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?