AT&T

AT&T just dropped a bit of a bombshell, doing away with its "unlimited" data plans in favor some new tiered options. Before we go into details, note that current voice and data plans won't change unless you want them to, and the new plans won't be available until June 7. Now, for the meat:

  • The DataPlus plan: You get 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month. If you go over that, you get another 200MB for another $15. AT&T says that 65 percent of its smartphone customers use less than 200MB a month. (Surely that's nobody here.)
  • The DataPro plan: You get 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month. If you go over that, you get another 1GB for $10. AT&T says 98 percent of its customers use less than 2GB a data a month. (For what its worth, even I fall under that category.)
  • Tethering: Finally -- legitimate tethering on AT&T (for better or for worse, 'cause you're gonna have to share this with iPhone and iPad users). Another $20 a month gets you access, and you'll be pulling from the same 2GB pool as the DataPro plan. So if you start going over, you might not be saving all that much, if any.

For some of you, this could save a lot of money. Others will bemoan the loss of "unlimited" (we keep using that in quotes because it never was truly unlimited) data plans in favor of tiered pricing. If you need help figuring out what's best for you, check out AT&T's myWireless Android app, look at your bill, or consult a psychic. Either one should do. [AT&T]

 
There are 69 comments

kmatheny says:

So does this mean that 3GB is the absolute maximum you can ever get with AT&T?

Foxman says:

Nope, you pay 10$ for every extra GB and 15$ for every extra 200MB of data above your quota respectively.

djtarique says:

thats why I left ATT for sprint. they are horrible with pricing. and people are still crying about $10 that sprint wants to charge for the evo

atrpm says:

and then we have people here bitching about Sprint $10 extra for premiun services or $30 for unlimeted 4G tether??? C'mom people. I can even think how much they are going to charge for 4G... Sprint is the best value period!

mritter88 says:

They did this just before the next iPhone is to be unveiled... I have a feeling this has more to do with the next iPhone, which (as it has been leaked) will probably support tethering.

atrpm says:

iPhone 3GS already supporst tethering!

mritter88 says:

Yeah you're right, not sure what I was thinking of. That being said AT&T does not support tethering on the iPhone (the OS does, and other carriers have it, but not AT&T), so I guess now they will starting with iPhone OS4. Can't wait to see how poorly the network performs now.

bkj216 says:

Sadly this is the future for 4G pricing. Phone companies have been saying for a while now they wanted to create Tiered pricing, and heeere we go

If other carriers start adopting this (in my case VZW) I will fight back with my wallet by switching to another carrier that dosen't! I wouldn't mind getting an Evo anyhow. ;)

bkj216 says:

Actually...after reviewing my past Verizon bills since I've had my Droid (Novemeber 09), the most data I've ever used is around 450mb. I seem to average around 250mb monthly. So really, I guess it sucks more that they take away the title of "Unlimited" when in reality I really dont need all that much. I guess a tiered 2gb plan wouldn't be all that bad really (for a phone atleast).

Now for tethering that's a whoooole different thing. I could download more than 2 gigs in one day if I wanted, heck in a few hours really.

leonffs says:

Try staying that low with tethering :P.

daneUryZzl says:

>I could download more than 2 gigs in one day if I wanted, heck in a >few hours really.

Lol, Not on AT&T's network.

Awake says:

This is At&t's future, Verizon's future are tiered plans. Sprint launched their 4G, we've already seen their future.

boriqua2000 says:

it's a great time to switch to sprint.just a couple of days until the EVO4G.

riggsandroid says:

I used 920mb in a light month on my HTC Sprint Hero. If I'm running a better phone, I'm at least double that.

I pay $105 for 2 lines with unlimited mobile to mobile, unlimited data (5gb), unlimited messaging on Sprint.

On AT&T, I would pay $50 alone for 2gb of data each. What about messaging? And for minutes?

Plus the fear of always going over. Hell no. All you poor iphone users....

D3fPo3t says:

actually u have unlimited data on you lines ther is no 5gb cap
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2107/40108855.jpg
thats my average usage a month and my bill is 102 a month after discount with two hero's on my plane

BoNg420 says:

This would be bad for anyone who streams music alot. All I really use my data for is, facebook and email. I barely use the net on my phone. Glad I have verizon for now, but I know I don't use that much data, so I wouldn't mind if they made something where I could get some data cheaper..

Channan says:

Wow. This is bullshit! I rarely use more than 1GB a month, but I have used over 2GB every now and then.

Screw you you guys. Ever since I got my first iPhone, I've been defending you on how great your service has been. Now, when I get off my parents plan, I'm leaving.

pjames6 says:

I use a ton of data. Don't go this route Verizon!

Awake says:

Unfortunately Verizon will be having something similar, the CEO of Verizon says they will have tiered plans next year.

jaeisber says:

I wonder how this will affect people (like me) with month to month plans, not on contract.

MarqBland says:

You might as well get prepared for it...get out your vaseline.

jaeisber says:

That is what Im afraid of. Im already considering selling my Nexus to get on to a sprint contract...

jam4775 says:

These plans are not that bad if you don't use a lot of data, they will definitely benefit some people. BUT... the additional charge for tethering is some BS!!! You are already paying for each pool of data and if you go over they will charge extra for the next pool... so what's the tether charge for??!! As much as the new pricing for the EVO makes me mad, these other carriers just keep making Sprints pricing look even better.

icebike says:

Exactly.

Why charge for tether when charging by the tier?

Double dipping.

myriad46 says:

So...$15 for 0 - 200 MB, $30 for 201 MB - 400 MB, or $25 for 201 MB - 2000MB. Where's the $20 for 1 GB? Shouldn't the average charge on the lesser plan be equal to or less than the upper plan? Oh that's right, not if you want to rob people blind. Just like unlimited texting costs $20/month, but if you send 10,000 texts with no plan, they'll charge you $2500, instead of signing you up for the plan automatically.

What is wrong with this country, that we accept services like this with no complaint. Ridiculous.

babybear293 says:

what is wrong with this country or ANYONE who would send 10k TXT msgs & not have a MESSAGING PLAN? :-/.

babybear293 says:

proud Sprint User :-)
never had AT&T never will. i've had Family members that had AT&T & only stayed for 1yr max & that was by force b/c they didnt want to pay the dreaded deactivation fee, but did anyway. *smh*

I saw this and this was my official response.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

If I was an AT&T shareholder, I'd be demanding a stockholders meeting for the termination of Ralph De La Vega's job. This will drive customers to any carrier that offers unlimited data. If they didn't offer unlimited data, I would be forced to drop my phone completely. I use way too much data to go back to tiered pricing.

That's why I'm on Sprint. No way will I be forced by any carrier to go back to tiered pricing.

Tiered pricing makes no sense. With content growing in both size & software in complexity, there's no way tiered will work for 21st century internet. We've got plenty of bandwidth. This is just a blatant ripoff by AT&T.

Folks, if you're with AT&T, use the terms of service change to cancel & go somewhere else. If you want to renew for the new iPhone, DON'T! Go get the Evo or the Incredible. AT&T needs to be hammered by the wrath of the consumer here with cancellations & customer loss. I hope we get AT&T's CEO Ralph De La Vega's head on a silver platter.

Verizon is next.

MarqBland says:

I hate Vz as much as I hate AT&T, but at least if Vz starts doing that, you can rest assured that your money actually goes to a reliable network. If I were paying for AT&T, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that my money does nothing but go directly into the pockets of AT&T's execs. Gotta love being ripped off! Sprint FTW!

power2nv says:

My take on this matter, if AT&T really believes the average smartphone consumer uses less than 2GB in a month, why put a CAP (what are they so worried about). When Verizon usually starts a trend, AT&T follows or vice-versa, than all other carriers will follow. Thats's the stressing part of it all. I personally use an average of 3.5GB + in a month. Why or how some people may ask, it's simple, I can use my broadband anywhere with little or no issues. Most people right now don't use as much but very much like texting back in the days, it started slow and now everyone uses it. So while some may think it's great and $5 cheaper, is unlimited worth losing over 5 bucks. I don't think so!

eric.atx says:

Verizon is the nickel and dime king. I fully expect them to go this route next. Whatever they can squeeze out of their customers they do! Although I hope they don't because I don't want this to be a trend. As long as my simply everything plan stays they way it is with unlimited everything then I have no worries.

rufflez says:

Poor Phil, dare I say your N1 is crippled now?

storm14k says:

Well this is probably what everyone is going to go to unless at least one carrier stands up and says no. I'm going to start looking at my usage in detail now. I like to stream music and talk radio programs that I can't get in my area. I'm with Verizon and I will be pissed if they go to this model and cut my listening habits short.

s0nic69 says:

a lot of people were waiting for flash on their android phones. Now that it might be coming and you will be able to watch videos on hulu and stuff, they add this 2gb limit (plus the $10 for every gb you go over)

organix says:

Good point

slvrprelude says:

yea worked for att and still had sprint.. my gf still works there and yea the form they sent out today lol i love sprint

JayCudi says:

And to think I was considering cancelling my contract with Sprint and switching to AT&T...

I feel sorry for those that will be affected by the new changes.

I'm sure it won't be long before Verizon (The Overpriced network) follows

You cannot beat Sprint's simply unlimited everything plan..
This makes Sprint's Evo charges ($30 MH & $10 4G charge) look tame.

nutflush920 says:

Glad I am with Sprint. Evo here I come. I hope my at&t stock rebounds to what I paid for it so I can sell sell sell.

sweet

Android and iphone users should be paying more. me, who is using a blackberry, use way less bandwidth because:
1) blackberry condenses everything
2) blackberry has a defunct browser that is more trouble than it's worth to use. so its like i am paying subsidies for you android and iphone users when I don't reap the benefits.

To me, it's only fair. If a car uses more gasoline and another car, you pay more at the pump.

daneUryZzl says:

So you think it'd be more fair to the consumer to rape everyone else harder instead of simply charging you less?

To follow your terrible car analogy it would be like you were getting over-charged for gas and had a car that got 100mpg and to make it more 'fair' you want everyone else to get over-charged too.

You gotta learn to use your thinkin' head there boy.

power2nv says:

This is why America is behind in technology, carriers can do whatever they want and however they want. Eventually, a family share plan bill will match a car payment. Wait,...... I am almost there.

Beezzy says:

OMG Thank god I'm leaving At&t this week! I use almost 3-4GB every month since I use Pandora alot when Im working out! Sprint and Evo 4G ftw!

wow, with my blackberry i only used 7mb last month with just email and 22mb so far in 7 days. i would def benefit from this. i hope tmo adopts this too, and keeps the unlimited plans also for those who like those.

Also, I think people are forgetting they get wifi. so when you are at home, just switch to wifi so that you can keep you usage somewhat down.

organix says:

How much does AT&T currently charge for "unlimited" data?

TXSpazz says:

Nice timing. I've only got ATT for two more days. Not uncommon for me to go over 2 Gig... and that's on EDGE.

I just looked online, and I've already used 1.5 GB.. And It's been a "light" month....

organix says:

I'm a little confused here. The iphone currently charges $30 a month for unlimited...this says that 98% of users fall under 2 gb ($25). Isn't this a discount? Or am I missing something?

daneUryZzl says:

That's called "drinking the kool-aide"

It may very well benefit you currently, but you are fooling yourself if you think that your (and everyone elses) data consumption won't keep going up as more content goes online, gets bigger and is used more frequently.

Was this rumor about $199 for new customer $299 for exsisting customers and $599 for no contract true...or will it be $449 for me? Tweet if possible. @elipsisinthough

EEZ123#AC says:

I believe this is only for new contracts? If so you can remain on your current plan for as long as you want. However I am sure ATT will be watching your data a little more closely.

myanez says:

LOL @ Att, This a big mistake... to many other choices for good phones and carriers to do this.

Why would anyone want to stay with a carrier that is going to charge your extra for everything you do? Tethering? Pandora, Video phone? Music steaming from personal desktop? skype? Sling mobile?
and many more... all these features use data and are now going to cost extra to use no matter how you look at it.

jspidey says:

It says you can keep your current "Unlimited" plan (which I have for $30/mo) and I plan on keeping it. $30 for "Unlimited" (aka - 5GB) vs. $25 for 2GB (or $55 for 5GB to make things equal) - there's no way I'm going to let that go for $5.

showson1 says:

HAHA.. $20 extra a month for tethering and it's pulling from your same data plan?

Poor iPhone users, I'm so glad I ditched that thing and got my N1 on T-Mobile.

JeffDenver says:

I dont think AT&T users have a lot to worry about. After all, you need to have an actual data connection to use the data anyway, right? I guess that is one advantage to having such a crappy network.

Spork1673 says:

i think at&t just put the final nail in the coffin this is going to drive so many people to other companies

gordo8631 says:

Well with this its for new contracts so if you already have unlimited and dont have to change your data package you will sgay with unlumited data at least it is that way with verizon

gibsonhtp#IM says:

Yes, according to the press release, this is only for new customers, though if existing customers want tethering, they will have to switch over to the Data Pro plan to get the tethering.

nutflush920 says:

So they aren't making existing customers change to this new pricing? I'd be willing to bet this only applies to you keeping whatever device/contract you have now and that the next time you get an upgrade, you'll be forced to change over to the new pricing structure.

frettfreak says:

Just another GREAT reason why i am switching to sprint on Friday! AT$T is HORRIBLE with their customer service, their plans are the most expensive in the industry and THIS is the best they could come up with to stay competitive? I will be saving $90 a MONTH by switching to Sprint and that is WITH the $10 extra for the evo!!

BYE BYE AT$T

myanez says:

Just confirmed with a friend who works at a att store. You get to keep your current plan. However if you want to buy a new phone like the new Iphone or you want to be able to use new features like tethering you will have to change your plan to a current plan they are providing. New phone new contract. Unless you purchase that phone outright without a new contract. Also upgrading to 4g in the upcoming year will require a new data plan.

Blueriver says:

Extra charge for tethering when it's still using the data from the same data plan??? That's BS.

If data was unlimited, that's understandable. But with limited data, they charge extra for it's usage? I cannot understand.

the idea of charging extra for tethering on any carrier is ridiculous. You're still using the same bandwidth, the data's just going to a different screen.

Colin says:

we already pretty much know the next iphone is going to have video chat, so this change makes no sense. Say what you will about Apple, but they aren't stupid. They know that mobile internet is going to need more and more data in the future. I'm reserving judgement about this announcement until after the 4th Gen iPhone announcement next week. I think there's a piece of the puzzle missing.

daneUryZzl says:

I agree, there is certainly something missing.

...this also makes a ton more sense out of Sprint's $10 "premium service" fee. It seemed odd to me that this would come out of thin air, but this seems to be their version of restructured data plans.

On Sprint you've gotta pay an extra $10 to help build out the new infrastructure, on AT&T you've gotta cap your usage to help support their struggling infrastructure.

...but the final piece has yet to be seen. Whatever, I can't wait for Evo.

cajunrph says:

Just how long do you think they will leave the unlimited data plans out there. This does nothing for all the data hogs out there. If they check their usage an see anything north of 2 gigs they will stay on the unlimited plan? So AT&T just decreased revenue and still has the data hogs on the unlimited plan. This may stop any new data hogs from coming about. I'd bet in the future that the unlimited plans will go the way of the Dodo bird. And we will have all tiered pricing on the plans. The CEO of AT&T said this in the past.

Marcshall says:

Long time reader, first time poster.

This news though, made me want to show my sympathy for you americans in regards of your service providers. While you may have an advantage when your providers have easiere access to releasing countrywide services, like movies or music, you seem to be severely lacking compitition on the market. Here in europe, the phone service are alot cheaper and in scandinavia, where I am from, using your phone is getting cheaper by the day. The phone company i'm using, who I'm not even contracted with - I can legally "leave" by stop adding funds to my account, I pay $0,1 a minut, where I'm charged by the second, texts are $0,01 a piece and for $8 I get 1 gb data and if I exceed that, I pay $0,05 a mb. I have an average bimonthly phonebill of $32!
Also, no phone companies can have policies regarding tethering, you cannot be contracted for more than 6 months and we have more or less the same phones available as you.

I just find it very hard the american service providers have it much more expensive that the european ones, so something could and should be done to bring those ridiculus prices down!