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AT&T finally gets with the program when it comes to smartphone tethering

When AT&T introduced its tiered smartphone data plans last year, most customers were quite upset with the move. While some customers that didn't use much data could actually end up saving a bit with the Data Plus 200MB ($15) and Data Pro 2GB ($25) plans, most hardcore smartphone users decided to stick to their grandfathered unlimited data plans ($30). 

However, AT&T was especially sneaky with its tethering package for Data Pro users. Even though tethering usually results in increased data usage, AT&T decided to keep the data limits firm at 2GB. This was probably the most egregious move on AT&T's part when it switched to its tiered data plans. 

Now, it looks as though a little bit of competition in the form of the iPhone 4 on Verizon's wireless network is finally persuading AT&T to see the error in its ways. The company has announced that starting February 13, it will allow customers on the Data Pro plan to have a total of 4GB of data while tethering. The total price for the package will be $45 per month.

Customers that are already on the Data Pro plan with tethering will automatically see an extra 2GB of data show up on their accounts. Once you go over the 4GB limit, however, you'll be charged an overage fee of $10 per gigabyte.

"Our customers want to connect as many devices as possible to the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, which is getting faster with 4G," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

"We want to extend the benefits of an additional 2GB to smartphone customers on our tethering plan. This delivers more value today for the price they're already paying – and that's what our customers want."

It’s nice to hear that AT&T finally listened to what its “customers wanted” even though the move comes about eight months too late.



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RE: No Thanks
By vol7ron on 2/4/2011 11:09:51 AM , Rating: 2
Even when they said it was unlimited, it really wasn't. Many companies state that it's unlimited up to something like 5GB - ha.

I question the whole overage fact. $10/GB does not seem right. Given the history of the way they price overages, I would think they'd have $10 per 100MB.

I would like to see mobile phones go on a more fluid usage plan: $0.01/MB and $0.001/sec. You wouldn't need to offer contracts at that price ($20.48 for 2GB and $27 for 450min). Of course their network couldn't handle it, but having no fear of overage fees, would be nice. I think offering a consumption plan is a little more fair.


RE: No Thanks
By coldpower27 on 2/5/2011 10:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
$0.01/MB and $0.001/sec. You wouldn't need to offer contracts at that price ($20.48 for 2GB and $27 for 450min)


Nah that wouldn't be that great overall for the cell phone companies, as it's always been about certain people subsidizing others...

Like someone has said they wouldn't make enough on the data as most people's usage is below 500MB likely which equates to barely $5.


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