AT&T made a pretty big announcement yesterday regarding their 10 gigabyte (GB) and higher data plans. A price cut from $40 per smartphone down to $15 (plus the base $100 price). The biggest part of this deal—they are letting their customers who are currently on-contract switch to it!
So, here’s a quick breakdown of how the monthly pricing looks for single and multiple lines with a shared 10GB data bucket:
- 1 line : $115
- 2 lines : $130
- 3 lines : $145
- 4 lines : $160
- etc….up to 10 lines!
The full pricing chart is below (pay attention to the AT&T Next / No Annual Service Contract pricing):
This is very likely a response to all of the changes T-Mobile has been making lately; competition may actually be having an effect in the US wireless market!
Now here a few things to keep in mind, as these Mobile Share “Value” plans are a bit different to the plans you may be used to from carriers in the United States:
- This plan is technically an “off-contract” plan. While AT&T will let current on-contract customers switch to it, if you ever want to get a subsidized phone ($200 new iPhone, for example), you will have to pay an extra $25 for that line ($40 for that line, vs. $15).
- If you don’t want to get a subsidized phone, you can use their AT&T Next program to purchase a new phone for $0 down, but then make monthly payments. These payments range from around $20-36 a month for 20 months.
This plan really shines if you buy low-priced phones at full price.
This plan really shines if you buy low-priced phones at full price. For example, you can get the Nexus 5 from Google starting at $350 (about half the full price of a new iPhone). Or there is the Motorola Moto X which is currently going for $330-$400, or the Motorola Moto G for under $200. You could always get any phone you want for full price, but be prepared to pay over $500 for other, top-of-the-line phones (a new iPhone 16GB costs $649).
T-Mobile started it, but AT&T is taking part in this shift from contract, subsidized pricing, to encouraging customers to buy phones at full price—either all at once, or in monthly installments. It may take time for the US consumers to get used to this idea, but in the end it really works out for the best as consumers enjoy a discounted rate plan in return for higher device costs. People who keep their phones for a long time come out way ahead since they aren’t paying an inflated monthly bill for a phone they have already technically paid off.
It will be interesting to see how Verizon reacts to these new changes. They are now definitely the most expensive mobile carrier in the country.
AT&T’s press release is linked below. If you are a current customer, you can call or Live Chat to switch to the new plans right now!