AT&T cuts $10 text messaging plan for new customers

By on August 18, 2011, 1:54 PM

AT&T’s $10 text messaging plan will soon follow the company’s unlimited data plan to the grave. Engadget received an anonymous tip that the company was nixing their 1,000 message bundle, which has now been confirmed by an AT&T spokesperson.

By removing the lower tier SMS plan, new subscribers must either sign up for the $20 unlimited package or pay per-message rates. Pay-per-use text messages are billed at $0.20 per SMS and $0.30 per media message. The unlimited messaging plan for families is left untouched.

The only logical reason we can think of for the change (aside from making the company more money) is that AT&T is hoping to offset an anticipated drop in text messaging on iPhones once iOS 5 is released this fall. iMessage is one of several new features and much like BlackBerry Messenger 6, the service will circumvent traditional SMS messages between iOS users, allowing you to send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G.

This is just one of a laundry list of changes that AT&T has implemented recently. 

In June 2010, AT&T announced they were no longer offering unlimited data packages to new subscribers. Priced at $30, the plan was grandfathered in if you signed up before June 7.

AT&T introduced tethering support as well, but users were only able to sign up for this new service if they ditched their unlimited plan. This didn’t sit well with heavy data users so many acquired tethering by jailbreaking their iPhones. AT&T announced earlier this month that they were cracking down on those who violate the company’s terms of service.

Furthermore, the mobile giant will begin throttling mobile broadband speeds for a select group of users still on the original unlimited plan. AT&T explained that the change will only affect five percent of unlimited subscribers who consume "extraordinary" levels of data.

The latest round of changes goes into effect on August 21, the same day that AT&T's first 4G LTE devices arrive in stores.

User Comments: 17

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Xero07 said:

I think they could lose a lot of customers for this. I get 250 messages for $5 on Verizion. ATT wants to charge the same for 25 or make customers pay $20.

example1013 said:

Wow, AT&T must really hate their customers. Are they actively trying to lose all subscribers?

Guest said:

AT&T sucks!!!!!

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

And an AT&T customer would stay with them...why?


Guest said:

AT&T sucks!!!!!

They really suck' now...

good thing when i upgraded my phone i signed a new contract, but, i did not sign my real name.

meaning contract is null and void, thank you Bugs Bunny..

so looks like i am changing phone companies, soon....

Guest said:

I stay because my plan is still good, i probably wouldn't if i had to actually pay these prices (i'm 30 bux unlimited)

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess they figure the $10 bucks will cover their loses.

Do we even still have a government?

Guest said:

Verizon will follow. Just like they did with their data plan. When you only have two service providers to pick from you will pay top dollar for a technology that has been in use for 20+ years. And on a side note the governments in power will scan all your email, texts and more for subversiveness.

Guest said:

Verizon's unlimited text messaging plan is $20, not sure how that's any different from AT&T:

I am moving to US soon and right now in Canada with Rogers I get:

350 Daytime minutes

1st Incoming minute free

400 Incoming daytime minutes

Free unlimited calling after 6pm weekdays, unlimited calling weekends

Unlimited texting

Caller ID


Total: $35 before taxes.


450 Daytime minutes

No incoming minutes

Free unlimited calling after 9pm, unlimited calling weekends

Unlimited texting

Total: $59.99 before taxes

??? What am I missing here? Are US's plans THIS expensive? Or do I need to play hardball with the service rep?

MrAnderson said:

I don't get the logic... that iMessage prograsm is not going to be the problem... it is already the growing number of messaging services that are free that do SMS... sure it is on the iPhone and other smart phones. They should not be charging so much for the stupid SMS when there are no significan options. You cannot block people from texting you, which includes junk texts. And they still have the nerve to charge for incoming text and at the same rate as out going. It is the craziest thing ever, and I have already told my contacts that I'm dropping my already ovber priced unlimited text plan. Text is data... I have a data plan... why am I being milked? Well my tits are soar... yes I'm talking to all the telecoms. To bad the customers don't stick together on this...

petert said:

Guest at 10:44 PM - you're not missing anything - US residents are ripped of. It is not only Canada but there are also third world country companies that provide much cheaper services with none the limits AT&T sets for its US customer. If I am not mistaken, the AT&T company offers cheaper services and with little limitations somewhere in the Central Europe.

Guest said:

What the hell are "incoming minutes"? You get charged for someone calling you? Talk about getting spitroasted!

Guest said:

Don't compare US cell providers with others around the world... the system is not necessarily the same.

In parts of Southeast Asia, you pay top dollars for the phone/technology but their plans are ridiculously cheap. Why? because they don't have subsidies for the phones. The new smartphones cost $500+. This also creates a healthy used cell phone market and pushes for new phones and new technology faster. In the end though, their system is better, you pay more for your phone but you make it because your cell phone plans are that much cheaper... and you are not locked in for 2 years, giving you the choice to change cell carriers.

Guest said:

I would use a friggin phone box before I got locked into a 2 year contract with any phone company. These guys are really taking the piss now. I bet the phone is still only guaranteed for a year too.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yay, look at how much fun we're going to have with only two major providers!

xclusiveitalian said:

And an AT&T customer would stay with them...why?

They don't, but every place they escape to gets gobbled back up by the death star.

jafo818 said:

This change primarily affects individuals or couples who don't text a lot. The family plan at $30 is attractive for 3 or more people, even if they don't text much. But for individuals or couples who text occasionally, this is a major ripoff.

Guest said:

AT&T sucks!!!!!

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