LulzSec has made quite a name for itself over the past month or two by hacking the websites of various organizations and government entities, but today the group decided to call it quits after one more big release of data. What does this have to do with mobile, you ask? Included in the mountain of information is some internal AT&T data regarding LTE and its plans to offer different speed-based data options that it calls "Speed Based Pricing." Now before we dive into the details, it's worth mentioning that these documents are somewhat dated, originating from late last year and early this year. That means that it's entirely possible that this info is out of date and has since changed, especially since AT&T announced its intention to acquire T-Mobile back in March.
Now that that's out of the way, let's dive in. The docs show that AT&T at one time planned to implement LTE data plans based on different speeds, which is different than traditional data plans like the ones that AT&T offers now and Verizon will implement on July 7th that offer a monthly allotment of data. AT&T's proposed speed-based plans would work similar to the options available from your beloved (or maybe not so beloved) cable company. Besides the speed-based options, the leak also mentions "Session Based Pricing," which would allow customers to boost their data speeds when necessary (for an extra fee, natch).
Alongside the previously-mentioned data plans, folks digging in the docs have found a portion that mentions the iPad. In a document dated November 2010, there's a sentence in the "LTE Session-Based Speed Tiers" section that reads as follows: "iPad new activations HLS using the new rate plan." It's not clear if the doc is referencing 2010 (and the iPad 2) or a 2011 roadmap, although some folks think that that sentence could indicate that a new LTE-enabled iPad is in the pipeline.
An analyst report from earlier this month claimed that an LTE iPad would be coming soon and, if these leaked documents are indeed referencing an iPad that'll be tested late this year, we could indeed see Apple push out an LTE tablet early next year. Of course, the doc could also be referencing the currently-available iPad 2 and all of this speculation could be moot. As for the AT&T speed-based data plans, we reported on a leak earlier this year that mentioned the same type of plans. At the time it was thought that AT&T would begin testing the speed-based plans in May, but this is the first we've heard of these options since then, which adds to the possibility that these docs are out of date and and that AT&T may not even be considering implementing these plans anymore. Still, that doesn't mean we can't have fun discussing! What do you all think of the idea of speed-based data plans? Given the choice, would you rather see your carrier adopt speed-based plans or tiered offerings?