AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

Today, at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference and ahead of Apple’s iPad event next Tuesday, AT&T cunningly announced a pair of new data-only cellular plans beginning with the basic tier that will set you back five bucks per day, which buys you 250MB of 3G or high-speed 4G LTE cellular data. It’s a nice option for those who only occasionally use their iPad while out and about, without Wi-Fi nearby.

Charlie Penrose, AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Emerging Devices, said at the conference that his company hopes the new tablet-only data offering will give customers yet another reason to consider cellular devices instead of overwhelmingly opting for Wi-Fi-only tablets. Jump past the fold to read about AT&T’s other tier…

AllThingsD has the quote from Penrose:

We really think that a Wi-Fi only tablet is good, but it is not good enough. We’ve seen that price go down substantially over the past several years. Ultimately we’d like to see tablet manufacturers build just one tablet.

Hear that, Apple?

There’s also another plan for those who need more than 250MB per day.

According to the carrier, it plans to launch a tier costing $25 and offering one gigabyte of cellular data over a three-month period. The two new plans might indeed incentivize people to choose cellular over Wi-Fi devices.

Needles to say, both new plans will be available for 3G and 4G LTE iPads, as well as to those who own a non-Apple AT&T tablet. Moreover, iPad owners will be able to purchase these data tiers directly on their device, the telco said.

These new options are offered in addition to AT&T’s existing $14.99 250MB one-month DataConnect Pass plan and the $10 per month charge to add a tablet to your Mobile Share plans.

The new plans are not unlimited so folks who need to use cellular data, say, over a total of six days in a single a month should instead take a look at AT&T’s $30 a month 3GB plan (5GB a month is a $50 value).

In the meantime, AT&T’s LTE network continues to pop up in unusual places.

I’ve never bought a cellular iPad simply because I mostly blog from home. However, on several occasions – usually while traveling for a few days – I find myself regretting not paying a $130 extra for a cellular iPad.

In related AT&T news, the carrier confirmed that electric-car maker Tesla has been using its wireless network to power in-car diagnostics, infotainment and other services for some time now.

That’s a nice win for Tesla that helps bring connectivity to the car of the future.

What say you, are these new plans any good?

  • LAGISSUEZ

    No. These plans are not good. None of the plans are good. They were good when it was $30 for unlimited data on the iPhone. The plans get worse and worse every year. Thank god tmobile is around to keep the rest in check. Otherwise the monopoly would be catastrophic. I’ve actually pondered the idea of ditching my beloved iPhone all together and just use an iPad when I’m at home, it’s that bad.

    • Gregory D Foster

      I rarely take my iPad out (because it’s wifi only) and if I do, I’m connected to wifi so these plans are neither here nor there for me but you’re absolutely right, it’s a huge damn scam. $30/month off unlimited was the perfect price point and AT&T was losing nothing, it’s just price gauging. Stop paying huge bonuses and invest your profits in infrastructure. Bull.

  • ap3604

    While the price per GB ratio isn’t good. I’m happy that ATT came out with a 3 month plan!

    $25 for 3 months comes out to only $8/mo which is nice for those rare occasions you are away from wifi.

    Of course, those that want to stream netflix and pandora over cellular all day will be crying and down-voting this post. Just watch.

    • Jack Wong

      $25 for 3 months with 1GB data, it is good enough for 3 of my mailboxes, I am more concern about the over usage charge.

      I could use up to 1GB per month back to 3G when I just do RSS reader and few exchange mailboxes.

    • JohnThackr

      There’s basically no reason to get the $15 for 250MB/month plan. 3 months for more than 3 times the time for less than twice the price is way better.

  • chumawumba

    AT$T is a big dumbass

  • JulianZHuang

    i used 1GB per 1.5 weeks….

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      I use 1 gigabye every 2-3 days on my phone… lol

  • Sean Clark

    I wonder when AT&T will start charging Tesla owners a convenience fee.

  • Jack Wong

    1GB is $25 now? Omg… I feel like $30 for 3GB on my wife iPhone is very cheap!

    And $30 for my unlimited… is like FREE…

  • blastingbigairs

    The proper logo for AT&T.

  • jocastro

    what ever, there plans are bullshit, im glad i still got my unlimited, even with LTE… so cant complain