AT&T is briniging its unlimited data plann as a bundle with its U-Verse TV and new DirecTV services. This means that if you're a subscriber on either of those, the plan costs $100 for a single smartphone, with additional lines at $40 each. AT&T will also lop $10 off of your DirecTV or U-Verse bill. New subscribers will get throttled at the same 22GB limit as older users, but will also get unlimited texts and talking.
AT&T's latest plan is summarized are follows:
- For one person:
- The unlimited plan with one phone, including a first year of DirecTV, costs at least $110 a month and will rise to at least $140 a month after a year because of the DirecTV promotional price. This does not include fees, taxes or the cost of the phone itself.
- Just getting a phone plan with 5 GB of data would cost you $75 a month, before the cost of the phone, taxes and fees; it's $85, to start, including DirecTV.
- For two people:
- The unlimited plan costs at least $150.
- A 5 GB phone plan costs $100; 15 GB costs $130. Adding TV costs at least $10 a month more to start.
- For familes: A family of four would save money with the unlimited plan if they would have opted for a plan with 20 GB, but spend more if they just wanted to share 15 GB.
AT&T started throttling the "unlimited" plans after 5GB of data usage, a move that was not neglected by FCC. The regulator said that AT&T didn't adequately notify users about the drastic speed reductions, and slapped a $100 million fine on the carrier. Then AT&T increased the the throttling limit to the 22GB.
The unlimited data deal may be cheaper than AT&T's limited-data plan if you have a family that watches a lot of video and want cable; if it's one person, sticking with the existing plan is likely a better value, especially if you don't want cable. It's a limited-time offer but AT&T won't say when the promotion would end. People who sign up can keep their plans when or if the promotion ends.
While AT&T killed its unlimited data plan in 2010 for new customers unlimited plans still exist, as the wireless carriers let its existing customers keep unlimited plans, although the price has gone up recently.
T-Mobile and Sprint, the No. 3 and No. 4 carriers, currently offer unlimited plans for new customers. But they throttle, or slow your speed, after you use up 23GB.