AT&T Radically Changes Data Plans

Ryan Whitwam

AT&T has announced today that they are making some fairly big changes in the way they sell data. Gone are the $30 "unlimited" plans with the soft 5GB bandwidth cap. The changes affect smartphones as well as the iPad. Now mobile data will be sold in two packages. The DataPlus plan will cost $15 and offer 200MB of data a month. The DataPro plan will come with 2GB of data and run $25 per month.

The carrier is also changing how overages work, and this part of the plan actually sounds pretty reasonable. On the DataPlus plan, each additional 200MB block will run you $15, and each extra GB on the DataPro plan will be $10. The traditional overage fee amounted to $50 per GB of overage. AT&T also plans to finally offer tethering, but it will only be available on the DataPro plan. It will cost an extra $20 per month and it shares the same 2GB data allotment as the phone.

Users currently on the $30 plan are allowed to stay with it, but can move to the new plans at any time. These options may save money for most people, but some users may find themselves increasingly coming up against the caps. AT&T is currently only selling one Android phone directly, but these plans could be a problem for Google's mobile OS. Unlike the iPhone, Android based phones do a massive amount of background syncing of data. How do you feel about the changes? Would you end up saving of racking up overages?

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