Print 70 comment(s) - last by Gaiacom Wirele.. on Jun 6 at 6:03 PM

AT&T says that the new plans are "right-sized" for its customers

AT&T is making some big changes to the way it charges for data usage with its smartphones. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam gave us a hint of these upcoming changes for its own 4G service last week (and AT&T has mentioned it before), but AT&T is now implementing them across the board on its current 3G network.

AT&T is replacing its current $30/month unlimited data plan with DataPlus and DataPro. DataPlus will give users access to 200MB of data a month for only $15/month. If customers go over the 200MB cap, they will be charged $15 for another 200MB of data instead of the currently outrageous per/MB overage charges.

The new top-ranging data plan is called DataPro and gives users a monthly cap of 2GB for $25/month. Once customers fly past their monthly cap, AT&T will charge an additional $10 for another gigabyte of data. For example, if a customer uses 2.01GB of data, you'll be charged $35.

For those that only use relatively small amounts of data, but see a spike in usage for some reason, AT&T makes it easy to switch between the DataPlus and DataPro plans. If you start off with the DataPlus plan during the month and see that you are starting to exceed your monthly allotment, you can switch to DataPro at any time and have the charge pro-rated or have it apply retroactively to start of your currently active billing cycle.

As for you future iPad owners out there, the $30 unlimited data plan is also getting axed and replaced with the $25 DataPro package.

Now before all of AT&T's current customers start panicking, AT&T is grandfathering in customers already on the current $30 unlimited data plan. If you would like to keep using as much data as you want, don't change a thing and go about your business as usual. You can switch to the DataPlus or DataPro at any time, but you'll likely lose the ability to ever go back to the unlimited data plan.

For its part, AT&T feels that these new plans are better for customers because 65 percent use less than 200MB/month and 98 percent use less than 2GB/month making the lower pricing more palatable.

“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.”

All of the new changes go into effect June 7.

On a final note, AT&T has also announced that iPhone users will gain access to tethering with the release of iPhone OS 4.0. It will be available to DataPro subscribers for an additional $20/month. In a cruel twist, it appears that the only way to legally obtain tethering is to go with the DataPro plan – so if you're currently on an unlimited plan (which lends itself nicely to tethering) you'll have to switch to the inferior DataPro plan and never look back.

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Deep pockets
By XSpeedracerX on 6/2/2010 6:59:40 AM , Rating: 3
"65 percent use less than 200GB/month"

Better have them if you're pulling that much trim down on a capped 3G data plan. LOL.

RE: Deep pockets
By Brandon Hill on 6/2/2010 7:03:51 AM , Rating: 5
Haha, little slip there. It's hard for my brain to comprehend megabytes anymore :-) It seems so 1990s ;)

RE: Deep pockets
By XSpeedracerX on 6/2/2010 7:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
Appropriate, since your wallet will be as empty as the space where alderaan was after AT&Ts super laser shot at it. Between the $325 ETFs and the iPhone 4G, guess you're still gonna need some deep pockets to play with the big boy phones

Sprints really gunning for the teleco deathstar title after that whole '$10 extra for WiMAX most of you can't use!' with the 4G evo though.

RE: Deep pockets
By theapparition on 6/2/2010 8:29:35 AM , Rating: 4
Sprints really gunning for the teleco deathstar title after that whole '$10 extra for WiMAX most of you can't use!' with the 4G evo though.

Considering that Sprint's offering is at least $30 cheaper/month than AT$T, and still offers unlimited data, that paltry $10 is looking pretty good.

RE: Deep pockets
By Gio6518 on 6/2/2010 8:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sprints really gunning for the teleco deathstar title after that whole '$10 extra for WiMAX most of you can't use!' with the 4G evo though.

ill pay the extra $10 a month for the 4g in fact i will starting friday

we (at this house) go well beyond AT&T caps and dont get charged extra from sprint...i have an ftp server where my family can download around a terabytes worth of movies and music from anywhere and at anytime, we feel like watching them...

RE: Deep pockets
By TheRequiem on 6/2/2010 11:15:38 AM , Rating: 4
Leaving AT&T this Friday for Sprint and Unlimited 4G... bottom line.

RE: Deep pockets
By smackababy on 6/2/2010 11:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
Amen to that.

Well, I am not leaving AT&T, but I am going to Sprint and that sweet 4G.

RE: Deep pockets
By Ammohunt on 6/2/2010 2:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
October is when i get my divorce from AT&T after a decade of being with them it will be nice to not have dropped calls so often once more.

RE: Deep pockets
By cubby1223 on 6/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 8:39:10 PM , Rating: 1
Most ppl don't care about call quality anymore. If they did, most wouldn't be on an iPhone.

RE: Deep pockets
By kake on 6/2/2010 5:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
What sort of alimony are you looking at?

RE: Deep pockets
By cubby1223 on 6/2/10, Rating: -1
RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 8:43:32 PM , Rating: 1
Having access to and actually using a TB of bandwith are different.

I'm on the other spectrum. I download TB of data every month. I also think it's within my rights, as I always pay for the highest tier service available.

I think it's those that get the lowest service available and think they deserve more, should be throttled to hell and back.

RE: Deep pockets
By Gio6518 on 6/2/2010 10:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, an ISP is really going to miss your business...

actually i have the most expensive service so i have fast uploads....and they dropped my rate to keep me from switching.....

Having access to and actually using a TB of bandwith are different.

thats correct i have access to not like were always downloading, everything i have is legit, and i dont share with torrent sites or other file sharing programs.....we do go over 2 gb though

RE: Deep pockets
By DM0407 on 6/2/2010 11:59:38 AM , Rating: 5
So if ATT is always complaining about bogged down networks, yet only 2% go over the 2GB mark how would this fix anything?... Just another way to charge the poor bastard who hits 2.01GB.

RE: Deep pockets
By Uncle on 6/2/2010 12:24:06 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, have I got this straight, 2% of their customers can put the giant AT&T out to pasture by taxing their system to death.That would be the last company I would want to hook up with. Secondly the PR is at work here. When was the last time you can remember a company giving their customers a good deal. Bean counters don't get hired to give customers deals their hired to make sure the shareholders get the best pay back. No company gives consumers a deal if it hits their bottom line. So wheres the real deal here.

RE: Deep pockets
By hr824 on 6/2/2010 3:22:37 PM , Rating: 5
Man I miss the days where people were outraged when ATT made 600 million in 1 year. Now there making 2 to 4 BILLION A QUATER!! and that just isn't enough.

I don't understand how I can get electricity to my house for less then my cell phone bill. Considering the massive cost to get fuel out of the ground transport it to power plant and maintain them. There is also the cost of maintain all the towers, poles, and millions of miles of wire where a percentage of that gets destroyed by mother nature and has to be repaired and sometimes rebuilt year after year.

How is it possible that unmanned cell towers that can serve 200k calls at a time and only require maintenance, where data is 10 cents a gig (last time I checked), cost more then my power bill? I have 2 lines one smart phone and 1 basic phone with text messaging. BTW before my wife had a texting plan we paid 20 cents a message which is 1600 dollars a MEGABYTE!!! with a text plan it's still 32 dollars A MEGABYTE. That's not business that's theft plain and simple.

We are being raped with ice picks and baseball bats and we just take it. Lower cost to the consumer is supposed to be one of the benefits of a free market system. Clearly something is wrong here.

RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 8:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
Man I miss the days where people were outraged when ATT made 600 million in 1 year. Now there making 2 to 4 BILLION A QUATER!! and that just isn't enough.

Let's not forget the $18-19 billion they plan to spend to upgrade their network this year. I'm sure they'll spend near the same the next year.

Ya, god forbid they make some kind of profit.

RE: Deep pockets
By cubby1223 on 6/2/2010 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
So if ATT is always complaining about bogged down networks, yet only 2% go over the 2GB mark how would this fix anything?... Just another way to charge the poor bastard who hits 2.01GB.

How stupid are people across the internet? Seriously!

Hypothetical situation, you have 49 iPhone users downloading 2mb per month, and 1 user downloading 2gb per month, by eliminating that 2% of users, traffic volume decreases by 95%!

You ask how this would fix anything? I ask how do you not understand basic math?

RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 8:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
They think that 2% that go over the 2 GB just go to 2.01 GB and quit using their phone.

RE: Deep pockets
By HrilL on 6/2/2010 9:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
How about they use the billions they made from the users that use almost no data a month and make their network at least work correctly? Also do the math yourself. It cost them 10 cents a gigabyte that's 50 cents lost for someone to use the full 5GB of the unlimited plan. Let's see $29.50 isn't enough profit? Honestly you subtract the cost to keep the network running and the customer service costs to help the millions of morons. They're still making $20 profit just off the data plans.

Anyone that tries to defend these type of actions is delusional. This is simply a money grab. They want to give us less while they make more. See my post bellow for some logic on this. This is just a completely new way to rape us harder for the crap they call a service.

RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 10:03:34 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, because cellphone networks are only being used for data and they are never used for voice.

RE: Deep pockets
By HrilL on 6/3/2010 11:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
With 4G both voice and data are the same. It is just VoIP. and even 3G is still a digital network meaning voice is just data. Analog hasn't been used for a long while now. Voice is data. Bits are bits, it doesn't matter what the bits add up to because they're still bits.

RE: Deep pockets
By The Drake on 6/2/2010 7:33:38 AM , Rating: 3
Ya know, I am wondering how correct those statistics are. We all know ATT has had trouble with their network being bogged down so this is a logical step for them to keep that from happening. To keep them from looking like the bad guy why dont they just exaggerate the numbers to make it look like 2GB is plenty for nearly everyone on their network? Just speculating here...

RE: Deep pockets
By Brandon Hill on 6/2/2010 8:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
You know, I consider myself a power user and I use on average 200 to 500MB a month. The most I have ever used was about 1.1GB per month and that was during CES which is understandable.

I honestly think that AT&Ts numbers are probably accurate -- for those that are using the phone as intended and not using unauthorized tethering.

RE: Deep pockets
By BSMonitor on 6/2/2010 9:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
Almost certainly.. Every big corporation has statistics upon statistics upon statistics... Some geeky data miner almost certainly passed the info along to someone with several yachts and that someone made the call...

The guy who did F' up was the one who said, "well, the iPhone won't significantly tax our existing cell network, it will be a niche product..." I hope that guy had to sell his yachts..

RE: Deep pockets
By mcnabney on 6/2/2010 10:18:55 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, they probably bought him another yacht.

You think the iSheep are going to switch to another carrier and lose their precious iProduct? Nope, they will bleat and bleat, but AT&T knows that they aren't going anywhere.

RE: Deep pockets
By ksherman on 6/2/2010 12:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're wrong.

I'm leaving. Just when I was being enticed at a 960x640 display and hoping for a 64GB version, the EVO 4G is crying out to my sensibilities (and I live in a 4G area with pretty good coverage).

See ya iPhone, aloha EVO.

RE: Deep pockets
By VahnTitrio on 6/2/2010 10:02:01 AM , Rating: 3
That may be true now, but who knows what those numbers will be by the end of a newly signed 2 year contract. With faster networks and better featured phones, data consumption is only going up. It can't take too many HQ Youtube videos to hit the 200MB mark.

RE: Deep pockets
By HotFoot on 6/2/2010 10:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
For regular smart-phone use, I can believe their numbers, but I would really like to get into much more tethering.

My current provider has:
$10 for 50 MB
$20 for 500 MB
$35 for unlimited

I've never gone over 500 MB except when I'm doing a lot of tethering and VoIP. I do like having the unlimited option, though, even if it is nearly twice as expensive.

RE: Deep pockets
By dj LiTh on 6/2/2010 6:30:17 PM , Rating: 2


RE: Deep pockets
By HrilL on 6/2/2010 10:59:04 AM , Rating: 3
The numbers seem correct but if that is the case then why make the change? Wouldn't they stand to make more even if a few users abuse the system? I mean $30/month from everyone is better than $15/month from 65% of your smart phone users and $25/month from the other 35%. Is is really logical to lose the insane amount of profit to stop the 2% from abusing unlimited plans? And really it can't be considered abuse because it is unlimited.

Going to metered pricing is going backwards. The price per gigabyte on 4G is even cheaper. If other carriers follow suite I'd have to say that is a form of price fixing and we'll need the FTC to investigate because if the price is going down then there is no reason to limit data usage more. I mean its only logical. As the cost per Gigabyte goes down the amount of data allotted should go up not down.

RE: Deep pockets
By Alexstarfire on 6/2/2010 12:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine the reason is so that they can make money on overages. Though, even then it seems like they'd only really break even. They probably know something we don't.

RE: Deep pockets
By jimbojimbo on 6/2/2010 1:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps wi-fi will suddenly break in a bunch of their phones?

RE: Deep pockets
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 8:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes you need to step backwards, before you can step forward. At least, in the profit game.

In a year, expect to see your $15/month for 20 mb and $25/month for 200 mb.

RE: Deep pockets
By Drag0nFire on 6/2/2010 11:04:35 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe they're including "dumb" phones in their statistics...

RE: Deep pockets
By Jeffk464 on 6/3/2010 12:21:35 AM , Rating: 2
I used 7 gigs on my verizon incredible this billing cycle. A two gig cap would be a deal breaker for me, even if AT&T thinks its better for me.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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