AT&T killing unlimited data plan for new users

sangs

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Well, this should certainly spark some lively debate.

AT&T Clamps Down, Kills Unlimited Data Plan
Published June 02, 2010 | Associated Press

NEW YORK -- In time for the widely expected launch of a new iPhone model, carrier AT&T Inc. is pulling in the reins on data usage by its customers with smart phones and iPads.

The sole U.S. carrier of the iPhone is introducing two new data plans, starting June 7, with limits on data consumption. They'll replace the $30 per month plan with unlimited usage that it has required for all smart phones, including the iPhone.

With the change AT&T is adopting a carrot-and-stick approach to assuage the data congestion on its network, which has been a source of complaints, especially in cities such as New York and San Francisco that are thick with iPhone users. The new plans will take effect just as Apple is expected to unveil the next generation of its iPhone at an event Monday in San Francisco.

Subscribers who use little data or learn to limit their consumption will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with extra consumption fees.

One new plan will cost $25 per month and offer 2 gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers.
A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 megabytes.

With that plan and voice service, a smart phone could cost as little as $55 per month before taxes and add-on fees, down from $70 per month. Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's consumer business, said that means smart phones can become accessible to more people.

"Customers are getting a good deal, and if they can understand their usage, they can save some money," de la Vega said in an interview.

Current AT&T subscribers will be allowed to keep the unlimited plan, even if they renew their contracts. But all new subscribers will have to choose one of the two new plans.

Figuring out which one to choose may not be easy, given that many people have only a hazy notion of the size of a gigabyte and how many they use now. A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and Web pages, but it's quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing.

De la Vega said AT&T is doing its part to educate consumers, by letting them track their usage online. The iPhone contains a data usage tracking tool. The carrier will also text-message subscribers to let them know they're getting close their limits.

Data usage over Wi-Fi, including AT&T's public Wi-Fi hot spots, will not count toward the limits.

The new $25-per-month plan will replace the current $30 plan with unlimited usage that is available for the iPad, the tablet computer Apple Inc. released just a few months ago, though iPad owners can keep the old plan as long as they keep paying $30 per month, AT&T said.

Paradoxically, the data caps arrive at time when carriers have started to lift the limits on other forms of wireless use, by selling plans with unlimited calling and unlimited text messaging. That's not a big gamble, because not many people have the time to talk phone for eight hours a day or spend every waking minute sending text messages. But smart phones can draw a lot of data, depending one where and how they're used. With the new plans, de la Vega hopes to see high-consumption applications like Internet video being steered toward hot spots, where they don't clog up AT&T's cellular network.

Consumers have rebelled against the idea of data usage caps on home broadband, at least when the limits are set low enough to make online video consumption expensive. Time Warner Cable Inc. was forced to back away from trials of data caps last year after consumer protests and threats of legislative action.

In the wireless world, where data capacity is more constrained, usage caps are more common. Most wireless carriers, for instance, limit data cards for laptops to 5 gigabytes per month.

But with intense competition for smart phone users, phone companies have been reluctant to impose similar limits on those devices, although Sprint Nextel Corp. reserves the right to slow down or disconnect users who exceed 5 gigabytes per month. It remains to be seen whether AT&T's rivals will join it in imposing caps or use their own "unlimited" plans as a marketing advantage.
 

sangs

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AT&T scrapping unlimited data plans

I posted this in the iPhone forums, but it hits iPad users too.

AT&T Clamps Down, Kills Unlimited Data Plan
Published June 02, 2010 | Associated Press

NEW YORK -- In time for the widely expected launch of a new iPhone model, carrier AT&T Inc. is pulling in the reins on data usage by its customers with smart phones and iPads.

The sole U.S. carrier of the iPhone is introducing two new data plans, starting June 7, with limits on data consumption. They'll replace the $30 per month plan with unlimited usage that it has required for all smart phones, including the iPhone.

With the change AT&T is adopting a carrot-and-stick approach to assuage the data congestion on its network, which has been a source of complaints, especially in cities such as New York and San Francisco that are thick with iPhone users. The new plans will take effect just as Apple is expected to unveil the next generation of its iPhone at an event Monday in San Francisco.

Subscribers who use little data or learn to limit their consumption will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with extra consumption fees.

One new plan will cost $25 per month and offer 2 gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each.

A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 megabytes.

With that plan and voice service, a smart phone could cost as little as $55 per month before taxes and add-on fees, down from $70 per month. Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's consumer business, said that means smart phones can become accessible to more people.

"Customers are getting a good deal, and if they can understand their usage, they can save some money," de la Vega said in an interview.

Current AT&T subscribers will be allowed to keep the unlimited plan, even if they renew their contracts. But all new subscribers will have to choose one of the two new plans.

Figuring out which one to choose may not be easy, given that many people have only a hazy notion of the size of a gigabyte and how many they use now. A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and Web pages, but it's quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing.

De la Vega said AT&T is doing its part to educate consumers, by letting them track their usage online. The iPhone contains a data usage tracking tool. The carrier will also text-message subscribers to let them know they're getting close their limits.

Data usage over Wi-Fi, including AT&T's public Wi-Fi hot spots, will not count toward the limits.

The new $25-per-month plan will replace the current $30 plan with unlimited usage that is available for the iPad, the tablet computer Apple Inc. released just a few months ago, though iPad owners can keep the old plan as long as they keep paying $30 per month, AT&T said.

Paradoxically, the data caps arrive at time when carriers have started to lift the limits on other forms of wireless use, by selling plans with unlimited calling and unlimited text messaging. That's not a big gamble, because not many people have the time to talk phone for eight hours a day or spend every waking minute sending text messages. But smart phones can draw a lot of data, depending one where and how they're used. With the new plans, de la Vega hopes to see high-consumption applications like Internet video being steered toward hot spots, where they don't clog up AT&T's cellular network.

Consumers have rebelled against the idea of data usage caps on home broadband, at least when the limits are set low enough to make online video consumption expensive. Time Warner Cable Inc. was forced to back away from trials of data caps last year after consumer protests and threats of legislative action.

In the wireless world, where data capacity is more constrained, usage caps are more common. Most wireless carriers, for instance, limit data cards for laptops to 5 gigabytes per month.

But with intense competition for smart phone users, phone companies have been reluctant to impose similar limits on those devices, although Sprint Nextel Corp. reserves the right to slow down or disconnect users who exceed 5 gigabytes per month. It remains to be seen whether AT&T's rivals will join it in imposing caps or use their own "unlimited" plans as a marketing advantage.
 
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redbeard

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Bunch of crooks, instead of fixing their network they try to limit usage of it. 2 gigs is nothing, especially on an ipad. And the fact that just allowing tethering costs an extra 20 bucks but you get absolutely NOTHING for it is ridiculous, no extra bandwidth, nothing. Since they aren't giving people more bandwidth tethering should be free, it doesn't matter if you use the data on your phone or to tether.

This is the kind of crap that makes that Evo coming out friday look even better, better specs and cheaper than AT&T's crappy, overpriced network. Apple really needs to find another US carrier.
 

redbeard

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Oh and I'm sure they'll try to charge us some ridiculous amount like 30 a month for video calls.

Thank god for jailbreaking, AT&T can rot in hell. The telecoms in this country need to be broken up.
 

ctt1wbw

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I just checked my usage for my iPhone. I'm nowhere near the new 2 gig dataplan limit. I think 3G is a joke, so I use wifi only. 3G is fine for checking the weather and stuff, but for actual internet useage? Yeah, right. And forget Edge. I'm sure people here know my opinion on Edge.
 

thinkTwice

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Putting my hatred for AT&Ts network- broomsticks with tin foil on top as cell towers with wires leading to a cut lemon, it's not a bad idea from a business standpoint for Nazi Germany.

Like Hitler- er de la vega said, something like 5% of the smartphone users use >50% of the bandwidth. Nazi Germany wants to protect their network- so the heavy users leave and you're left with mom who thinks e-mail on a phone is cute and get to save $5/month!

The heavy user leaves (pays $325), reduces network use, and now Verizon gets all the heavy users that bog down their network.
 

ugahairydawgs

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Putting my hatred for AT&Ts network- broomsticks with tin foil on top as cell towers with wires leading to a cut lemon, it's not a bad idea from a business standpoint for Nazi Germany.

Like Hitler- er de la vega said, something like 5% of the smartphone users use >50% of the bandwidth. Nazi Germany wants to protect their network- so the heavy users leave and you're left with mom who thinks e-mail on a phone is cute and get to save $5/month!

The heavy user leaves (pays $325), reduces network use, and now Verizon gets all the heavy users that bog down their network.

Until Verizon announces caps on their data network too (which I expect will happen very soon) and then we're back at square one.
 

Technologic#IM

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They say people with current iPad plans will be able to keep the "unlimited" plan.

But, since this is a month-to-month plan and not a contract, ATT can change it anytime.
 

ghostface147

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I use 750 megs a month at most. This new plan will save me money, and I know it's not a lot, but it's better than zero. I can also keep my existing unlimited if I want to. Even better.
 

ifarlow

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My question is, where in the hell does a 200MB/mo plan fit in as far as the average Joe is considered?

Right here:

Chart.png

I am fairly regularly using data services, and yet the data that I send back and forth must not be all that large. So I'm good with the tiers.
 

Smlk

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It sucks, but they are ALL headed to caps. I agree that Verizon will be going there very soon too. I also am an average user and the 2G plan is where I fall with lots of paid for but unused data. Where this really becomes a pain in the rear is being a mom to 2 teens and one in college currently. Figuring out everyone's data plan and the potential surprise at the end of the month if it happens to be a busy month for her- sucks for ME!
 

cardfan

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I consider my data usage to be moderate. I'm always using my phone to do something other than make calls. And most of these things I do, require a data connection. Here's my data usage for the last 7 months:

Chart.png


My question is, where in the hell does a 200MB/mo plan fit in as far as the average Joe is considered?

Since I have never came close to the 2GB ceiling, I suppose I have nothing to worry about with these changes. But if AT&T is going to go this route, I wished they would have better tiered pricing for their data instead of gouging me for data I'll never use. Then again, when has the phone company ever gave a rip about us anyway.

My history looks similar since i use wifi a lot. The biggest use i suppose would be from streaming in car.

It appears that when i add my wife over for new iphone, upgrading to family talk plan will mean i need to get these new data plans. I guess i save 10 dollars though.
 

cardfan

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It sucks, but they are ALL headed to caps. I agree that Verizon will be going there very soon too. I also am an average user and the 2G plan is where I fall with lots of paid for but unused data. Where this really becomes a pain in the rear is being a mom to 2 teens and one in college currently. Figuring out everyone's data plan and the potential surprise at the end of the month if it happens to be a busy month for her- sucks for ME!

Exactly. I don't want to have to monitor my data usage or fool with it. Especially if it involves two other lines besides my own.
 

whsbuss#IM

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Here's a question. I currently have the BB Bold 9000 w/AT&T and the wife has a regular cell phone. We both plan on getting the new iPhone in August when we're eligable for a discounted upgrade. She will be fine with the $25/month plan but will AT&T let me transfer my BB data plan ($29.99) to the new iPhone?
 

sirchip

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my understanding is that everyone who is on at&t up til June 6th are grandfathered in their existing plan meaning unlimited data. these new caps are for new contracts...either way yea i'm officially gonna leave at&t and never go back...which is sad cus i do love the iphone...
 

ghostface147

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All carriers will eventually go to this once new technologies are rolled out. While still the cheapest, Sprint does charge an extra 10 bucks to get 4G access. T-Mobile doesn't do anything that I know of, but it's improbable to believe that their prices will stay the same as they expand their 3G network and eventually go to LTE. Verizon already said that LTE will bring tiered pricing. I like the new prices.
 

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