service.

Here T-MOBLE is good in a lot of places but not all by far. Sprint is hit or miss and if you move around at all (like driving to work or trip to the city) it will miss a lot.

I do hope that the changes that T-MOBILE is pushing forward will cause Verizon and ATT to improve their game but they know (esp. Verizon) that for people who really need service they are the only games in town.

Why is everyone forgetting about the roaming agreement between the cell companies?

If you are in GSM area, you will get connected.
If you are in CDMA area, you will get connected.

These companies are doing a great job on divide and conquer the US consumers.

Yeah can have all the data you want on T-Mobile . your never going to use with shut service

Posted via Android Central App via bad azz VZW LG G2 ROOTED!

If you live some place that supports T-Mobile and you never need service outside of big cities. I tested T-Mobile in my city and I struggled making calls, data was worse. Hopefully they will find a way to build out their network nation wide.

It's funny that you think that, yet T-Mobile has faster LTE speeds than all other carriers and faster HSPA+ speeds than Verizon and Sprint LTE. And yes, there are third-party studies to back this up.

If you factor in the equipment cost for both carriers, you are actually paying $1080 more at the end of the 24 mth period. Assuming your phones are the average $600 each on Tmo and using the average $100 each + 2 yr contract with AT&T.

I didn't factor in equipment costs because there wasn't any. I literally transferred 6 phones I/we already owned to TMo.

My example was an actual personal experience, not a hypothetical. Now when it comes time for me to get a different phone, then yes, I will factor in the equipment cost. And even then it'll be about $200-$300 because I almost always buy a good condition phone second hand.

And $100 for a subsidized phone is not the average at AT&T. If you're going to use that average then you need to reduce the average smartphone cost down to $400-$500. If you're going to use $100 for the average sub. smartphone, then let's use $300 for the smartphone cost of a Nexus 4...

AND on top of that, you also have to factor in the cost of the $36 activation fee PER LINE with AT&T, which means another $216 to total cost. TMo no longer charges activation fees. Not to mention taxes. Here in CA, it's 9.5% tax where I live. So that $300/mo bill would actually be $328.50/mo, or in other words another $684 over 2 years ($28.50 for tax, per month for 24 months). TMo does not charge tax for service.

So for me, it would personally cost an extra $900, on top of whatever the ridiculous cost AT&T plan I was offered, just for the taxes/surcharges and activation fees!!!

No thank you...

The funny thing is they (at&t) always say "95% of... for everything. As an ex-employee I'm glad I'm an ex-employee.

You get what you pay for, and with T-Mobile you don't get a lot (of coverage). I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles City, the second largest (population) city in the U.S.. You'd think if a phone company was serious about providing the best service to the most customers that it would provide excellent service and coverage here, but T-Mobile doesn't.

Go inside a mall, dead zone. Go deep inside a large grocery store or Costco, dead zone. Go inside my office building (I have a corner window office), dead zone. T-Mo's pretty much useless unless you're outside or travelling along the major highways. AT&T can push a signal into all those places for the most part, and VZW pushes a strong signal into all of them. Yeah, you pay more for AT&T and VZW, but you get good reliable service. One only needs to look at OpenSignal or Sensorly maps to see how T-Mo pales in comparison to the other two networks.

I have SIX, yes, 6, active cell numbers, on three networks, so I can compare side-by-side in real life conditions any time I want. VZW almost invariably wins coverage and signal strength, T-Mo never does.

Re: cost. VZW shared minutes (1400), no texts, unlimited data on two lines, 4gb data on the third line, dumb phone on the fourth, under $200 per month. AT&T, one line, 700 minutes, no text, 5GB data with tethering, $83 per month. T-Mobile, unlimited data, unlimited texts, unlimited calls, $86 per month. Free texts do me no good, I use Google Voice for that. Unlimited minutes do me no good, I don't use any minutes as is.

I wish all those raving about how great T-Mo is would post where they live along with the praise.

Get a T-Mobile phone and take it to your office space that's all the way in the back corner,
Once there, go into your settings and change your network to automatic..

This will force your phone to look for a GSM signal.. No matter the provider.. Will solve your office issue, or just turn on the wi fi feature that all smart phones have

BTW kcmo home of Google fiber.. Lol

Turn on my wifi...wow, you mean my phone has wifi? Gee, I never knew. Thanks.

Gimme a break KC, our corporate wifi is locked down tight and not an option. My corner office is in the front of the building, overlooking the highway. My T-Mo cellphone is on automatic. T-Mo sucks in Los Angeles, that stuff won't push a signal into any of the places that they don't go here, despite the other big services managing to do the same.

You got any more brilliant suggestions?

Did you read the entire article? "Those currently on traditional plans won't have to switch to a Mobile Share plan, even if upgrading."

I still have an unlimited data plan with 3 other phones on the line. I looked at the shared data plans and it was going to cost me more money.

Yeah, and there's NO WAY in under a year you won't be forced into a Share Everything plan if you want a subsidized phone through AT&T again... These two companies are just proving that Ma Bell is still the a single entity working it's ass off to gouge customers, moving just slow enough so that the special ed kids in the regulatory system won't notice and split them up again...

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I pay 90/month for my wife and I on Straight talk. 5 GB before throttling. For that price, we'd get 300mb/month. To get what we have now would coat 150.

ATT sucks. VZW blows.

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One sucks and one blows: you'd think that would equate to a good time, lol.

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True, it's probably the money being sucked out of your wallet and blown away, lol.

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"Is this a good deal?" It's AT&T, it's never a good deal. This plan is for the birds.

$280 minimum for 5 smartphone lines? That's outrageous. $110 on T-Mobile for the same set up...

Actually, they're not drunk, just naturally stupid. Their new customer rates are going to plummet.

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Actually, they're smart from a business and profitability standpoint. They know people love their phones. They'll keep squeezing until they find that breaking point.

People seem willing to give up a lot of things in order to keep their smart phones.

This. No one on Android Central will like this move, myself included. However, until the majority votes with their wallets or voices any frustration, this makes perfect business sense.

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It's like gas prices. Up 400% in 15 years...a few cents at a time. We get squeezed, we scream, we adapt, we get used to it, we keep driving. Rinse & repeat.

Except gas is required at&t service is an option. But true its basically the same thing

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Some people feel that cell phones are not optional. Some people place cell phones, gas, and food on the same plane of prioritization.

Well yes but at&t service is an option you could go with a cheaper one. Without tradeoffs, no

Posted inside a time machine 30 years in the future

No they can't. Some can yes but s lot of people have crap T-Mobile and Sprint service where they need it.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Yes that's what I mean, I said with tradeoffs but at&t is still an option

Posted inside a time machine 30 years in the future

Yes that's what I mean, I said with tradeoffs but at&t is still an option

Posted inside a time machine 30 years in the future

People said the same thing when Verizon did this and the result was record subscribes. AT&T will be no different.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Why don't they just lump the $50 charge into the cost of each data tier? Or, is there a way to have a data tier and not pay the smart phone charge in which case how would they prevent people from signing up using a flip phone and then bringing their own smartphone?

Or, is this just a way to advertise their plans as one price and then hide the $50 fee in the fine print where people will not realize it's even there until they are in the store?

That smartphone charge is on top of the charge for the data plan itself. You pay for the amount of data you want, then you pay a charge on top of that for each device that can access that data.

If this sounds like an expensive ripoff, that's because it is.

Yes. And people get too caught up in the $50 ... That's the cosy of the FIRST GB. It gets cheaper per GB from there.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

the 50 per smartphone is not incorrect it's not right either what whatever s Ya that if you get 300mb it's 50 but if you get 1gig it's 45 then 4 it's 40 then 6gigs which us what I pay for it is 35 per smartphone.

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Actually, it IS correct. Check ATT's website. The per phone cost starts at 50 and goes down slowly as the data goes up.

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We must be part of the 5% for going to a Mobile Share plan would increase our bill $40 a month. We have the lowest talk available 550 and no texting (use Google Voice/Hangouts)

The problem is, few people actually need unlimited talk and text...especially talk. A&TT is essentially forcing upon people something that costs them next to nothing and they can't sell because few people use it, then spinning it as if it's generous on their part.

It's pretty much a rip unless you have more than 2 smartphones. I have four lines, two smartphones (me and the wife) and two dumbphones (parents) and it would raise my bill by 50 bucks a month and give us access to less data than the current 3gb per smartphone we currently have.

Very glad they aren't requiring current customers to switch.

Or find a company that won't gouge you this badly. Why reward AT&T by jumping in before the 25th? Better to not give them your money at all.

You are right. Vote with your wallet. Unfortunately ATT gives me the best coverage (on GSM) and the best value for my money. So I will lock in the price I want and in two years I will reconsider by what the landscape is like then. I would gladly go elsewhere if there were another carrier that a.) gave me good LTE coverage (excludes tmo and sprint), b) would not throttle my data when I hit a cap (excludes every mvno) and c) would work with the Nexus 5 (excludes vzw).

I am already on ATT so I can keep my plan but I currently use 450 mintues/pay per use text/ and 3gb of data for $70 a month with a 1 phone individual plan. Does this mean a new customer would have to pay $50 for 2gb plus $45 for 1 phone? Making it $95 for 2gb of data with unlimited talk/text or $110 for 4gb?

Man, these carriers really hate their customers. I go prepaid so I don't have to pay $90 minimum for the cheapest plan.

Looks like ATT just slit their wrists. I would never go to ATT or Verizon regardless of their network layout because even when your own it you can barely use it lol

Why pay out the arse to use a network that is everywhere 100% of the time but only up to a certain point when you run out of data. This is why I am still on Sprint. 97% of the year I have signal and 80% of that has LTE connection and of that I never worry about running out of data.

"95% of customer use cases" doesn't mean "95% of customers." It means they came up with 20 fictitious use cases where 19 of them were a better deal.

300 MBA = 2 and a half month, I used a total of 126 MB in September. Your usage scenarios don't apply to everyone. I ended up saving $10 even though these plans are rippoff in general because the 300MB plan got cheaper.

Posted via Android Central App with my HTC ONE

Correct, his usage scenarios don't apply to everyone. but they're more applicable than yours. 126 MB is less data than MLB At Bat uses in a single month (no streaming, just scores).

Depend on how many data hog apps you use, and how available is wifi in your life. I less than 2 hours outside of wifi range in a day(commute & lunch) and only lightly web browsing during that time & Download all my podcasts/audiobooks on wifi.

Most people don't fit your use case. Most people don't sweat every WiFi hotspot. Most of my data comes from my browser, which is certainly no data hog.
P.S. I pay less for my 2.5gb on straight talk (which uses ATT's network) than you do for 300mb... SUCKA!

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"...where most of us could care less how many minutes are attached to our plan..."

Couldn't care less. If you could care less, then why not care less?

Sure hope that T-Mobile is able to beef up their suburban/rural coverage in the next year or so, because the ATT/Verizon "sharing" debacle is ridiculous.

Thanks Sprint but if you change I will drop you off in the middle of town with your xxxxxxxcx hanging out like a cheap date

Posted from a van, down by the river

Wait til you see what they gunnu do next year .

Also vzw wont stand for this they are sure to follow in their steps... maybe even pass them .

I actually preemptively made this switch a few months ago.

Previous:
900 Minute plan with Rollover, Unlimited Text Feature, 3GB Personal LTE Data
Monthly: 105

Current:
4GB mobile Share with Unlimited Talk & Text, Samrtphone "Subscription" Fee
Monthly: 104

I gained a whole GB of data and saved about 75 cents per month.... whooo hoooo. And that's with my 16% OEM Partner discount. I've been a Cingular/AT&T customer for 10 years but god I hate their pricing.

I learned real quick that shared data is for the sheep. Was paying $142/mo for 2 lines with a discount that att made hard to even get. Shared data was only 1gb for the 2 lines. I was with them for only 3 mos.

With ST, we get 2.5gb per line and pay under $100 for the exact same service. Lesson learned.....SCREW U ATT AND YOUR RIP OFF PLANS! I'm so tired of big companies thinking everyone is a bunch of moneybag idiots that will pay whatever they say. Corporate greed is killing this country.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

Save 75 cents for now .... an pay 15 dollars more a month next year ..... maybe. looks like these carriers want to thin out the number of smartphones on their networks.
I wonder what the profit margin is ? We all know the gas companies have a huge profit margin.

I don't think that's the case, as the smartphone segment is only ever growing while feature phones are dwindling. I think the carriers simply want to justify that growing segment as justification for raising their rates and raping customers even more.

If I didn't still have my unlimited data plan for 85 dollars I'd be jumping ship. Att is out of control on their pricing.

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I've got 3 line with unlimited if the would every force me to change I would to another cell carrier its about price not loyalty

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So when VoLTE comes out at the end of this year/beginning of next, do people still think that their will be "unlimited" data plans out there?

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To put a little perspective, cheaper than Verizon and Sprint for a family of five. $290 for 5 smartphones with 10GB of data shared. Sprint's Myway is $310 and Verizon is $300. Tmobile is doing some great things but I constantly travel and it is not acceptable to have to reconnect to conference calls every five minutes because their coverage is not adequate outside of cities in my area.

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Making an apples to apples comparison of post paid providers. Sprint's still available Everything Data 1500 will be $240 a month but don't expect that to be around that much longer.

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It is a shame that ATT is so expensive compared to T-mobile. However I got no choice, T-mobile only have a 2G coverage in my area(30 mile area around the town) so I have to go ATT. At least the 300MB+text+data plan got $10 cheaper.

Pure evil!!! Why do people keep supporting this company? T-Mobile has HSPA+42 AND LTE!!! Fine network where I live (Ct).

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If im not mistaken you can still get the old sprint plan which im currently on $110 + 5 lines comes out to be $260 with unlimited web text and mind as well say mins to because we share 1500 yet doesn't seem like a lot but it actually is since you can call any mobile phone for free we use about 30 minutes a month out of that 1500 sounds like a deal to me and thats with my device by itself using a lil over 4gb my wife uses a lot more than i

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Your keyboard has a dot at the bottom right. I highly recommend pushing the button associated with it every so often.

What the hell is going on with the ATT and Verizon? They are getting harsher to their customers every year, while the rest of world is competing for a new accounts with better and better deals, these two jokers are doing quite the opposite. First they cut unlimited data, then raise the upgrade fee, then cut upgrade eligibility from 18 months to 24, then raise the prices across the line with shared data and so on. All while TMobile is getting friendlier and friendlier.

T-Mobile HAS to drop prices to get people. It doesn't have the physical coverage. It has to get the city folks, traditionally less affluent and not likely to travel outside of the limited reach of their towers and therefore not likely to notice or care about the smaller footprint.

People who are happy with T-Mobile tend to stay in the same neighborhood most of the time.

I pay $150/month for 2 smartphones (one at 2GB/month the other 300MB/month) and a feature phone ("dumbphone). I went in to AT&T one day to ask about mobile share... yeah it'd be around $200/month for the same plans features I have now. No thanks RapeT&T. No thanks

Yeah here on S I'm doing 2 smarts sharing 1500 landline minutes with unlimited everything else. We never even hit 1/3 of the only thing that's capped. I pay $140. No dumb phone though.

Who would stay with this god awful carrier when you can go to T-Mobile and get better service for FAR CHEAPER?

What a laughably moronic company.

Is this just for newlines or current accounts? If they force current accounts won't that break the TOS and be forced to release you from your current contract

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I literally just switched to tmobile this month and I have to say... I'm glad I did. Cheaper plan, able to change phones every six months... what more could I ask for?

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ATTW why would you try to mirror another carriers plan which I find Verizon has terrible service I have had Attw for over 20 years+ I have been a loyal customer BUT if you dare to make me share data for me + my 2 family members I will change carriers and FLIP the loyalty. What o Why would you or any other company force something on a customer are you really trying to mirror Verizon or the government to take away a customers individual right to have want they would like -- Offer the option not force it!

Honestly as a rep it is better the only use case in which the old plan structure is possibly cheaper is if ur a single line typically there family talk with individual data plans is more expensive with more than one line often a mobile share transfer can save a customer an average of 30 dollars.... That being said ID rather pay more for unlimited but 15gigs. Does my family just fine with 3 likes moto X HTC one and Samsung mega with me being the power user streaming music to my cars stereo every time I drive

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I've been expecting this for quite some time. People are going here are going to hate me for saying these (because most of them fall into the 5% or at least think they do) but this a better deal for almost everyone with 2 or more smart phones. I've seen it myself running the numbers with dozens of customers.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Better for 95% of customers huh.... The moon is made from cheese too

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Just looked in to tmobile in would save 100.00 a month and ill be able to use my current att phones with all 4 lines in wifi 98% of the time it's a no brainer really with staying with the mobile share I would pay an extra 42 a month

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My wife and I still have our grandfathered unlimited data. Daughter has the 3gb LTE plan, mom has a feature phone.

As an AT&T employee I get a 50% discount on my first line only. Switching to the Family Share plan would cost me about $30/mo more. I stream Google Play Music to/from work daily and always hit the 5gb throttle cap.

If they take my unlimited data, employee or not, I'll switch.

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Right now I have an old 550 min family plan with 3 lines on it. One line has the grandfathered unlimited data. The 2nd line has the grandfathered 200 mb data. The 3rd line is a feature phone with no data. I have unlimited family texting. What happens if I change the 3rd line to a smart phone and also if I add a 4th line smart phone? Can I keep my two grandfathered data plans? What about the two new smartphone data plans? Right now I can just add a data plan to them individually.

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All these complaints, just go prepaid. Straight Talk is $45, No FCC charges or taxes, other than sales tax, On AT&T's network. They're even offering LTE now. Why bother with The big three and their rip off schemes every year. Unless you need ridiculous amounts of data, Straight Talk actually lists 2.5Gb's of data before being throttled unlike before when it was a guessing game. You can try out their T-Mobile SIM if thats more your fancy.

I mean theres a lot more, Net 10 and whatever else is out there for around the same $45-55 ranges. So why complain about these greedy bastards when they find new ways to rip us off each year. Just go prepaid and forget about these joke, excuses of new plans they come up with every year to suck you dry. I mean you still will be on the greedy bastards networks, except you wont be paying there greedy prices.

Why not switch? Only if you have to travel. I am in the position now where I need the unlimited minutes. But don't think it doesn't burn me to have to pay so much for data (VZW). It's going to be a generation before any change can occur, probably, where we will stop getting ripped off.

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