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AT&T Is the Latest Carrier To Offer Unlimited Data For All Its Customers (phonedog.com) 62

Earlier this week, Verizon announced it is bringing back unlimited data plans after years of selling capped data packages. Now, ATT will be doing the same. ATT will let any current or potential customer buy an unlimited data plan. Until now, only DirecTV customers were able to purchase unlimited data from the carrier. PhoneDog reports: ATT says that starting tomorrow, February 17, its Unlimited Plan will be available to all customers. The plan will include unlimited data, talk, and text, and customers with the plan will also be able to travel to Canada or Mexico and use their plan just as they would at home, with zero roaming charges. ATT's Unlimited Plan also includes Stream Saver, which will optimize video streams to 480p. However, Stream Saver can be disabled if you'd like. One feature that's missing from ATT's Unlimited Plan is mobile hotspot usage, which is notable because the unlimited plans from the other three major U.S. carriers do include some mobile hotspot. Finally, it's worth noting that after 22GB of usage, ATT Unlimited Plan customers may have their speeds slowed during times of network congestion. This policy is also in place at the other three major U.S. carriers, with Verizon's threshold being 22GB, Sprint's 23GB, and T-Mobile's 26GB. A single line on the ATT Unlimited Plan will cost $100 per month. Each additional line will cost $40, but ATT will offer the fourth line free, making the cost for a family of four $180 per month.

AT&T Is the Latest Carrier To Offer Unlimited Data For All Its Customers

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  • They had the chance, and they screwed this one up, I'm starting to think their billing system can't handle that situation. /b
  • Not good enough (Score:5, Informative)

    by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @06:44PM (#53882807) Homepage

    They're trying to get every customer on their largest package by playing with the price. I don't need unlimited data. Or 20GB of data. Or even 2GB. I get by on home wifi and 1GB or less away from home. My wife and I pay less than $50 for two phones on Ting.

    The whole 'fear of missing out' thing is working for them. I'm just happy to be connected - I don't need to be streaming audio or video over a congested cell tower.

    • Re:Not good enough (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @06:55PM (#53882857) Journal

      Ditto here. I actually use Net10 (which uses either AT&T or Verizon's towers/data/tech, depending on which phone you buy or bring)... $35/mo for unlimited talk/text, and 2GB data (then throttled after that, but with no further charges). So really, why the frig would I pay Verizon or AT&T $100/mo for something that I wouldn't use? In the 5 years I've been with Net10, I think I've gone over the 2GB cap once, a year ago (when I was farting around with rooting).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I pay $70/mo to AT&T for two phones with a whole bunch of minutes I never use up, unlimited texts, and some amount of data I don't use either. I'm trying to find the least expensive (as opposed to "cheapest") voice and txt only provider. Suggestions?

        • I'd maybe recommend Ting for that too. $6/mo. per line, plus whatever bucket size of minutes/texts [ting.com] you use that month. If you use minutes/texts like I do, but no data at all, that's about $26/mo. for two lines before taxes. With these (and even the major carriers now), you have to buy/bring your own phone.

          Before I went smartphone, I rarely used texting - 5-10 msgs per month. I probably did better on Net10. It was $30 every 2 months to top up and keep two flip phones going with 300 minutes per 2 months.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Bam. Good info. Do you know if Ting's "buckets" (e.g. "small", 100 minutes) are the number of minutes allotted per-phone or shared for both phones?

            • It's shared among all the devices on the plan. And if you use more one month, your plan only goes up for that month. If you use less one month, your bill actually goes down to the lowest package that contains your usage.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                Thanks for the info.

    • Yeah, I'm not sure why they try to force people up in the plans by eliminating the bottom ones or tweaking the prices. However, I'm one that needs as much data as they'll offer, because we don't have access to landline internet at home even though we live in a major metropolitan area (Knoxville, TN) and less than a mile as the crow flies to the city center. My workaround is using a couple of hotspots connected to the same router with WAPs around the house to get the home devices online, combined with cell

      • And it seems to only be possible because people with adequate home wifi are generally subsidizing the rest. And if those people had lower packages available, it wouldn't work.

        • On T-Mobile at least, they'll gladly let you keep your plan and let you stay grandfathered, but they're not making any plans that are cheaper to let you pay less. That probably means the actual cost per GB that you use is probably a multiple of the cost per GB that I use, though.

  • They do it on the iPhone on my account routinely, even though I'm not over my data limit.

    Frustrating trying to get a web page to load at 10KB/sec. Bastards.

    • They do it on the iPhone on my account routinely, even though I'm not over my data limit.

      I'm curious, how you established that. What's the evidence, it is AT&T's throttling and not something else between you and the server(s) you are talking to?

      • It took 3 trips to the ATT store before I got a guy who knew how to check and he said "You are definitely nowhere near over your limit." He agreed that 10-20KB/sec data on a hotspot connection to the iPhone was rediculous.

        He then said "Have you tried resetting your Network Preferences?" I said "No, what's that." Go to "General" all the way to the bottom "Reset" and then to the middle of the page item "Reset Network Settings." It causes the phone to reboot and then the data speed was restored to 'normal'

        • by mi ( 197448 )

          "You are definitely nowhere near over your limit."

          That's good, but is no proof, you are being throttled.

          It causes the phone to reboot and then the data speed was restored to 'normal' speeds.

          This means, something was wrong with your phone or, possibly, its settings. If a reset/reboot of the device fixed the problem, than it is most unlikely, that AT&T was deliberately throttling you. Had they really been doing that, no amount of tinkering with the phone itself would've helped.

          The average ATT store employ

          • OK, the data rates I saw when connecting my MacBook Pro via Hotspot to my iPhone 5s.

            1. For years it was 200-800 KB/sec when connected
            2. ATT sends me a note I am over my data limit and data transfer goes to 4-20 KB/sec
            3. I go check out info at the ATT store and up my data plan
            4. Data speeds still 4-20 KB/sec (Activity Monitor)
            5. 2 More trips to ATT with all the excuses: Heavy cell traffic, Poor reception at your house, interference, etc. (even though nothing had changed at home)
            6. Final ATT guy says "

            • by mi ( 197448 )

              Is that enough proof.It is not proof at all. If tinkering with the device made it go away, you weren't throttled. Period.

              Maybe, just maybe, the sinister "guy with a clue" quietly — without telling you — fixed something else with your account, while lying to you, that you need to reset/reboot. Seems unlikely though...

        • by mmell ( 832646 )
          I've had similar issues with T-Mobile. The first (and only) C/S guy I talked to talked me through reprovisioning my phone - I forget exactly where, but there's an option (under "more network options"? I think), look at the available cellular provider list and select "Auto" (which is already selected, in all likelihood). Your phone will spend something less than a minute looking at local towers and reprovision your network stack.

          If a reboot fixed your phone's network slowness, I get the impression the pro

        • The average ATT store employee has NO CLUE.

          So true. I was investigating weird ATT data usage on my account so I brought in a spreadsheet with dates and data usage. The usage column was in kbps and I got in an argument with the worker-drone as to what those numbers mean in MB. This dude turned to the "manager" with a quizzical look on his face and the manager tried to argue with me as to what a MB was.

          Both of them had zero idea what I was talking about and I lost all respect for the people they employ in their retail locations.

  • faster that 3mb/sec DSL wired connection with no monthly cap
  • Some time mid-last year we had the 10GB (or 15GB I forget which) plan and of course the mobile hot spot. Then added a line and switched to an unlimited data plan since it was offered, not knowing that the hot spot feature would be lost, no one mentioned that to us at the time. When in just a few hours we realized that hot spot was missing and switched back. My point being is that I don't see how this is new but for maybe that after 6 months or so they finally make it official.
  • by mi ( 197448 )

    So, Trump wins, appoints a free maket (spit!) RethugliKKKunt as the head of FCC [slashdot.org] and services [slashdot.org] improve?

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      He only got elected POTUS. He only thinks he's the king - and he only has delusions of godhood (or at least, Narcissistic Personality Disorder - or so I hear).
  • ... because I checked today.

    The person said, "You don't use data."

    True.

    I have WiFi at home and just about every place I visit has free WiFi.

    I have a 2GB cap, and carry-over data, so this month I'. at 3.63GB remaining.

    I don't use data because ... data cap.

    I was hoping for some trickle-down freebies like 4GB at no extra charge and stuff.

    I'm with Verizon in USA and I get a 15% military discount for having served in the Navy back in the late 1960s.

    I presented then with a copy of my DD-214, which they returned t

  • ... news for nerds and stuff that matters for readers in:
    UK?
    Germany?
    Canada?
    Australia?
    New Zealand?
    Brazil?
    Rusia?
    India?
    China?
    South Africa?
    Mexico?
    Spain?
    France?
    Austria?
    Japan?
    Venezula?

    Or a long etcetera (basicaly)?

    I mean, like many sites, slashdot started in the US, but have international following. Would be interesting to know if the US readership is bigger than the rest of the world combined.

    I get it that the Advertisements could be targetd to the US if they are the most receptive. But this is suppoed to be an

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      Well, it's still 99% in English. Not proof, but a definite indicator.
    • Not every story on every site is going to apply to me. I learned to accept that long ago. I don't find it necessary to imply that that particular fact makes it necessarily contrary to the mission statement that I want to think is the operating rule for EVERY SINGLE STORY. I know that isn't a fact.

      It is an article. It has to do with policy that appears to be spreading through many US providers.

      There's a very simple way of avoiding articles like this if they don't interest you. Look at the headline and don't

    • I mean, like many sites, slashdot started in the US, but have international following. Would be interesting to know if the US readership is bigger than the rest of the world combined.

      Every country's population is less than half the world population. So by your reasoning, no news relevant to a single country (or groups of countries less than half the world population - e.g. the EU) should be posted to slashdot.

  • And their offering sucks. This AT&T is emulating only too well the AT&T that was broken up in the early 80s. Hopefully, the same destiny awaits them. And Verizon.

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