AT&T announces new data plans and tethering; kills unlimited iPad option

With the release of the next iPhone looming, AT&T has decided to officially announce its new data plans and their prices. Touting the new plans as "lower-priced," the company is allowing its customers to upgrade to them without re-signing their contracts. However, should you prefer your current plan, there's no obligation to switch. CEO, Ralph de la Vega, says the company is trying to break free from the idea that one size fits all. It is his belief that the new plans will make mobile data more affordable, and therefore, reach more people.

The new plans will launch on June 7th. Regarding the tethering plan, AT&T flat-out says that the iPhone will support it once iPhone OS 4 is released this summer (probably next week at WWDC). Voice and text plans will remain the same, but the following are what you, as a consumer, can expect as your data options:

DataPlus - 200 MB of data ($15/month)

  • Send/receive 1,000 emails without attachments and 150 with attachments
  • View 400 web pages
  • Post 50 photos to social media sites
  • Watch 20 minutes of streaming video
  • If you go over, you get another 200 MB chunk for an additional $15

DataPro - 2 GB of data ($25/month)

  • Send/receive 10,000 emails without attachments and 1,500 with attachments
  • View 4,000 web pages
  • Post 500 photos to social media sites
  • Watch 200 minutes of streaming video
  • If you go over, you get another 1 GB chunk for an additional $10
  • Will replace $30 unlimited iPad plan

Tethering ($20/month)

  • For all smartphones, including iPhone
  • Must already be on the DataPro plan (read: to use it, you have to ditch your unlimited data plan)

AT&T claims these plans "provide large amounts of data" to consumers. The reasoning for the above pricing structure is that 65% of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data a month on average, while 98% use less than 2 GB. It should be noted that Apple's iPad will no longer receive a special $30 unlimited data plan. Customers will now be stuck with the DataPro plan. Current customers who already have the unlimited plan may keep it, if they choose. All plans come with unlimited access to over 20,000 AT&T Hot Spots across the country, as well as data monitoring tools. Customers may visit www.att.com/dataplans for more information.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Hulu coming to Xbox Live?

Next Story

Google Chrome OS to launch in autumn

100 Comments

View more comments

(Spork) said,

proof ?

No proof out there yet... But it was my thought as well. I'd be willing to bet on verizon. AT&T and verizon have been following each other in price and options for years. Not sure about the other providers.

mranderson1st said,
ATT is not the only company going to do it; they are just the first to have their plans and costs published. Get ready to hear from Verizon and Spring shortly.

Sprint seems to be doin a lot to attract customers, if they don't use caps their customer base could grow A LOT

Wow, current iPad customers on the unlimited data plan should be jumping for joy, everyone else coming in after June 7th is going to get bent over, AT&T style. *golf clap* to AT&T for [yet again] bending over their customers. Does AT&T have anyone in their marketing department with more than one brain cell and/or a grip on reality??

I can't believe it... it makes sense though... they start with a really good deal and then switch it when everyone is hooked. I wonder whats going to happen when the time to renew your plan comes... will you get the unlimited or the new one. AT&T keeps sucking more and more each day!

Edited by 0sit0, Jun 2 2010, 8:20pm :

ir0nw0lf said,
Wow, current iPad customers on the unlimited data plan should be jumping for joy, everyone else coming in after June 7th is going to get bent over, AT&T style.

While I'd agree with the second half, I wouldn't be so quick to say current customers are in a good spot now. Yes, they don't have any immediate changes to their plan. But, I'd imagine they'll end up in the same boat when they want a new device or even possibly when their current contract is up. They also now have a device that is less desireable to new customers, and as such potentially less interesting for developers making new apps.

I don't get how they can block tethering. Isn't tethering supposed to go over the same AP etc? With my random SE phone I have been able to tether for at least the last 5 years, and since it uses the same connection as my phone, how can tethering be blocked?

Also, those are really expensive. I pay €15 ($18.30) for 1GB, 1 hour call time, 1000 texts /month.

Ambroos said,
I don't get how they can block tethering. Isn't tethering supposed to go over the same AP etc? With my random SE phone I have been able to tether for at least the last 5 years, and since it uses the same connection as my phone, how can tethering be blocked?

Also, those are really expensive. I pay €15 ($18.30) for 1GB, 1 hour call time, 1000 texts /month.

The iPhone, and other phones, will check your plan on AT&T before allowing you to tether. There was a workaround for iPhone OS 3 to get free AT&T tethering, but it was shut in 3.1.2, I believe.

Ambroos said,
I don't get how they can block tethering. Isn't tethering supposed to go over the same AP etc? With my random SE phone I have been able to tether for at least the last 5 years, and since it uses the same connection as my phone, how can tethering be blocked?

Also, those are really expensive. I pay €15 ($18.30) for 1GB, 1 hour call time, 1000 texts /month.

AT&T runs 2 cell access points. They are wap.cingular and isp.cingular. On most phones wap.cingular is blocked from tethering access and isp.cingular is the only one let through but if you try to use it without a tethering plan you will find yourself locked out. Windows Mobile phones are no different but there is a registry mod to enable the Media Net profile for tethering.

I just switched to verizon, I bought me the incredible It's not a bad phone, except the keyboard is a little cramped when its not in panoramic mode, other then that am loving it. I just have 1 question what file format for movies does this thing support, the only other downside to this phone I see is the storage, I wished it had a 64 gig drive in it.

medium_pimpin said,
MF'ing at&t

When my contract is up in March, I'm going to check out the Android phones on Verizon.

Verizon is no better, unfortunately.

The $30 unlimited plan was a selling point for the iPad 3G for me. I am currently at 1.4GB with 10 Days left. Im just kind of shocked (but not really) That they would hype up the plan for the 3G and then change it about 1 month after its released.

Its stupid to do this. One of my biggest gripes about smartphones is the forcing you into a data plan you wont use. If I was going to use it its going to use up way more than 5gb thats for sure. So either allow unlimited or allow people to not get the data plan. Thats what they should have done.

Gotenks98 said,
Its stupid to do this. One of my biggest gripes about smartphones is the forcing you into a data plan you wont use. If I was going to use it its going to use up way more than 5gb thats for sure. So either allow unlimited or allow people to not get the data plan. Thats what they should have done.
You'd use up over 5GB on the smartphone alone? I could see maybe tethering, but just on the smartphone? That's pretty crazy.

UNTIL the old plan mysteriously "just breaks" their computer system. As many others have mentioned, when AT&T has done this sort of thing in the past, this "grandfathering promise" has had a real shelf-life of about 1-2 years...tops.

hmm I switch to Att cause had no choice I got drop by T-Mobile because I was out of there coverage area so they let me keep my blackberry bold 9700 for free and with unlock code and contract waive hehe. I don't like Att or Verizon especially Verizon over price *******. Kind of annoying Tethering they charge separate awhile T-Mobile plan were unlimited and texting I would Tethering all I want without no complain from them...

Commenting is disabled on this article.