AT&T to stop offering traditional per-device plans to new customers

By , Oct 11, 2013

AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

AT&T announced this afternoon that it will be ‘streamlining’ the plans that it offers to its new customers later this month. That’s essentially corporate jargon for ‘getting rid of,’ and in this case it refers to per-device data plans.

Starting October 25, the carrier will no longer offer traditional monthly voice and data plans to new customers. Instead they will have to choose from one of the newer mobile share plans, which come with various levels of data…

From AT&T’s consumer blog (via Engadget):

“Beginning Oct. 25, we’re streamlining the plans we offer new customers. Our customers have expressed an overwhelming preference for simplified options that allow them to share data across multiple devices. New customers will have the choice of any of our Mobile Share plans, which start as low as $50 a month for a basic phone or $70 a month for a smartphone – both of which include unlimited talk and text and 300MB of data that can be shared***. In 95 percent of the new customer scenarios, Mobile Share offers the same or better price with additional value.   

For current customers, there is no change. They can choose to switch to Mobile Share, or they can continue to enjoy, upgrade or downgrade their existing plan. Unlike some wireless providers, none of our customers will be forced to switch plans if they’d like to stick with what they have – even when upgrading to a new device.”

As an AT&T customer on an old unlimited data plan, I’m glad to hear that nothing will change on our end—even when/if I decide to upgrade my phone. Here’s hoping that this remains the carrier’s policy for the foreseeable future.

For reference, here are AT&T’s Share plans:

att share

AT&T introduced these plans late last summer, following a similar move by Verizon. And since Big Red made them mandatory for new customers upon introduction, we figured it would only be a matter of time before it followed suit.

The two carriers seem to be moving in the opposite direction of T-Mobile, who not only still offers unlimited data plans, but recently announced it would be offering free data in over 100 countries. It’ll be interesting to see how they do.

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  • jocastro

    they should also throw away the next program,

  • ap3604

    So currently an individual can get 3GB + minutes for $70 per month.

    Come October 25th that same $70 per month will only get you a paltry 300 mb! If you want 2GB of data then it will cost you $95 per month!

    Nice AT&T, thanks for taking care of your individual customers.

    • Rowan09

      Check out AIO wireless they run under AT&T towers and it’s $70 for their most expensive plan including taxes.

      • ap3604

        Sure, there’s also StraightTalk as well as GoPhone.

        With prepaid though you need to pay at least $650 for the phone, which makes their monthly service rates not as appealing as they look on paper.

        Either way it’s basically just ATT giving individual customers the finger by forcing them into plans with expensive features customers might not need in order to squeeze more $$$ from the customer.

      • Jacob S

        with the upcoming new plan of AT&T, if I do the comparison I am getting the following:

        S.TALK2GB = $45 x 24 = $1080
        AIO 2GB plan = $55 x 24 = $1320
        AIO 7GB plan = $70 x 24 = $1680

        ATT 2GB plan = $95 x 24 = $2280 PLUS TAX (rip OFF)

        So between Straight Talk and AT&T, even if you pay full price for the smartphone, you can buy one every year with the savings.

      • ap3604

        Of course the new ATT plans are a rip-off, I’ve been saying that since my first post already.

        But the pre-paid MVNO’s aren’t all sunshine and rainbows either. Basically they are just the lesser of two evils.

        Paying for a $650 + tax for an iPhone (split up over 24 months) basically adds $29/mo to whatever monthly pre-paid service costs you are paying.

        So instead of saying “AIO wireless only costs $55/mo” it really costs people $84/mo ($55 + $29)… not as enticing.

      • Jacob S

        $84 is stil cheaper than $95+TAX – With the $95 plan you have to pay upfront $199 (talking about iPhone 5s) plus the difference of $95 and $84 plus tax. Typically you will be saving more than $600 over 24 months. If you choose straightalk you will save almost $850 over two years.

        That is all about individual plans. Like me, I had family plan with AT&T 6GB shared plan with 3 numbers and I was paying over $220 a month. With straight talk I am typically saving $100 a month and over two years it would be almost $2400. That saving is not including $199 we have to pay for new device per account, if we get a device (eg. iPhone 5s) from AT&T. So if you take that into consideration I am saving over $3000 every two years!

        Now, tell me why MVNOs aren’t rainbows? I can’t say they are sunshines, because I read some nasty experience by customers from these MVNOs, so far I am lucky.

      • ap3604

        You keep talking as if you need to defend the honor of pre-paid against the $95/mo ATT plan. You don’t. Both options are dog**** (with ATT’s option being the bigger, steaming pile of it).

      • Jacob S

        priceless conversation! lol

      • Rowan09

        AT&T doesn’t have a $70 plan, trust me I would know because I’ve been a customer for 10 years until today. I was paying with a 20% discount $88 with an iPhone on a $30 data unlimited plan, 450 rollover and $20 unlimited text with free mobile to mobile. If I didn’t have a discount that would cost me over $100 a month. I agree you do pay upfront for your phone but you save in the long run.

      • ap3604

        $70 is the lowest plan an individual iPhone customer can currently pay while getting a reasonable amount of data.

        $40 for minutes
        $30 for 3GB of data

        No one cares about texting anymore as there are ton’s of free message services now (Google Voice, Whatsapp, iMessage, etc). Basically ATT just shoves unlimited texting down customers throats in order to generate revenue, even if they don’t want it.

      • Rowan09

        What about texting I was on a old plan I guess?

      • ap3604

        Texting is not a necessity on a smartphone nowadays with the countless free messaging services out there… data is.

      • Rowan09

        Never the less AT&T bundled messaging with free mobile to mobile so it was a benefit.

      • Jack Wong

        Exactly… I remember few years ago, I already have my wife on iPhone with data plan($15/month)… and all her friends are still on sms plan…(they almost paid as much as data plan for sms…)

      • Jack Wong

        I have dropped the sms for years… because it is just like the data plan, price keep going up for the same old technology…

        I always wonder… when I can do tethering from my iPhone for a reasonable price or I can afford another data plan for my tablet/laptop.

      • James Bailey

        You need to add all the taxes to the att charges. 55.00 with aio is with tax it makes a big Difference.

      • Jack Wong

        The at&t taxes are around 20-25%… it is a lot…

    • chumawumba

      AT&T stands for assholes, thieves, and throttlers

      • ULTIMATEXFIGHTER

        LOL! Nice one! Love it

    • Jack Wong

      I am just glad that I have activated the $30 for 3GB data for my wife few months ago…

      And I have $30 for unlimited, I guess I will jump to Tmobile if at&t is getting rid of these 2 data plans on my account… with whatever reason they have… I know it will happen 1 day, just like Verizon…

      All these changes are getting out of control, I don’t see why we have to pay more and more for the same technology…

      No matter how cheap is the iPhone… it doesn’t matter, because the problem is on the monthly charge from the carrier.

  • chumawumba

    fak u AT&T

  • Stefano

    WTF

  • http://ifury.net fury

    Things like this are why I left AT$T.

    With T-mobile, $70 (plus the usual taxes) gets me unlimited everything. I was grandfathered into the old AT$T unlimited plan, and was paying about twice that much for less. Much less, after they started the throttling.

    Vote with your dollars, people. Get with T-mobile and put money behind the only carrier that’s coming close to making any sense these days.

    • Chris Gaunt

      Guess that depends on where you live. Because anywhere I’ve lived T-Mo sucks balls.

      I’ve shopped around and been happy with AT&T for the last 4years for my needs.

      Everyone wants everything for nothing. Just wait for Obama-tel. It’s what’s next. And you’ll get fined if you don’t have a cellphone. Ha ha.

      • Jack Wong

        Agree.

        It depends on if you get a good reception at where you live and work, we spend like ~70% of our time in these 2 places.

        Specially, you need a good one at where you work… I am sure you know what I am talking about :x

      • clem238

        moron

  • Carlos

    After 6 years with AT&T, I’m happy to make the switch to T-mobile. It’s not about the money. It’s about sending a message. Everything burns.

    • Jack Wong

      I am sure it will happen on me 1 day… at&t is not the only carrier who carry iPhone these days.

      As soon as I see tmobile has good LTE reception/speed at where I work… I am ready to run.

  • Richard Thompson

    Basically it costs a fraction of a penny to send a text on the carriers end. And voice service is not nearly as costly as the carriers would have us believe. With the advent of the smartphone and more and more people starting to figure this out and switching to apps that let you do these things for free or nearly free AT&T and Verizon started hitting the customers where it really hurts. Data. Basically what I see eventually happening is this. Eventually with continued rising costs to use AT&T and Verizon only big businesses are going to use them as a primary carrier. All their other business is just going to be subcontracting themselves out to third party carriers that rent their towers. And normal consumers will more than likely be with these lower cost third parties. Then once this has happened the third party carriers will end up jacking their prices up because of AT&T and Verizon raising the cost to contract coverage on their towers.

    • clem238

      Data is super cheap overseas; Greed is what kills us here, pure greed.

  • Rick Hart

    I’m not an AT&T customer. I’m a big red customer and there a rip of too. Unlimited data jail broke i5 with the mywi app and use 25 to 35 gigs a month no home Internet that’s the way I get my money back

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    I would leave AT&T if T-Mobile had better coverage. Their LTE is not as fast as AT&T’s here.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Tmobile here i go free roaming with data! Im sold!