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Home Mobile Cell Phones AT&T Nixes 3G Rates, and Offers iPhone Tethering

AT&T Nixes 3G Rates, and Offers iPhone Tethering

AT&T announced today a complete revision of their data plan pricing, affecting all of the smartphones on their network, and even the iPad.

AT&T Nixes 3G Rates, and Offers iPhone Tethering

There are now two options for a monthly data plan for new subscribers: $15 for 200MB (DataPlus) and $25 for 2GB (DataPro). Users already subscribing to a $30 monthly unlimited plan can continue on that plan, but can switch to either new plan whenever, with no changes made to their contract. If you go over 200MB on the DataPlus, you’ll be charged $15 for every 200MB. If you go over 2GB on DataPro, you’ll pay $10 for each additional 1GB.

Smartphone tethering will be an add-on to the DataPro plan for an extra $20 per month — so, $45 for the base big-data plan. But you’ll have to be more careful about how you use it. The iPhone will be officially supported for tethering with the release of iPhone OS 4.
The iPad $30 unlimited plan is gone, but people already on it can stay on it. In its place is the DataPro plan.

Here’s the release…….

T&T ANNOUNCES NEW LOWER-PRICED WIRELESS DATA PLANS TO MAKE MOBILE INTERNET MORE AFFORDABLE TO MORE PEOPLE

DALLAS, June 2, 2010 – AT&T*, the U.S. smartphone leader, today introduced new wireless data plans that make it more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet. Customers can pick the new data plan that best meets their needs – either a $15 per month entry plan or a $25 per month plan with 10 times more data. Current smartphone customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension.

“AT&T helps mobilize everything on the Internet – your favorite web sites, TV shows, music, games and social networks. Virtually everything previously done while sitting at a computer can now be done on the go,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “To give more people the opportunity to experience these benefits, we’re breaking free from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ pricing model and making the mobile Internet more affordable to a greater number of people.”

Each plan includes unlimited access at no additional charge to more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots in the U.S. Customers can also use unlimited Wi-Fi at home, in the office or elsewhere if available. AT&T will also help customers manage their wireless data usage by sending free text messages when customers reach different usage intervals, and by providing online tools, including a smartphone app that shows monthly usage information.

The new wireless data plans – including a new tethering option – will be available beginning June 7. Current AT&T voice and texting plans are unchanged.

More Choice

The new AT&T plans provide large amounts of data to enable people to enjoy their favorite online activities:

* DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), send/receive 150 emails with attachments, view 400 Web pages, post 50 photos on social media sites and 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month. This plan, which can save customers up to 20 percent off their wireless voice and data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the month. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.

* DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, view 4,000 Web pages, post 500 photos to social media sites and watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month. Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the month. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.

* Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering enables customers to use their smartphone as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases OS 4.0 this summer.

With the new wireless data plans, pricing for a smartphone voice and data bundle now starts at just $54.99 per month for an individual plan, or $24.99 per month for an additional line on a FamilyTalk plan, $15 per month less than the price of the previous entry level bundle.

For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their wireless data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the $29.99 per month unlimited plan can keep that plan or switch to the new $25 per month plan with 2 GB of data.

Wi-Fi at 20,000 AT&T Hot Spots

The vast majority of smartphones that AT&T offers have built-in Wi-Fi, which lets the devices automatically switch from the wireless network to a Wi-Fi hotspot without prompting, making Wi-Fi even more convenient and easy to use. This enables customers to use Wi-Fi in the home, office and at public locations where available. Using Wi-Fi does not count against a customer’s monthly data plan usage total. In addition, virtually all AT&T smartphone customers have access at no additional charge to more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and other U.S. locations. Customers can get more information on how to use Wi-Fi and find the location of AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at www.att.com/wifiaccess.

Monitoring and Managing Usage

To help customers easily check their data usage, AT&T has made the information readily available in a number of ways:

* Customer Text Notifications On Data Usage. When customers begin to approach their monthly usage limit, AT&T will send three text notifications – when they reach 65 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of the threshold. Customers will also be sent emails if AT&T has their email address.

* Data Usage Monitoring. Additionally, customers with iPhones and other select devices can use the free AT&T myWireless application to check data usage. The application is available for download in several smartphone app stores. Also, AT&T customers can call *DATA# from their wireless phone to check their data usage for the current billing period. They receive a free text message with their usage information. Customers can also go online to www.att.com/wireless to see all their usage information, past and present.

* Data Calculator. The easy-to-use online data calculator enables customers to estimate their mobile data usage and get a better sense for which data plan is right for them. It’s located at www.att.com/datacalculator.

Customers can learn more about the new plans online at www.att.com/dataplans, by contacting AT&T customer service at 1-800-331-0500, or by visiting an AT&T retail store.

AT&T expects these new data plans to have minimal revenue impact this year and to not affect previous guidance for 2010.

David Novakhttps://www.gadgetgram.com
For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology.His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show.His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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