AT&T increases wireless data plan caps, raises prices

By on January 20, 2012, 2:30 PM

AT&T Wireless is about to make some slight modifications to its data plans which may benefit some customers, but hurt others. The good news? Starting January 22, AT&T will be replacing its 200MB and 2GB data plans with 300MB and 3GB, respectively. The bad news? AT&T will be charging an additional $5 per month for each plan. The increase for lower and middle tier pricing means 300MB plans will be $20/mo while 3GB plans will be $30/mo.

 AT&T shrewdly spun the price hike as a good thing, giving customers more data up-front at a "great value". The company pointed out that the newly adjusted tiers yield a slightly higher ratio of megabytes to dollars than the old tiers, increasing the overall value of their data plans. AT&T identified last year's increase in data usage as the reason for the change-up.The company's recent endeavor to deploy LTE may have attributed to the price hike as well.

Analytics firm, Validas, refuted the carrier's claim of providing a "great value" though, by showing in most real-world scenarios, people will end up paying more for bandwidth they do not need. In a nutshell, the numbers may look better on paper but have little merit in the real world. The firm questioned AT&T's motives, noting such price hikes didn't occurr the last time AT&T saw increased data usage.

We took a look at their $25/2GB plan, now boosted to a $30/3GB plan. While the math indicates that the new version of the plan is a better value ($10/GB down from $12.50/GB), our data suggests that average AT&T Smartphone data consumption: 1) is far lower than either the new 30GB or the old 20GB tiered limits (calling into question whether the new version of the plan effectively offers better “real world” value for the average user than the old plan), and 2) has not recently peaked in such a way that would necessitate the extra gigabyte for the typical user.

Under the newly adjusted tiers, here is an overview of AT&T's data plans:

Smartphone data plans:

  • AT&T Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
  • AT&T Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Tablet data plans:

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB




User Comments: 13

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soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

...and que the AT&T hater's comments in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... go.

Guest said:

"...and que the AT&T hater's comments in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... go."

What the hell are you talking about it? I LOVE AT&T! It's so great, when I think about it, I start to salivate and get really hot.

On the other hand, I am of course sticking with my 200MB plan since I use wifi most of the time. The mobile date is used for some occasional surfing and mostly for email notifications. Besides the mobile date sucks anyways. I have the Inspire 4G and if you know about how they advertised 4G and such, you would think it would be fast and reliable. However it totally sucks and the quite unreliable. Well it did not matter much anyways since I got the phone because it was cheap and had good specs.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Greedy mother $&#*ers... It's just about getting more money and they know it. I reluctantly got a 2GB/month data plan with Verizon a few months ago because I am on the go so much and need mobile internet access. However I only need 50-100 MB a month, and $30 a month for that small amount of usage is ridiculous. I wrote Verizon some nastygrams seeing if I could make a futile attempt at getting them to introduce a $10 a month plan with like 200 MB or something, but of course I got the typical corporate BS response. These asshats don't care about budget-conscious people, they just care about getting more of our money.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

IAMTHESTIG said:

Greedy mother $&#*ers... It's just about getting more money and they know it. I reluctantly got a 2GB/month data plan with Verizon a few months ago because I am on the go so much and need mobile internet access. However I only need 50-100 MB a month, and $30 a month for that small amount of usage is ridiculous. I wrote Verizon some nastygrams seeing if I could make a futile attempt at getting them to introduce a $10 a month plan with like 200 MB or something, but of course I got the typical corporate BS response. These asshats don't care about budget-conscious people, they just care about getting more of our money.

ditto....

I am glad when i signed my contract "I did Not Sign My Name", I signed it " Bugs Bunny", So at any time, I can drop them like a "Rock".

Its nice having a friend that works as a costumer support here in town, that tells you all the little secrets the phone companies KEEP from all the CUSTOMERS....

motrin said:

last billing cycle I came close to 6gb.. I feel bad for those who have to pay extra for 3gb

MrAnderson said:

This is hirrible and I knew it was coming.

250 should be no more than 10 bucks if not 5... you see they are trying to make up for slipping margins... texting will be hit with people using their dataplans instead... so we will have facebook messenger, iPhone messenger etc... and their text revenue will start to fall.

This is seriouly messed up crap. They need to give us some real imporvements in service... create some interesting plans etc. People are trapped. I just got out of my unlimited data plan to save 5 bucks and that only cost me 30 bucks... now the 2G is gone and they want to push it back to 30... bastards! Wow they really suck.

Guest said:

Most people use more than 200GB and less that 1GB and they know that so they price the plans accordingly to get the most money. $10 Per Gigabyte is reasonable.....but do you think we will see that...not for a long time. They like to tell you it's for your benefit and to stop people using to much...but they know less than 1% of all users will use more than 2GB so it's all BS to get more money from the little people.

foreverzero89 said:

i already doen't use the full 200 MB plan....and now they want to charge me more for more shit i wont use?!

Guest said:

Data Plus 300 MB: $20 for 300 MB, you have got to be kidding. One Windows 7 update would eat that up in 10 seconds. I get 1 GIG for $9:90 a month, or $19:90 for 2.5 GIG. Telstra, Optus and most others will ROB you, all are greedy and hungry for your money. My advice is DUMP the greedy and find one that is not so greedy. Show them the road to bankruptcy by walking away from the thieves. I think they know you are stupid enough to give them your hard earned money.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

It cost's the phone companies less than a penny to send data packets across the networks, they have balloned the costs for MEGA profits..

Guest said:

Wait I'm confused where can I find links to those new 30GB plans and the old 20GB plans they only seem to be mentioned once in the article...

Guest said:

We are stuck in contracts with these greedy ba$#ard$. Cannot do anything until our 2 years are up...

bgandy said:

ditto....

I am glad when i signed my contract "I did Not Sign My Name", I signed it " Bugs Bunny", So at any time, I can drop them like a "Rock".

Its nice having a friend that works as a costumer support here in town, that tells you all the little secrets the phone companies KEEP from all the CUSTOMERS....

To bad that will never actually work. Just by being in possession of the device in your contract, you agree to the contract.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk

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