AT&T shared data plans launch late August, start at $45 per smartphone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T on Wednesday announced its new shared data plans, ranging from 1 gigabyte to 20 gigabytes of cap space, and starting at $40 for 1 gigabyte of data plus an additional $45 per smartphone.

The cost per gigabyte and smartphone decreases as customers add more data to their plan, so 4 gigabytes of data has a base price of $70, plus $40 per smartphone, all the way up to $200 for 20 gigabytes of data per month and $30 per smartphone.

Cellular capable tablet-style devices like Apple's iPad are less expensive, and will cost $10 per month to add to a shared data plan. Laptops and mobile hotspot devices are another $20 each month, while basic and messaging phones can get shared data, unlimited talk and text for $30 each month.

The new shared data plans allow customers to choose open of AT&T's existing individual or family plans, and current customers are not required to switch to the new plans. Those who decide to switch to AT&T's shared data plans can do so without a contract extension, and the rates are also available for business customers.

Customers can choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, and at least one of those devices must be a smartphone. The plans include tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones.

AT&T


"We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. "With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They?ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It?s their choice."

AT&T's press release states that the new mobile share plans "give customers more control over how, where and on what device they use data." Customers can choose to use more of their data bucket on their tablet, or tap into it only when needed for devices that might be used only occasionally.

"Today we think of people?s smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we?ll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet," Christopher said. "Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices."

Competing U.S. carrier Verizon launched its own shared data plans on June 28, called "Share Everything." With it, line access for smartphones like Apple's iPhone run $40 per month, while tablets like the iPad are $10 per month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 164


    So let me see if I have this right.  It costs $30 a month now to get 3GB worth of data on one phone.  So if say my brother and I both have a plan, we spend $60 total for data.  Plus roughly $40 each for voice.  


     


    Under this plan, I'm guessing we would still be spending roughly $40 a month for voice and then, to get the same amount of data we get now, it would cost us $160?  So that would be $100 premium to say that we share data? 

  • Reply 2 of 164
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member


    Where did you get the $160 from?

  • Reply 2 of 164
    kenburgkenburg Posts: 24member


    I agree. What's with the "each Smartphone" charge? They're charging you for the data, then there's a separate charge to have access to the data you've purchased? It should be just $10 per phone since, just like your voice minutes, the more devices on the plan, the quicker the data/minutes are used and the more likely you'll run into overages or need to upgrade your plan. Is this now the universal method of dealing with data, or is a shared data plan an option like family voice plans are options?

  • Reply 4 of 164


    If the data is "shared", why does it matter how many devices use the data? Does it somehow cost AT&T more to serve 1GB of data to two devices instead of one?

  • Reply 5 of 164

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by commandercrash View Post


    So let me see if I have this right.  It costs $30 a month now to get 3GB worth of data on one phone.  So if say my brother and I both have a plan, we spend $60 total for data.  Plus roughly $40 each for voice.  


     


    Under this plan, I'm guessing we would still be spending roughly $40 a month for voice and then, to get the same amount of data we get now, it would cost us $160?  So that would be $100 premium to say that we share data? 





    I was thinking that you get unlimited Talk and Text in addition to the data.  In your case I think it would be $160 for you to share unlimited Talk and Text and 6GB data.  Still, that would be $20 more than you are paying now, but presumably you would get more talking and texting.  If you are right, and it does not include the talk and text in the plan shared, then this is a total rip off.  The fact that you have to have the unlimited talk and text on at least one of the devices already makes it a poor deal unless you are already on an unlimited plan.  We would have to be crazy to think that AT&T will ever offer a good deal to its customers.

  • Reply 6 of 164
    kingkueikingkuei Posts: 137member
    So let me see if I have this right.  It costs $30 a month now to get 3GB worth of data on one phone.  So if say my brother and I both have a plan, we spend $60 total for data.  Plus roughly $40 each for voice.  

    Under this plan, I'm guessing we would still be spending roughly $40 a month for voice and then, to get the same amount of data we get now, it would cost us $160?  So that would be $100 premium to say that we share data? 

    The chart indicates unlimited talk and text. So actually for 6GB you pay a fixed $90 +$45 per smartphone. So your bill works out to $160 total still, but with the benefit of unlimited talking and texting + tethering too.
  • Reply 7 of 164

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bandman999 View Post


    If the data is "shared", why does it matter how many devices use the data? Does it somehow cost AT&T more to serve 1GB of data to two devices instead of one?





    I totally agree.

  • Reply 8 of 164
    I have 5 lines. 4 smartphones, and 1 dumb phone.

    Knowing what I pay every month for all my phones and the separate data plans they currently have, none of these plans save me a dime. That's a damn shame AT&T. My average bill is $260 a month without taxes. And I'm curious what the cost is if you go over your data? :-/.

    I've been waiting for this... But not like this. There is essentially still a premium and split out costs for having data on your phones. Grr.
  • Reply 9 of 164


    This is like the water company charging you for the water, and also for each faucet that dispenses water.

  • Reply 10 of 164


    I'm doing the same math and realizing that it's a much worse deal. Currently I pay $25 each for 2GB each (so $50 for 4 GB) but with this I can pay $85 to split 1GB or $110 to split 4? So it's more for less? Great plan, guys.


     


    edit: I see the unlimited talk/text now. That kinda makes more sense as long at this it all the fees. Unlimited text is currently $30, so that's getting unlimited talk for about $30. If this could get my whole phone bill to $110 and have it be truely unlimited for 2 phones, then it's actually not a horrible deal.

  • Reply 11 of 164
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Bad deal for me. I run $68/mo for voice, 200 texts and 250MB data. An AT&T iPad would be $15/mo for 200MB, running me about $82 including tax for two devices. On a shared plan, that is $107, assuming I can still keep my $5/200 text plan. I would have to add six more tablets for the new price plan to benefit me.
  • Reply 12 of 164


    This makes no sense... So I'm paying $70 per month for unlimited talk/text with 4gb of data.  But I have 2 phones (mine and my wife's).. so that's $40 per phone.  That puts me at $150 per month before taxes and fees.. and all the other BS that gets added to the phone.  In my quick glance that is more expensive, and give me less data... but more minutes.  I have 1400 minutes shared, and I never come close to using them. 


     


    This is stupid..


     


    A cell phone with unlimited data, text, and talk shouldn't cost more than 50 bucks a month.

  • Reply 13 of 164


    Just like Verizon's Share Everything plans, these new AT&T offerings just raise the barrier of entry even further for one person to have a smartphone. AT&T's lowest monthly charge for a single person will now be $85 (+ taxes and fees, really about $95), while Verizon stands at $100 (+ taxes is $110). That's outrageous. Plans started at $60 when the iPhone launched in 2007.


     


    That said, some of you guys are not factoring in what you currently pay for voice and text when doing your comparisons. You have to compare the TOTAL price (voice, text, and data) that you pay right now vs. the cost of these new plans.

  • Reply 14 of 164
    tapetape Posts: 38member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by commandercrash View Post


    So let me see if I have this right.  It costs $30 a month now to get 3GB worth of data on one phone.  So if say my brother and I both have a plan, we spend $60 total for data.  Plus roughly $40 each for voice.  


     


    Under this plan, I'm guessing we would still be spending roughly $40 a month for voice and then, to get the same amount of data we get now, it would cost us $160?  So that would be $100 premium to say that we share data? 



     


    You're doing some kind of math wrong here somewhere.


     


    Your current plan: ($30 data + $40 voice) * 2 = $140. You also do not have SMS or tethering included. ($20 for tethering - maybe you use SMS and maybe not, so that's variable but the unlimited SMS plan is $20). If (IF) you include SMS and tethering your plans would be $220. If you just include tethering it would be $180.


     


    New AT&T shared plan: $90 for 6GB shared and unlimited voice, including tethering and unlimited SMS. $35 each for 2 phones = $70. Total of $160.


     


    So, yes, if you do not use tethering or SMS whatsoever and have only two phones, you would pay more.  However, I would say most people use SMS on at the very least an infrequent basis, and many use it quite a bit, and tethering-inclusive plans are something a lot of people have been asking for.  And a lot of people have more than two people in their family, and once you go past two phones on the plan, the price per phone really starts to drop, again especially if you're including SMS and tethering and not only data and voice.


     


    In addition, including an iPad on the plan for only $10 instead of paying $15 for only 250MB or at least $30 (or more) for a reasonable amount of bandwidth just for the iPad is very attractive.

  • Reply 15 of 164
    siromegasiromega Posts: 29member
    Any word on tethering?

    Also, this deal would save me money ($10/mo assuming I can still tether), but I'm loathe to change anything with my plans because I currently get annual phone upgrades and don't want to risk changing that.
  • Reply 16 of 164
    tapetape Posts: 38member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by siromega View Post



    Any word on tethering?

    Also, this deal would save me money ($10/mo assuming I can still tether), but I'm loathe to change anything with my plans because I currently get annual phone upgrades and don't want to risk changing that.




    Fourth paragraph. "The plans include tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones."

  • Reply 17 of 164


    Any word on how much the overage is per GB?

  • Reply 18 of 164
    andre402andre402 Posts: 19member


    It sounds unreasonable to pay about a value of a new smartphone for a few months access to mobile internet. The iPhone prices tend to be higher here in Europe than in US but at least I get unlimited cellular data for around $15 a month, no matter how many devices I share it with.

  • Reply 19 of 164
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post


     


    This is stupid...


     


    A cell phone with unlimited data, text, and talk shouldn't cost more than 50 bucks a month.



     


    Now you're speaking my language!


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  • Reply 20 of 164
    wisdomseedwisdomseed Posts: 141member
    I won't be changing my pla. Any Imelda soon. Currently I'm paying for mi iPhone with unlimited data, my son's iPhone with unlimitedd data, my daughter's iPhone with 2 gigs and my youngest son's iPhone with 200 mb (a total freakin' joke of a plan) and my bill is about $250 amontn. My oldest son, who's getting throttled almost every month since they started that b.s., has sucked up as much as 9 gigs of data a month (I don't know what he's doing with that phone)' my ther two children bump their limits all th time, even though both their mother and I both offer wi-fi.

    Just a rough run of the numbers, it doesn't look like any of the shared data plans make any fiscal sense for me to change. The most I'm paying for one of their lines is $40 a month. &9,99 for the line and $30 for the data.

    I've been with AT&T for about 15 years and they keep doing stupid shit like this. They rarely get better and this new change is no incentive to chagne plans at all this company is ruined by middle management assholes. Thank goodness for the grandfathered, I'm sure they're looking for some way to jack that up.
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