AT&T has hinted before that the days of carefree all-you-can-eat data usage may well be numbered, and today the nation's second largest wireless carrier officially announced that it would be doing away with unlimited data plans effective June 7th. The wireless carrier also confirmed that it will begin offering smartphone customers, including iPhone users, the ability to tether their devices for an additional $20 monthly fee.
AT&T's tiered pricing model will offer several options for smartphone users based on anticipated monthly data usage:
DataPlus: $15/month for 200MB of data. $15 for an additional 200MB if you exceed the original allotment. According to AT&T, 65% of smartphone customers use less than 200MB of data each month.
DataPro: $25/month for 2GB of data. $10 for each additional GB if you exceed the original allotment. According to AT&T, 98% of smartphone customers use less than 2GB of data each month.
Tethering: Customers can opt to have the ability to tether (use their smartphone's internet connection with a laptop) their smartphones for an additional $20/month. Tethered data usage will count against monthly allotment.
Existing AT&T smartphone customers can opt to keep their current data plans or, come June 7th, choose among the new plans offered without renewing their contracts.
Update: We've been able to confirm that existing AT&T smartphone customers will be able to upgrade their hardware without being forced to adopt one of the new data plans -- unless they wish to add the tethering option.
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