AT&T Introduces New Wireless Data Package

AT&T shook up the mobile space this AM with the introduction of new wireless data packages that go into effect next week… just in time for the fourth generation iPhone and as an accompaniment to the new $325 smartphone early termination fee (ETF).

For the last couple years, 5GB and Unlimited data have been pretty much synonymous for the carriers – with consumer rates generally running $30/month. But times are a’changing and we’re heading into an era of more tightly metered usage. Within just the last two weeks Verizon has alluded to data buckets, Sprint’s raised rates to $40 on their flagship EVO smartphone, and AT&T will be reducing rates… along with a lowered data ceiling.

AT&T’s “DataPro” plan will run $25/mo and includes 2GB of data usage, with overages running $10/GB. All in all, it’s not an unreasonable proposition as AT&T states 98% of their customers consume less than 2GB a month. In looking at my stats, I’m comfortably under the cap at <500MB/month. (Then again, I’m also without service about 8 hours a day from an AT&T dead zone.)

The revised data package will be effective on new AT&T smartphone service subscriptions. Additionally, existing customers have the option to swap their current plan (without triggering a contract extension). One reason to make a change is to potentially save $60/yr. And, for iPhone customers, the only way to enable upcoming tethering functionality (for another $20/mo) is to embrace the new plan. Which is really the only thing that rubs me the wrong way… If I’m paying by the byte, why should my connection method or usage patterns matter?

Also, file this one under the ‘poor planning’, ‘just kidding’, or maybe ‘false advertising‘ category: Merely 6 weeks after launching “breakthrough” pricing on unlimited iPad data service, that plan is history.

9 thoughts on “AT&T Introduces New Wireless Data Package”

  1. Wow. I had been holding out with my Centro waiting for the new iPhone, but that is out of the question now. Looking at my Sprint bills, my lowest usage is over 3 GB. I am routinely over 5GB. I stream Pandora and Sling all of the time. It would be less if I was contentious about using WiFi when it was available but to me that defeats the purpose.

    Now my upgrade will be a Droid of some kind. I live in a 4G city but travel enough to know I want to leave Sprint. I travel to NJ frequently and as soon as the plane lands I set my phone into “Roam on Verizon” mode since I know I won’t have sufficient native Sprint coverage.

    Unless Verizon announces they are following suit soon, I will probably hold out until the Shadow launches next month. Otherwise, I guess an Incredible is in my future.

  2. You want to leave iphone? Yes our plans are 150 a month ..You cant afford it? ok well give us another 325 sucka

  3. I too think the extra $20 just for the privilege of using my allotted data in a different fashion is ludicrous. Since we are moving to metered data then it should be true metered, the electric company doesn’t charge me a $20 fee because I want to plug in my dishwasher.

  4. I’ve very pleased and expect to save $240 a year.

    My wife loves her iPhone, but since she has WiFi available almost all day, she only uses about 60-200MB a month yet I’ve been paying $30 a month for it for the past 2 years. And I don’t ever get close to the 2GB limit either so I look forward to the $5/mo saving myself.

    The only thing that could be better is if they let you do a data family plan then I could simply pay the $25 for both instead of $40. But hey it’s better than nothing.

  5. I have been waiting to get a phone that uses any significant amount of data until the data prices are reasonable. This brings us one step closer. To be honest I think the only problem with the announced pricing is the cost for extra data on on the 200MB plan. It should be $15 for 1GB not 200MB. (Or maybe even $5 for 200MB) Right now I completely do not use data or text messages, because they want too much for them. I am actually waiting for my Verizon phone to come out of contract ~1 month to go, so I can sign up for a prepaid plan that has 1200 min, 1200 texts, and 50MB for $30. Overages are 12 cents/min, 15 cents/text, and 60 cents/MB. I am hoping that changes by the big guys will also push down wholesale prices for places like this prepaid provider. The only catch with the prepaid providers are you are responsible for your own phone purchase. Something I am more than willing to deal with.

  6. Good and bad. I will likely switch the wife to the $15/mo plan since she generally is on WiFi a lot and stays under 200MB. Save us $15 which is nice. But her trend is upwards so she might end up on the $25 plan. No big risk given she probably won’t ever go over 2GB. For me I’ve never gone over 1.6GB so I could switch but with OS 4 coming unless I decide to pay for tethering I’ll probably stay on unlimited since I can’t get back on later.

    The tethering charge is fine but it’s bullshit that it doesn’t offer any additional bandwidth. And of course the iPad can’t be tethered which is ridiculous. Probably stay with the MiFi which works with multiple devices including the iPad for now. Might change my mind though. Fewer devices. Fewer bills. Quicker way to get online…

  7. The only thing that I don’t understand is the $20 for tethering. What exactly am I paying for? I get 2GB for $25/mo. The phone already does tethering. What exactly is AT&T providing for $20/mo??? Is it a $20 bribe to stop crippling my phone?

  8. Well,have Nokia Lumina (2 year contract) with all req’d pkgs. Not happy with voice mail, why second phone number req’d? Had $7.99 10 cent a min pay-as-you-goVirgin Mobile for 4 years. Smart phone overpriced advertising package.
    Like: instant downoad to compter via Zune and windows live. reply to voice mail with voice mail by #6 button. Internet accessibility.
    Dislike: so many windows for simple tasks. Duplication of features.

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