Just a little over a year after their initial debut, AT&T's Mobile Share plans will soon be the only option for new customers that need data. AT&T announced today on Oct. 25, it will "streamline" its plan options for new subscribers, requiring them to sign up for one of its Mobile Share offerings if they want any texting or data. The carrier has told Engadget that it will still offer a $40 plan that only includes 450 minutes for consumers that have no need for messaging or mobile data.
AT&T says that this move is a response to the popularity of its Mobile Share plans, which were being used by over 13 million devices as of Q2 2013. The base Mobile Share plan includes 300MB of data at a price of $50 per month for basic phones and $70 for smartphones, and from there customers can choose from plans that range from 1GB to 50GB of data. Every Mobile Share plan includes unlimited talk and text as well as mobile hotspot.
Existing AT&T customers needn't worry about putting a death grip on their existing rate plan, as AT&T won't require them to switch to Mobile Share on Oct. 25. Those users are free to continue with their existing plan, make feature changes or and even upgrade to a new device without being forced to make the Mobile Share jump.
While it's kind of a bummer to see AT&T basically requiring new customers to sign up for a Mobile Share plan, it's good to see that Ol' Blue won't be forcing any of its existing users to switch. And hey, if you were thinking about moving to AT&T but don't want a Mobile Share offering, you've still got two weeks to make the jump. Better get going.