AT&T (NYSE: T) To End Unlimited Data Plan For SmartPhones, Offer Tiered Options
AT&T announced Wednesday that it will stop offering its unlimited data plan to new customers, opting for tiered plans that give users certain monthly limits. The company said the move will likely lower bills for a majority of its customers based on past usage trends.
The telecom giant has decided to end its $30 a month unlimited data use plan, with only existing customers being allowed to keep the option. Going forward AT&T will offer a base plan of $15 a month that gives a user 200 megabytes of data usage.
The next level offered will be a $25 a month plan that gives users 2 gigabytes of data usage. AT&T said 98 percent of its customers use less than 2 gigabytes per month, allowing the new plan to save new customers money.
“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.” Added de la Vega.
AT&T is offering add-ons to the base plans, charging users $10 for an additional 200 megabytes for those on the 200 megabyte plan. The 2 gigabyte subscribers will be able to get an additional gigabyte of data usage for $10 as well.
The move by AT&T is substantial for the future of data plan pricing since they are the lone carrier for the iPhone and iPad, two products with the strongest growth in demand for data use.
AT&T said it is also cutting the unlimited data plan for the iPad, replacing it with a $25 a month plan that offers 2 gigabytes of data use.
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