AT&T has announced they will be lowering their data plans for smartphones to either a $15 per month entry plan for 200 megabytes (MB) of data or a $25 per month plan with 2 gigabytes (GB) of data. They will also charge another $20 for a tethering plan, which will be compatible with the iPhone. The losers in this deal are the iPad 3g customers who will not get unlimited data. 2GB of data on an iPhone or BlackBerry is an acceptable amount, especially considering that they will only charge $10/GB used over the cap. However on an iPad with streaming Netflix, and users using it basically as an on the go computer replacement that 2GB cap will come and go with a quickness. You have untill June 10th to get your iPad 3g with the Unlimited data plan if you want that.
Unfortunately is still looks like you cannot purchase a data/voice package through AT&T unless you sign a two year contract. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind this and it’s hit close to home recently after purchasing an iPhone 3g and realizing I’d have to sign a two year contract to activate it. This is not the case on all of the other carriers I have researched so far. Come on AT&T, whats the deal? That being said, the 2GB DataPro plan is looking pretty attractive to me right now.
“AT&T helps mobilize everything on the Internet – your favorite web sites, TV shows, music, games and social networks. Virtually everything previously done while sitting at a computer can now be done on the go,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “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.”
Each plan includes unlimited access at no additional charge to more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots in the U.S. Customers can also use unlimited Wi-Fi at home, in the office or elsewhere if available. AT&T will also help customers manage their wireless data usage by sending free text messages after customers reach different usage intervals and by providing online tools, including a smartphone app that shows monthly usage information.
The new wireless data plans – including a new tethering option – will be available beginning June 7. Current AT&T voice and texting plans are unchanged.
The new AT&T plans provide large amounts of data to enable people to enjoy their favorite online activities:
* DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month.** This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.
* DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month.** Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.
* Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering lets customers use their smartphones as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.
With the new wireless data plans, pricing for a smartphone voice and data bundle now starts at just $54.99 per month for an individual plan, or $24.99 per month for an additional line on a FamilyTalk plan, $15 per month less than the price of the previous entry level bundle.
For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their wireless data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the $29.99 per month unlimited plan can keep that plan or switch to the new $25 per month plan with 2 GB of data.