AT&T has recently announced this week that it is debuting new mobile plans that come with more megabytes of data, albeit with a higher starting price as well. These brand new plans will be made available starting on August 21st of this year, with both new and current subscribers allowed to sign up for them.
It is quite possible that the wireless carrier’s latest move is an effort to compete with industry leader Verizon Wireless’ announcement about a month ago, wherein the Big Red decided to offer more data, but also raise the pricing of its wireless plans.
Of course, AT&T is claiming that its deal is better in terms of the price per data megabyte. AT&T’s cheapest plan available is now $10 pricier at $30 per month, and offers 1 gigabyte of data, which is an improvement over the previous 300 megabytes. Those who want to avail of a 3 gigabyte plan can now expect to pay $40 per month, a 6 gigabyte plan is now $60 per month, a 10 gigabyte plan is now $80 per month, and a 16 gigabyte plan is now $90 per month. As for those mobile users who consider themselves heavy data consumers, the 25 gigabyte plan and the 30 gigabyte plan are now actually more affordable.
Similar to what Verizon Wireless has done, AT&T has decided to get rid of overage fees for any new subscriber that avails of the new plans. But unlike the Big Red which charges a separate $5 per month fee for its Safety Mode program, AT&T has chosen not to incorporate any additional charge whatsoever.
For some time, T-Mobile had been urging industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T to do away with overage fees once and for all. But AT&T was only compelled to eliminate overage fees when Verizon Wireless made the move first. This illustrates the ultra competitive atmosphere of the wireless industry, wherein any new announcement by a mobile operator is expected to be countered by another competing announcement from a rival carrier.
Apart from the data boost and increased prices, AT&T took the opportunity to change its device access structure so that its subscribers will now pay $20 per month to connect their handsets. Before, the access fee was $25 for subscribers under a 10 gigabyte plan or lower, and $15 for subscribers under a 15 gigabyte plan or higher. As for those subscribers still under two year contracts, they will have to pay an access charge of $40 a month.
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