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AT&T hikes data plan prices, caps

updated 05:30 pm EST, Wed January 18, 2012

ATT hopes to eke more from data users

AT&T in a surprise step Wednesday increased its mobile data plan prices with cap changes to match. New customers will pay an extra $5 per month on plans but will get more data depending on the plan they use. Basic Data Plus users get the least increase, moving from 250MB to 300MB per month with $20 the new baseline; the more common Data Pro plans are now $30 and $50, but supply 3GB (up from 2GB) and 5GB (up from 4GB).

Tablet owners signing up for data also have to adopt the 3GB or 5GB rates in prepaid or subscription form, although they will still have the option of the cheaper $15, 250MB plan from before. Overage fees are the same as before and, on 3GB and 5GB plans, cost $10 for every extra gigabyte over the cap. The plans take effect for customers signing on from January 22 onwards.

CMO David Christopher justified the increase as a virtue of "increasing demand in a highly competitive environment" as well as a brace for traffic increases on LTE.

Upgrades to 4G have been used with other carriers and countries as opportunities to raise prices. The decision doesn't make AT&T's service more expensive than its major rival Verizon's service and gives it an advantage in bandwidth for the money, but it returns to higher prices as LTE theoretically makes the network cheaper to run and as economic concerns are still high priority.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2011



    It's carriers that will stifle innovation.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2009


    need family data plan, not more data

    I have four smartphones on my AT&T family plan and nobody has come anywhere near 2GB in one month. Many times, each of us has exceeded 250MB so instead of paying for the overage, I just moved two of us down from unlimited to the 2GB plan and the other two up to the 2GB plan. None of us need 3GB because none of us watch lots of movies on our phones (no iPads yet) when on 3G. A few of us could probably be fine with 300MB but it would mean we'd have to regularly watch it. Why did AT&T feel it was necessary to increase the data limit while also increasing the price? At least my costs shouldn't change (yet). I'm still looking for a Family Data plan of 3GB for 5 phones, which I think would be enough for our use (mainly WiFi but sometimes 3G). Charge me the $30 and I'll be very happy.

  1. facebook_Memnautikus

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012



    Glad I went to sprint. Unlimited data.

  1. facebook_James

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    Need for change

    I hope that the little birdie I heard a while ago becomes a reality in the near future. That thought is that Apple becomes its own carrier that would allow iPhone users to go anywhere in the world and have service world wide and it would be truly unlimited like Apple intended the iPhone to be used with. It would be poetic justice to the greed of the existing carriers. This move would also kick everyone else out of the smartphone market trying to catch up again.

  1. efithian

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004



    I have unlimited data on my iPhones and one iPad. Will that continue or will I be forced to choose one of the limited plans?

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