AT&T Revamps Smartphone Data Pricing
AT&T’s $30 “unlimited” smartphone data plans are going away (though if you’re on it you’re grandfathered in and if you want it you can still get it).
Starting June 7 pricing is either a $15 per month “DataPlus” plan for 200MB ($15 for each additional 200MB) or $25 for a “DataPro” 2GB plan ($10 for each additional GB). You can switch on the fly, including retroactively switching your current month’s plan if you find you’ve gone way over. The same plans apply to the iPad and tethering for the iPhone will be offered for an additional $20.
AT&T says 98 percent of its smartphone subscribers use less than 2GB a month. And Engadget says it looks like a good deal for most of us:
We mentioned that the change stands to hurt a few users, and it’s true — we’re extremely heavy smartphone users here, for example, and we’re hard-pressed to break even a gigabyte of usage in a month; anyone doing a boatload of video streaming though, or lacking access to WiFi at home and the office (AT&T’s quick to boast about its 20,000-odd hotspots) might find themselves regularly slamming headlong into that 2GB cap, and there won’t be any option but to buy overage. For what it’s worth, [AT&T Mobility's senior vice president of data and voice products Mark] Collins pointed out to us that the plans will feature automatic text and email alerts at 65, 90, and 100 percent usage of your monthly allowance (and at 75 and 100 percent usage of each overage purchase), so it should be pretty easy to keep an eye on things and make sure you don’t break the bank.
But Mashable says it’s not so good for iPad customers:
Even the most active iPhone users won’t burn through more than a couple of gigabytes every month, but iPad is a far more demanding device traffic-wise, and activities such as Netflix streaming will quickly exceed the limit in AT&T’s DataPro plan. 2 gigabytes per month is just not enough data for a device such as the iPad, and we sense that many users will feel let down by AT&T’s new data plans.
The days of “unlimited” data plans are probably gone for good. The company press release.
LATER: AT&T’s flexibility extends all the way to current iPhone customers who buy a new phone. They may keep the $30/month unlimited plan even when they upgrade to a new iPhone.