Used with permission. CC DerkT.
AT&T announced new data plans today. The new plans do not include their former unlimited data plan.
Fists began flying as irate users claimed AT&T was trying to squeeze more dollars out of consumers for overages.
I consider myself a higher-than-average user of data. I use a few social media networks, watch the occasional YouTube video, do plenty of web surfing and maps/navigation, and listen to a bit of online radio over 3G. Apparently, AT&T considers me a higher-than-average user, too. Nonetheless, the company claimed they were providing new, discounted plans that would benefit 98% of their users. They proposed that the remaining 2% of the users (likely jailbroken tetherers) are stressing their maxed-out network, saturating it, and ruining the experience for the rest of us.
After briefly reviewing the details, I am forced to concede. AT&T appears to be doing us a favor. Take a look at our usage trends for the past six months:
My wife and I currently pay $30 each, per month, for unlimited data. But the most either of us has ever used in a month is around 0.5GB. We're well within the 98% of users. AT&T's new plan would provide up to 2GB per month, per line, for $25.
If I'm reading this correctly, that means we can switch from the unlimited plan to the 2GB/mo. plan, save $120 a year on the family budget, and still watch our data usage increase by almost 4x before we have to rethink things.
There's also an even more-discounted, "ala carte," 200MB/mo. plan for $15. They say this will cover 65% of users. I can believe that. You'll pay an additional $15 for each 200MB you go over that, but for 65% of users, they're only getting dinged by AT&T if they don't take advantage of the deal.
If you are a current AT&T unlimited data user, and you disagree with this post, you are still "grandfathered" in to your unlimited data plan if you so choose. AT&T currently has no roadmap to eliminate this plan for existing unlimited users.
And that's good news.
More news on the same thing:
- Cautious: AT&T Drops Unlimited Data Plan, Impacts iPhone Owners, from Tom Kaneshige at CIO.com
- Indifferent to Negative: AT&T phases out unlimited data plans, from Ben Patterson at Yahoo! News
- Positive...ish: New AT&T data plans milk data gluttons, lower costs for most, from Ars Technica
- Are you an iPhone user who will benefit from the new plans?
- Are you upset by the announcement?