Last night AT&T published a release that re-jiggers their data plans for smartphones (which on AT&T basically means: iPhones) and iPads. The new plans replace some existing unlimited plans (the unlimited iPhone data plan actually has a limit of 5 gigs a month, while the unlimited iPad plan was truly unlimited). The new plans are:
- DataPlus: 200 MB of data a month for $15
- DataPro: 2 GB of data a month for $25
Existing customers can keep their old unlimited plans, but new customers will have to choose one of these two new plans starting on June 7th. Oh, and AT&T will also finally offer tethering (starting on the 7th as well) for an extra $20 a month above and beyond any data plans you might have.
For iPad users this is a little bit of a raw deal, if you ask me. The truly unlimited data plan that AT&T offered was a fantastic deal, and now not so much. However, for iPhone users I think these new plans will work out quite nicely.
I have an iPhone unlimited data plan for which I pay $30 a month. That got me to thinking, can I switch to one of the new plans and save a little money? Here’s my data usage on my iPhone for the last few months:
I have no idea what I was doing in February, which is the shortest month of the year, but clearly I required LOTS of data. But even than I didn’t even break a gig.
Looks like I’ll be switching to the DataPro plan to save a couple bucks.
Now, what I’d really like to see is a lower voice plan. At the moment I pay $39.99 a month for which gives me 450 anytime minutes and 5000 night and weekend minutes. That’s the cheapest plan I can get and 16 days into the month I’ve used 23 out of 450 anytime minutes and 27 out of 5000 night and weekend minutes. Plus I have 4,162 rollover minutes to use.
I’d love to pay $20 for half the talk minutes. How about that, AT&T?
6 responses to “AT&T touts new smartphone data plans”
Scott, you clearly don’t understand AT&T’s pricing structure. If they offered a voice plan in line with their cheaper iPad plan, it would be 1/10 the time for 3/5 the price: 45 minutes for $24, $25 for each additional 45 minutes.
Living in Spain, these plans don’t sound so good, especially the bandwidth limit. I have an unlocked iPhone 3G with Vodafone; I pay some 15 Euros / month for my data plan; the “limit” is 250 MB, but if you go over that they never charge you extra; your connection speed is reduced, that’s all.
I’ve used the tethering feature 3 or 4 times in the last month, when my cable service stopped working for a few hours, and I haven’t even noticed the reduced connection speed; after a while I just noticed: “Hey, I’m connecting through the iPhone”; it was that good. I’ve always feared a data plan with extra charges for additional bandwidth usage.
How are they to know if you are using MyWi and tethering through Wifi? MyWi is great, as it creates a little wifi hotspot that a few devices can hop on, but get out to the internet through AT&T. It’s similar to one of those small hotspot devices from Verizon or Sprint.
I think we’ll stay on the $30 a month usage. No one want’s to have to keep track of our data usage. There’s other things in life worth more to keep track of.
Isn’t the $30 a month plan actually not unlimited but really 5GB?
As for moving to a $20/month plan remember – not trying to defend AT&T here – but there is a base cost for having you as a customer and for paying off that expensive cell phone. So think of $20 as the base cost to you and then you pay some extra $/month based on usage.
I forgot to mention that here in Spain, most carriers do not charge extra for the tethering feature. Vodafone doesn’t, that’s for sure.
Awesome use of spreadsheet/graphing software on this post, Scott.