Ready for some shiny new data plans, AT&T customers? That's exactly what you'll soon be getting, as AT&T has finally made its shared data plans nice and official. Known as Mobile Share plans, the new offerings will be launching in late August and will allow customers to sign up for one data bucket that can be shared across several devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The plans also include unlimited talk and text. AT&T notes that subscribers can select one of these new Mobile Share plans or an existing individual or family plan, and current customers won't be required to switch to the new plans.
Customers interested in signing up for an AT&T Mobile Share plan start out by selecting how much data they'd like per month. The size of the buckets range from 1GB to 20GB in size. Up to 10 devices can be attached to a Mobile Share plan, but AT&T notes that at least one must be a smartphone. How much you pay for that smartphone to have access to the data bucket each month depends on the size of the bucket selected. As you can see in the chart below, signing up for the 1GB plan costs $40 per month as well as another $45 per smartphone. However, selecting the 10GB pack will cost $120 per month, but the price for each smartphone will only be $30.
As for other devices, AT&T says that basic and messaging phones, laptops, tablets and gaming devices can all be added to its Mobile Share plans. Basic and quick messaging phones will be charged $30 each per month for access to the plans, while laptops and netbooks will cost $20 each per month. Tablets and gaming devices are the cheapest of the bunch, priced at $10 per device per month.
These new Mobile Share plans are the latest in a line of big data-related changes that AT&T's made in recent years, with the move from unlimited data to tiered plans in June 2010 and now the jump from data tiers to these new shared offerings. Of course, we know that AT&T has been working on shared data plans for a while now, we just haven't known exactly when they'd be arriving. It's nice to see AT&T allowing existing customers to hold onto their current data plans rather than forcing them to upgrade to a Mobile Share offering, especially since these new plans only offer unlimited talk and text, which is something that not every user may need. So now that they're officially official, what do you all make of the Mobile Share plans?
AT&T Gives Customers More Choice with New Shared Wireless Data Plans
New Mobile Share Plans Allow Customers to Easily Share Data Across Smartphones, Tablets and Other Devices. New and Current Customers Not Required To Choose or Switch to Shared Plans
Dallas, Texas, July 18, 2012
AT&T* customers will soon have more options in choosing the plan that’s right for them and their mobile devices. With new AT&T Mobile Share plans, available in late August, new and existing customers can share a single bucket of data across smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. AT&T Mobile Share plans make it easy for customers to manage their data, voice minutes and texting, without needing to keep track of multiple plans.
Customers can select one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T’s existing individual or family plans. Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T’s device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T’s best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers.
With AT&T Mobile Share plans, customers start by choosing how much data they want each month, then choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones. The larger the data bucket you choose, the less you pay per gigabyte and the less you pay for each smartphone added to the shared plan
AT&T Mobile Share allows customers to essentially build a plan to fit their devices and usage. Customers who are more data-centric can choose a larger data bucket. Customers who typically use more voice than data can add multiple smartphones and basic phones and opt for a smaller data bucket.
“We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They’ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It’s their choice.
“Today we think of people’s smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we’ll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet,” said Christopher. “Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.”
Mobile Share plans give customers more control over how, where and on what device they use data — which has become more important as people use more data devices. You can choose to use more of your data bucket on your tablet, for example, or tap into your data bucket only when needed for devices you use occassionally. And by consolidating data plans, you can take advantage of any data you currently have unused each month by efficiently sharing it across devices.
“The ‘more you share, the more you save’ concept is one that will resonate well with customers because of the value provided through the Mobile Share data plans themselves and in smartphone connection fees,” said Roger Entner, Founder and Lead Analyst of Recon Analytics. “AT&T also is providing its customers with flexibility and choice by keeping its existing data plans and not requiring customers to move to Mobile Share unless they want to. It’s a win-win for both AT&T and its customers.”
To help customers track their data usage, AT&T keeps users informed with courtesy alerts as they near their data allowance for the month. Also, customers can check their usage at anytime online, through the myAT&T mobile app, or by calling *DATA# from their mobile phone.
Each data plan also includes access to more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots — the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network** among wireless carriers — at no additional charge. Wi-Fi usage at public hotspots, home or office does not count toward the monthly wireless data plan usage.
Customers can learn more about the new plans and determine which plan is best for them at www.att.com/mobileshare.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.
Smartphone required. 3G, HSPA+, LTE devices only. Up to ten devices per plan. Additional monthly charge per device. Tablets sold at a discounted, 2-year contract price not eligible. $15 per GB for add’l data. Activation fee may apply. Additional deposits and other restrictions may apply.
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