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View Full Version : AT&T Pricing, What Does it all Mean?

Jeff Campbell
06-03-2010, 03:02 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/02/more-details-on-atandt-wireless-data-grandfathering-ipad-plans/' target='_blank'>http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/02/more...ing-ipad-plans/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"In case you missed it early this morning, AT&amp;T's new mobile data plans (DataPlus, DataPro and Tethering) have given up on the idea of unlimited data in favor of a split tier of 200MB at the low end ($15) and 2GB at the high end ($25), with a $20 supplement for tethering (but hey -- tethering! and only six months late!)."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/at/auto/1275529286.usr105634.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Late, but at least now tethering is going to be an option. Lots of stories on the latest news out from AT&amp;T on their changes in pricing for their mobile data plans.&nbsp;You can also find out more details from this "<a href="http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/02/candid-answers-from-atandt-on-the-new-iphone-data-plans/" target="_blank">candid posting</a>"&nbsp;at TUAW, and Gizmodo has <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5553608/caution-att-reps-dont-know-whats-going-on-yet-unlimited-data-plans-are-going-away" target="_blank">some scenarios posted</a> with regards to the new pricing plans.&nbsp;Bottom line is, you can keep your current plan but new customers, after this Monday, won't be able to get on the unlimited plans for the iPhone or iPad. And if you want tethering on your unlimited plan? Sorry, that only comes with the 2GB DataPro $25.00 USD per month plan. The upside is that if you aren't a heavy user (AT&amp;T says 98% of their smartphone customers aren't heavy users), you get some cost savings (depending on your usage) and some flexibility as you can move in and out of the DataPlus and DataPro plans as your needs change. I'm not too happy about the tethering restrictions however. What are your thoughts on all of this?&nbsp;</p>

06-03-2010, 04:09 AM
At first this scared me. I thought I used a lot of data. But I logged into my AT&T account and saw I dont use as much as I thought.

Internet Browsing
Online Videos
...and any other app that uses data

Turns out 2GB was a freaky month for me in April for some reason.

The rest were much much lower.

I'm not afraid anymore! :D

The Yaz
06-03-2010, 02:40 PM
I agree that once you look at your personal usage, the plans do not seem too bad. I've been paying the $30p/mth smartphone data plan thought my usage does not surpass 77mbs a month.

I'm tempted to keep the unlimited plan until I renew for a new iPhone to be sure I wouldn't need more than the 2gb.

It would be nice to tell my wife I was finally saving money on the cellphone service :)

On AT&T's facebook page a lot of people (myself included) did make the comment that they should also consider a family data plan similar to unlimited texting ($30-$40 a month, shared data up to three phones). Now if they offered this, I could handle getting iPhones for the whole family.

Steve :cool:

06-03-2010, 06:04 PM
I'm one of those for whom the new plans will save money. I checked my data usage for the last year (you can do it right from your account on AT&T wireless web page for wireless) and found that in my heaviest month, I only used 140 megs of data. The $15 plan is perfect for me and come Monday, I'm switching. I use WiFi most of the time with my iPhone which is why data usage is low. I don't surf the web on my phone (with that small screen? Forget it!) and most of my data use is Twitter, Facebook, & checking RSS feeds so I'm not doing anything data intensive at all.

Jeff Campbell
06-03-2010, 08:49 PM
I also checked and am with all of you, this will save me money as I don't use near as much as I thought. I just never paid attention since I was on unlimited plan. I too would like some form of family data plan set up, hoping AT&T does this. I'm also thinking about getting rid of my MiFi with Verizon and going with the tethering, even though it does irk me you don't get any additional data usage with tethering for 20 bucks.

06-03-2010, 09:05 PM
First of all, it assumes that data usage is somehow excessive right now. Fast forward a few years when even speedier communication capability will be available (4g or whatever is next) and a data limit like this seems even more backward. Our smartphones are getting more and more capable with each successive generation. Our networks, apparently, are going in the other direction.

Once users start getting accustomed to the idea that there is a limit to what they can do online with their phones, every such use will be filtered through a decision making process to determine if the use is worth the charge against the data limit. Even if the limit is sufficiently generous that it won't be reached by most users, the mere threat of a penalty charge will scare many people into curtailling their smartphone use significantly. That will ultimately slow development of the wireless web, which will not help anyone.

Instead of conceding that they can't meet existing demand, AT&T, and any other carrier contemplating this move, should think twice. The winner in this game will be the carrier that can meet its customer demands without the threat of overage penalties.

Sven Johannsen
06-04-2010, 01:36 AM
Three thoughts from this corner. 1) I am another that will likely save money since the forced $30 iPhone plan is unnecessary for my use. It will get cut back. The $30 'unlimited' plan for my WM phone will be cut back as well. The rate change and cap has prompted me to actually look at my usage, rather than just pay the fee for piece of mind. Don't really get the idea behind this. AT&T says that 98% don't go over the new cap. If that is true, they didn't before and happily paid $30 a piece. The issue seems to be primarily the HOGS. They actually don't cost AT&T any more money, but they do, presumably, hamper the network. Wouldn't it have been more advantagous to just throttle data over 5G (the previous 'unlimited' limit) for the HOGS, mitigating the network congestion, presumably, and maintaining the same revenue stream? The 98% wouldn't have complained, and the 2% would have lived with it or left...good riddance.

2) I do wonder if the advent of multitasking, background pandora using data, always on twitter/facebook/whatever social network, tethering, and VOIP and possibly Video calls, might the average data use not go up, as the ability to do more connecting while doing other things increases? Don't know how much, but I would suppose there will be more of a chance that a background data app will be left on.

3) I think iPad 3G users are getting screwed. There doesn't seem to be the option anymore to get the 250M or 5G plan for a month and then drop it. It appars you can pop up and down from the 200M to 2G, but it is unclear if the flexibility extends to dropping the plan altogether. Could be wrong here. Since the iPad isn't subsidized, you shouldn't have to sign an extended contract, but the language of the sign up paperwork remains to be seen. If you can do this on-line, I would read very carefully before I clicked "I agree". If you click, indicating concurrance, and the text says you are signing up for a year or two, it means you are obligating yourself for a year or two. The penalty is called an Early Termination Fee, not a Hardware Incentive Recovery Fee. The title doesn't imply any hardware subsidy, never has. It implies you signed a contract and are trying to break it. If you lease an apartment for a year and move out in six months, you still owe the other six months rent.

06-04-2010, 02:20 AM
Do you know what a user with the $15 200MB plan will have to pay when bumping up to 2GB? (in a month when they realize they're going to go over their limit)

Assume the user realizes it before running over and initiates the bump up. Will the user pay?:

[1] The full $25 (for a total of $40 for that month) or
[2] Only $10 (for a total of $25 for that month)

I assume it's [1].

Jeff Campbell
06-04-2010, 03:41 AM
Sven, great thoughts, it didn't even occur to me about the background apps

Deslock, I think you are right, if you catch it you bump to the $25 plan, if they catch it you get less incrementally but it also costs you less it appears. That could change however I suppose as more info comes out on this.

06-04-2010, 11:46 AM
Sven, great thoughts, it didn't even occur to me about the background apps

Deslock, I think you are right, if you catch it you bump to the $25 plan, if they catch it you get less incrementally but it also costs you less it appears. That could change however I suppose as more info comes out on this.

Yeah if you're on the 200MB iPhone plan and don't bump up before going over the limit, my understanding is that AT&T will automatically give you another 200MB and charge an additional $15.

But if I do bump up to 2GB before running over, how much do I pay? Again, I assume it's $25 in addition to the $15 already spent, but I'm not sure... Obviously I'd prefer it if I could simply pay the $10 difference in the 200MB/2GB plan costs.

It's more spelled out for the iPad since there's no monthly contract or billing cycle; you're paying for a set amount of data or 30 days, whichever comes first. If you are about to run over your limit on the iPad, you simply pay $15/250MB or $25/2GB and the clock resets (so you get another 30 days from that point to use it).

I'll call AT&T for clarification.

Sven Johannsen
06-04-2010, 12:14 PM
Sven, great thoughts, it didn't even occur to me about the background apps.
That's one reason I have a task switcher (killer) on my WM phone. I like to know what is and isn't running, even though the OS does a wonderful job of managing my memory (yea, right).