Wednesday, June 2, 2010
AT&T Not Unlimited Anymore?
Today AT&T introduced new wireless data plans that make it more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile internet. Customers can pick the new data plan that best meets their needs either a $15 per month entry plan or a $25 per month plan with 10 times more data. As for current smartphone customers, they are not required to switch to the new plans or extend their contract.
DataPlus - Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – about enough to send/receive 1,000 emails w/o attachments, view 700 Web pages, and watch...ehem... 20 minutes of streaming video is $15 per month.
DataPro - Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – about enough to send/receive 10,000 emails w/o attachments, view 4,000 Web pages, and watch 200 minutes of streaming video is $25 per month.
Tethering - iPhone customers who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month.
So $25+$20 = $45 for DataPro/Tethering??? Ouch!
The main difference between the new plans and the old is that the word "unlimited" is now gone, which at first sounds like bad news.
New iPad customers, who buy an iPad 3G after June 7th, can get the same $25 per month 2GB plan as iPhone users. Unlike iPhone users, iPad customers will still prepay for their wireless data plan with no contract. Existing iPad owners can still enjoy the $29.99 unlimited option, though.
Tethering at $45 a month isn’t terrible, but it’s capped at 2 GB a month, which definitely doesn’t make it a must-have. Then again, I could pay the $45 a month and share data between my iPhone and my iPad and every other device. Now I have until June 7th, when the new plans come into play, to make a final decision.
AT&T has effectively taken a step backwards in the mobile landscape by severely restricting consumers’ opportunities. Oh well, there’s three other somewhat competent carriers in the U.S.
Look for the new Data Plus and Data Pro iPhone plans to be officially unveiled to the public at the iPhone 4.0 announcement at WWDC 2010. I can easily see this as being the worst announcement Steve Jobs will address. Expect BOOS for AT&t, yet again.