Hold on to your grandfathered plans folks, it's going to be a long ride! This morning, much to my chagrin (and I'm willing to bet yours too), AT&T has announced what we've assumed to be the inevitable - tiered data plan pricing. I think it's safe to say that this was expected, but my impression was that Verizon was going to be one of the first and that it would be a result of the expense of implementing their LTE network (in other words, I wasn't expecting this so soon). But according to BGR, that's not going to be the case at all. On June 7th (the first day of WWDC, interestingly enough) AT&T's new data plans will go into effect. The new plans are as follows (courtesy of AT&T):
DataPlus – 200 MB of data for $15 per month
- Designed for people who primarily surf the Web, send email, and use social networking apps.
- On average, 65% of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB per month
- If you use more than 200 MB, you'll receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15, replenished as often as necessary during the billing cycle.
DataPro – 2 GB of data for $25 per month
- Designed for people who regularly download or stream music and video, or use other high bandwidth applications
- 98% of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB in a month on average
- If you exceed 2 GB, you'll get an additional 1 GB of data for only $10. Each time an additional 1 GB is used up during a cycle, you will automatically receive another 1 GB at the same low price.
Tethering Options – Smartphone customers who choose the DataPro plan can add tethering for an additional $20 per month. With tethering, you can use your smartphone as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks, or other computing devices.
Included in all the above options is unlimited free Wi-Fi at locations where AT&T has hotspots (20,000+ locations according to AT&T). If you were concerned that you'd have to switch over to one of these new plans, don't be, as long as you stick with what you've currently got, you're good to go. While I don't see availability for unlimited data, which in my opinion is unfortunate, there is an upside. People who want to experience data, but don't intend to use as much as a superuser, can now do so at a more affordable rate. I'm sure this will be a hot topic for some of you, so feel free to discuss below!