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AT&T caps new iPhone, iPad data plans at 2GB, announces tethering

post #1 of 360
Thread Starter 
AT&T's transition away from unlimited data plans begins June 7, when iPhone data (with tethering) and iPad 3G plans will be capped at 2GB per month, but with slightly lower pricing.

AT&T announced this week that a new data plan for iPhone owners, dubbed "DataPro," will be offered starting June 7, providing 2GB of data for $25 per month. Tethering costs an additional $20 per month, and lets customers use their handset to share Internet connectivity with another device, such as a laptop. Tethering will be available this summer when iPhone OS 4 is released.

AT&T will also offer a less expensive data plan, called "DataPlus," which offers 200MB for $15 per month. The carrier noted in its press release that 65 percent of its smartphone customers use less than 200MB per month, while 98 percent use less than 2GB per month.

Customers who near their cap for the month will be sent a text message notifying them when they reach a certain usage level. For customers who exceed the cap, an extra 1GB in the DataPro plan costs $10, and an extra 200MB in the DataPlus plan runs $15.

Current AT&T customers are not required to switch to the new plans and sacrifice their unlimited data, but can do so without a contract extension.

AT&T also announced that it would discontinue the existing $29.99-per-month unlimited 3G data plans for the iPad for new customers. It will be replaced by a no-contract plan that runs $25 a month for 2GB of data. Customers who have the existing unlimited plan are not required to change.

Plans for voice and texting through AT&T will remain unchanged after June 7.

"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."

AT&T has long hinted that changes to its unlimited data plans were coming, as the company has faced network issues and bandwidth problems. The carrier has sought ways to encourage the heaviest bandwidth consumers to reduce or modify their usage of the AT&T network.

Last December, one AT&T executive said he believed it was inevitable that users who utilize more bandwidth than their share will have to pay more than the rest. At the time, the company said that 40 percent of the network capacity for AT&T is used by just 3 percent of smartphone users. Other reports have alleged that the average iPhone user consumes 10 times the bandwidth of a typical smartphone user.

On Tuesday, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said that he felt AT&T was doing "pretty good" in improving its network, though he admitted they "could do better." Jobs revealed that Apple and AT&T executives meet once a quarter to discuss issues. He also noted that AT&T deals with "way more data traffic than anyone else."
post #2 of 360
I was actually crafting this exact post when I checked to see if the site had already generated it. Good for me for not hitting the post button, now it becomes a reply instead.

Finance.yahoo.com

Quote:
The sole U.S. carrier of the iPhone is introducing two new data plans, starting June 7, with limits on data consumption. They'll replace the $30 per month plan with unlimited usage that it has required for all smart phones, including the iPhone...........

......One new plan will cost $25 per month and offer 2 gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each.

A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 megabytes.

All I've got to say is Tenobell, I was right. Us geeks know that AT&T's former plan, even when called unlimited had a small print limit of 5 gigs. Since you cannot buy one gig alone on the new plan that means AT&T has raised the cost of obtaining 5 gigs from $30 to $75. Do we even want to go into what it would cost via the 200 meg/$15 plan?

You can bet your butt they didn't need to wait until LTE to do it either.

That Droid Incredible, if they can keep them in stock, or Droid ___________ du jour is looking pretty darn good right now. I received an email that Audible.com client has just gone beta on Android.

Maybe I'll just restart my LG Dare with Page Plus and stop sweating all these ever increasing nickles and dimes. It's just getting ridiculous how much money they want. Much like cable/sat television, it is too quickly becoming an all or nothing proposition with the all in approach costing triple what it did before.

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post #3 of 360
Those sound like incredibly shitty plans. So, not only will there be a hard cap, but on top of the cap you will have to pay significantly more for tethering?

I hate my carrier (Rogers/Fido) but damn I am glad for them right now. I pay $30 for 6GB and no extra for tethering.

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post #4 of 360
This might save me a bit of money. My wife barely goes over 150MB or so and she surely won't go over 2GB on her iPhone 3GS. I could just drop her data plan to 200MB or switch it to 2GB on demand and save some bucks. Hell, a $15 savings a month is a big flippin' deal.

Hell, I could probably even drop down to the 2GB plan myself and save another $5 a month. I think the most I ever used in a month was 1GB, and that was because I was tethering in Las Vegas because the hotel Wi-Fi during CES 2010 was absolutely horrible.

I know that a lot of people will bitch about this, but it works for me
post #5 of 360
I don't really have a problem with this, mostly because of how I use my phone. But for tethering, it looks pretty bad..and expensive. I should end up saving $5 a month this way. In fact, I may even be able to get the cheaper plan. I might not be using 200MB a month.
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post #6 of 360
Kinda nasty with the tethering option. Cut the amount of data available and then charge you extra to use that data via tethering.

This is the first time I've actually LIKED what Rogers has offered in comparison to another carrier.
post #7 of 360
So even if you pay the extra money for tethering you are STILL limited to 2 GB? The extra $20/month should get me more bandwidth, too!!

So let's see all the ATT apologetics who complained about Verizon's 5 GB cap chime in. 2 GB is crap, especially if you are downloading apps or media. And everyone who said the iPad data plan pricing was evidence of Apple sticking with ATT as the sole provider (due to it's low pricing), how long did that last?

Now more than ever we need another carrier in the US to get the iPhone and iPad to provide some competition (and relieve the strain on ATTs network).

"For customers who exceed the cap, an extra 1GB in the DataPro plan costs $10, and an extra 200MB in the DataPlus plan runs $15."

Are you freakin' kidding me! That's borderline blackmail to get you to go for the more expensive plan. Verizon's $60/month mifi card is looking pretty attractive right now. Too bad you can't get an iPhone without a data plan. Maybe pair the mifi with a touch and dump ATT altogether.
post #8 of 360
If there is a hard-and-fast cap on how much data that a client can use, then why would they care what device uses it? This is an absurd idea that shows how disinterested at&t is in the happiness of it's clients.

This is analogous to the water company saying that each household could use 5,000 gallons a month, but you have to pay extra if you want to use that water to wash dishes with.

At&t is charging a surcharge for something that not only lacks a nexus to their cost basis, but is also, quite frankly, squarely within the realm of HOW customers use the service, and not WHAT service at&t is providing to them.

I love Apple, but when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas, and I think at&t is a pretty sorry bed-fellow for the iPhone.
post #9 of 360
Yeah, I like this move. I am a heavy data user, and I am hard pressed to reach over a gig of usage in a given month. The only thing I don't get is the tethering...why an extra $20 if you have the same data cap/overage rates? The only thing I can think of is that it makes a laptop card more appealing to consumers, but that is not really a consumer benefit.
post #10 of 360
For heavy users this plan won't be good, but for light users like my wife, or even people like myself who use less then 500 mb a month this won't be too bad. I expect most wireless and even some cable go this way.
post #11 of 360
The name of this article should really be changed to:

AT&T nearly doubles the cost of 5 GB of data for users, from $30 per month to $55 per month
post #12 of 360
I couldn't agree more!!! I am an Apple fan but man allot of who you are is who you do business with! The data plans will continue to go up until there is more competition. I can't wait until another carrier gets the iPhone!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

If there is a hard-and-fast cap on how much data that a client can use, then why would they care what device uses it? This is an absurd idea that shows how disinterested at&t is in the happiness of it's clients.

This is analogous to the water company saying that each household could use 5,000 gallons a month, but you have to pay extra if you want to use that water to wash dishes with.

At&t is charging a surcharge for something that not only lacks a nexus to their cost basis, but is also, quite frankly, squarely within the realm of HOW customers use the service, and not WHAT service at&t is providing to them.

I love Apple, but when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas, and I think at&t is a pretty sorry bed-fellow for the iPhone.

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post #13 of 360
So the $20 per month for tethering pays for what exactly? Not the software on the iPhone... Not the software on the PC... Not the additional bandwidth... This is just another example of a carrier charging a ridiculous amount for something that should be included in the regular bandwidth costs.

It's a lot like how after I've gone through a two year contract with my subsidized phone, the monthly costs of the contract don't decrease. As much as I am loathe to see it, bring on the FCC and some congressional oversight. Consumers are getting raped AND they have limited choice.
post #14 of 360
Apple is building a gigantic "cloud farm" in NC, the purpose for which is to promote the idea of always-connected cloud-based computing. Meanwhile, the exclusive provider of 3G connectivity for their mobile devises is making byte-counters out of all their users. At some point, this is going to become a genuine conflict. I suspect that when it does that we will finally have a Verizon iPhone.
post #15 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Those sound like incredibly shitty plans.

not if their stats are correct.

Quote:
So, not only will there be a hard cap, but on top of the cap you will have to pay significantly more for tethering?

this shouldn't surprise anyone.

consider that their notebook plans are what $60 a month

clearly they are trying to encourage wifi use with 3g as a backup rather than the main connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

or switch it to 2GB on demand

be careful that you understand what is happening here. Your comment sounds like you think it's a pay as you go type plan where you pay for data 2GB at a time. It's not. on the phone it is 2 GB per month every month on contract, if you go over you can add data 1gb at a time until the month runs out. but if you don't use it all, sucks for you. there's no data carryover. same on the ipad but without the contract part.
so I would be sure that you don't go over 2gb (maybe that month you guys were on vacation but otherwise not) before you drop down.

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post #16 of 360
Apple are supposedly concerned about the User experience. It seems to be the best way to reduce the strain on AT&T's network is to spread the Users across multiple networks. This single Network provider seems an astonishing own goal. Here in the UK we have numerous networks to choose from and so no one network has to deal with ALL the iPHone / iPad network demands.
post #17 of 360
Finally the U.S. is catching up with the rest of the world.

And for those of us that were lucky enough and got those special intro deals, e.g., Rogers 6GB data plan, another year and we are in the same boat.

http://wiki.maemo.org/Data_plans
post #18 of 360
AT&T's announcement of their new capped data plans has generated a lot of discussion amongst current and future iPhone owners. In short, AT&T eliminated their $30/month unlimited plan for new iPhone customers starting on June 7th. After that time, new iPhone (and other smartphone) customers have the option of $15/mo (200MB) and $25/mo (2GB) data plans. AT&T, however, has grandfathered in existing iPhone customers by allowing them to keep the $30/month unlimited plan if they desire.

But with the new iPhone just around the corner, several readers wondered if that guarantee would hold even if they chose to upgrade to the new iPhone. It seems like it will.

AT&T has replied on their Facebook page indicating that current customers may keep the $30/month unlimited plan even when they upgrade to a new iPhone:
The good news for current customers who love their unlimited plan is this: they are not required to switch, even when it's time to upgrade to a new phone. So you are welcome to keep your unlimited plan

Of course, by staying on the unlimited plan, customers won't be able to add on tethering service. See our previous coverage of the new pricing plans for further details.
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post #19 of 360
Now that AT&T has all those customers and all the demand from iPhones and iPads, they have a captive market and can charge whatever they d*** well please, although existing customers can keep their unlimited plans. New customers are up the creek, which is not a surprise.
post #20 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

Apple is building a gigantic "cloud farm" in NC, the purpose for which is to promote the idea of always-connected cloud-based computing. Meanwhile, the exclusive provider of 3G connectivity for their mobile devises is making byte-counters out of all their users. At some point, this is going to become a genuine conflict. I suspect that when it does that we will finally have a Verizon iPhone.

Great observation.

I think AT&T is making a grab for as much extra cash as they can get away with before a mass exodus once another/any carrier comes into play.
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post #21 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

The name of this article should really be changed to:

AT&T nearly doubles the cost of 5 GB of data for users, from $30 per month to $55 per month

The name of this article should really be changed to:
ATT reduces data plan charges for nearly 97% of it's customer base; the rest of you pay what you should be paying. Tens of thousands of ATT wifi hotspots out there; discover them and use them.
post #22 of 360
These plans are for your own good believe it or not. A lot of people are forgetting that the new iPhone will do Video chat, if the AT&T Network turned to crap with just push notifications what do you thing video chatting will do?? This needs to be done cause some people just don't realize that your on a network being share with others.
post #23 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Those sound like incredibly shitty plans. So, not only will there be a hard cap, but on top of the cap you will have to pay significantly more for tethering?

Agreed. If they're going to cap the plan, then paying extra for tethering is just a rip-off.
post #24 of 360
I say good for AT&T. There will be tremendous tantrums thrown by crybabies all over the place, but this is the single best thing AT&T can do to improve the experience people have on their network and it is totally, unambiguously rational. Maybe they finally realized that they could never hope to build their way out of their problems. Rational pricing is the only answer.
post #25 of 360
So... with this new plan I can pay $25 (instead of the current $30), and add $20 for tethering, and use the tethering to get 3G service on my iPad, thus allowing me to avoid paying $30 per month for the iPad 3G service? Or am I missing something?
post #26 of 360
Anyone have any idea how this will work with a family plan?

My wife has a 3gs. My son is in middle school and wants his own cell phone. I was going to get him a regular texting phone for $9.99 a month more but wonder if now the family plan may make sense? For a couple of bucks more I can get him an ipone?
post #27 of 360
Sheesh!

Let's see...5 GB for $30/mo or 2 GB for $25/mo. What a screw job AT&T!!!!!!

I hope someone files a complaint with the FCC. (Hint! The FCC already thinks the wireless carriers are overcharging for their services. This should pretty much resolve any remaining doubts.)

On top of that there is no way to keep track of your usage until you get your warning message. I guess streaming music is out of the question.

I was having doubts about the iPhone 4G in the first place and this might just drive me to another carrier and Android.
post #28 of 360
I have to admit, I had a brief moment of panic when I read this story.

Then I used the AT&T MyWireless app to check my data usage (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/at-t-...309172177?mt=8) and discovered that I'm no where near the 2Gb limit, and I considered myself a heavy iPhone user. I guess I'll have to revise my thinking!
post #29 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katonah View Post

So... with this new plan I can pay $25 (instead of the current $30), and add $20 for tethering, and use the tethering to get 3G service on my iPad, thus allowing me to avoid paying $30 per month for the iPad 3G service? Or am I missing something?

Unless Apple adds wifi tethering to the iPhone, you won't be able to use the tethering option to get 3G access on your iPad (unless you use another smartphone that has can share it's connection via wifi).

So, you would end up paying $45 instead of your current $30. You would lose unlimited data but gain tethering (USB and BT) on your iPhone.

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...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #30 of 360
Prices seem fair to me. I don't even use 1 gig and never tether. I like the pricing model. At least I can grandfather my unlimited plan, which applies to all current iPhone users and transfers to the new iPhone model.
post #31 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I could just drop her data plan to 200MB or switch it to 2GB on demand and save some bucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

be careful that you understand what is happening here. Your comment sounds like you think it's a pay as you go type plan where you pay for data 2GB at a time. It's not. on the phone it is 2 GB per month every month on contract, if you go over you can add data 1gb at a time until the month runs out. but if you don't use it all, sucks for you. there's no data carryover. same on the ipad but without the contract part.
so I would be sure that you don't go over 2gb (maybe that month you guys were on vacation but otherwise not) before you drop down.

I understand it just fine. Do YOU understand it?

Quote:
The carrier's going to be very flexible about changing between the DataPlus and DataPro plans -- if you're on DataPlus, for example, and you discover that you're blowing past your allotment, you can choose either to start DataPro the following billing cycle, pro-rate it, or apply the higher plan retroactively to the beginning of your current billing cycle. That's pretty wild.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/02/a...ethering-comi/

If my wife were to use 300MB while on DataPlus (200MB), I could switch to DataPro (2GB) within that same month and have it retroactively apply.
post #32 of 360
I really thought that ATT had gotten this whole thing "right" for the iPad. No contracts, buy on the device, reasonable rates, simple plans, easy upgrade path, blah, blah. What's surprising to me is that they're changing these plans SO soon after the introduction of the iPad. I mean, I suppose these plans are subject to change, but this is a pretty quick change -- it's barely been a month.
post #33 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by wirespeed View Post

It's a lot like how after I've gone through a two year contract with my subsidized phone, the monthly costs of the contract don't decrease.

that I totally agree with. The device cost subsidy should be a separate line item, spread evenly across the term of the contract and once it runs out, you don't have to pay it anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

At some point, this is going to become a genuine conflict. I suspect that when it does that we will finally have a Verizon iPhone.

You think Verizon etc wouldn't do the same thing. Prepare for a surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katonah View Post

So... with this new plan I can pay $25 (instead of the current $30), and add $20 for tethering, and use the tethering to get 3G service on my iPad

Tethering is not possible with the ipad. The OS doesn't have it included at this point in time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benalexe View Post

Anyone have any idea how this will work with a family plan?

Family plans are voice and (if you choose) texting. Every phone has to have a data plan. So you will pay an extra $9.99 to put the phone on the family plan and then an extra data plan. And that's on top of the cost of the phone which will be at least $100 out of your pocket. Plus a $325 minus prorate ETF.

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post #34 of 360
All I gotta say is +1 for iPhone on T-mobile
post #35 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post

I have to admit, I had a brief moment of panic when I read this story.

Then I used the AT&T MyWireless app to check my data usage (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/at-t-...309172177?mt=8) and discovered that I'm no where near the 2Gb limit, and I considered myself a heavy iPhone user. I guess I'll have to revise my thinking!

You start tethering even modestly and you will get much higher much faster.

Before tethering was in iPhone OS, I was hitting highs of maybe ~1.5GB a month with my average probably being around 500MB. When tethering was enabled, coincidently my office started actively blocking many sites from their network (sports, social, youtube, etc). I bring my person MBP to work usually and was thus cutoff. But, because I can now tether, I leave it connected my to Mac at work and do my personal browsing on that. I easily push 3-4GB a month now, with what I would call casual browsing on my Mac. No big file transfers, no torrents. I also use various apps for streaming music and videos from my home Mac to my phone and when I am at work, that now comes in over 3G instead of wifi (as my office also banned personal devices from the wifi) but not very often. I am about 1/3 of the way into my current billing period and at 1.5GB.

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post #36 of 360
You weren't right at all. You said AT&T was going to raise the price for unlimited data. That is clearly not what they've done. They've offered variable pricing to meet the amount of data that most people actually use. Trust me they are going to charge more for LTE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

All I've got to say is Tenobell, I was right. Us geeks know that AT&T's former plan, even when called unlimited had a small print limit of 5 gigs. Since you cannot buy one gig alone on the new plan that means AT&T has raised the cost of obtaining 5 gigs from $30 to $75. Do we even want to go into what it would cost via the 200 meg/$15 plan?
post #37 of 360
Well it's about effin' time. Now I can finally upgrade past OS 3.0.1.

Though I'm sure there will be a lot of complaints about the 2GB limit...

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post #38 of 360
Only the most cultish of Apple fanboy will spin this ripoff as something good. The people who just purchased the iPad 3Gs with the happy promises of unlimited data plan are now finding out that Lord Jobs & AT&T have essentially lied through their teeth. Mass returns, class action lawsuits, FTC, you name it.
post #39 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

This might save me a bit of money. My wife barely goes over 150MB or so and she surely won't go over 2GB on her iPhone 3GS. I could just drop her data plan to 200MB or switch it to 2GB on demand and save some bucks. Hell, a $15 savings a month is a big flippin' deal.

Hell, I could probably even drop down to the 2GB plan myself and save another $5 a month. I think the most I ever used in a month was 1GB, and that was because I was tethering in Las Vegas because the hotel Wi-Fi during CES 2010 was absolutely horrible.

I know that a lot of people will bitch about this, but it works for me

I'm totally with you on this. My wife hasn't gone over 25MB in each of the last four months and I'm sure it's no different in the months before that. Sounds like I can cut her data plan to the 200MB, I'll save $15/month and she'll be perfectly fine. Heck, just checking the last few months of usage for myself, I haven't gone over 200MB either. Sounds like I'll be fine with the 2GB plan (just to be safe) and I'll end up saving a total of $20/month (between our two data plans).
post #40 of 360
Yep, what a ripoff! I was considering moving from Verizon to AT&T just to get an iPhone, but now I'm definitely going to stick with Verizon and hope they get the iPhone soon. If not, Droid here I come... This just proves there's no real competition out there in the mobile wireless market. It's Verizon, AT&T, and pretty much all the non-players in the market who don't have enough infrustructure - and we all suffer.
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