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.

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