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AT&T prepares $5-per-day tablet data plans for occasional users

updated 05:07 am EDT, Fri October 18, 2013

Light-use plans target travellers as hotel Wi-Fi alternative

AT&T wants to offer tablet owners the ability to use their devices on its network, without the need to sign up to a monthly contract. Occasional users are being targeted by the carrier for the short-term data-only plans, with the possibility that what AT&T is offering will be viewed as a suitable alternative to the occasionally unreliable and expensive hotel Wi-Fi.

Two plans were outlined by AT&T senior vice president Chris Penrose at the GigaOm Mobilize conference, reports All Things D. A $5-per-day plan will provide 250MB of LTE data in a 24-hour period, while a second version will provide customers 1GB of data that can be used over a three-month period, priced at $25. If LTE is not available, then plan will fall back onto the carrier's HSPA+ network.

Despite there being tablets on the market with mobile network connections, AT&T believes that manufacturers should do more to add cellular access to a tablet. "We really think that a Wi-Fi only tablet is good, but it is not good enough," said Penrose, advising that the cost of cellular modules for tablets has reduced in recent years. "Ultimately we'd like to see tablet manufacturers build just one tablet."

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 10-20-01

    Hey AT&T, How about $5 for one day of unlimited data, you cheapskates! Let us streama movie, or upload a couple gigs of photos. Your 250MB is too small and would last about 20 minutes.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    @Eriamjh: Ain't it the truth? 250mb is a joke.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    When I first got my iPad 3 (retina) 4G, I sat in a parking lot and signed up for the 250MB/month plan -- just to test out the 4G speeds (they were ridiculously fast).

    By the time I had made it through the online payment process and visited one text-only website, I had chewed through 150MB -- 60% of the data plan.

    I've barely used the 4G connectivity on the iPad since.

  1. Salsa

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 10-27-03

    @Eriamjh and @msuper69: You guys are crazy. I have unlimited data on my AT&T iPhone, but I end up using only a few hundred megs per month. 250mB/day is plenty for most people. If I have to do a huge download, like the annual iOS update or an entire HD movie, I do it on wifi. I have my complaints about AT&T, but their prices are competitive.

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