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For new AT&T users, no more 'all you can eat'


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For new AT&T users, no more 'all you can eat'

dataShareThisPrint E-mail .By PETER SVENSSON

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Just in time for the release of a new iPhone, AT&T will stop letting new customers sign up for its unlimited Internet data plan for smart phones and iPads and charge more for users who hog the most bandwidth.

Current subscribers will be able to keep their $30-per-month unlimited plans, even if they renew their contracts. But starting Monday, new customers will have to choose one of two new data plans for all smart phones, including iPhones and BlackBerrys.

Subscribers who use little data — like those who may get dozens of e-mails a day but don't watch much video — will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with higher bills.

The move takes effect in time for the expected unveiling of Apple's new iPhone next week. Analysts said they expect other phone companies to follow. With no caps on consumption, data use could swamp wireless networks while revenue for the operators remains flat.

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier and AT&T's chief rival, had no immediate comment on AT&T's move. There has been much speculation about Verizon getting to sell its own version of the iPhone, but that prospect still appears distant.

One of the new AT&T plans will cost $25 per month and offer two gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each.

A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 more megabytes.

A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and Web pages, but it's quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing. The 200 megabytes offered under the $15 plan is enough for more than 1,000 e-mails, hundreds of Web pages and about 20 minutes of streaming video, AT&T says.

With the smaller plan and voice service, a smart phone could cost as little as $55 per month before taxes and add-on fees, down from $70 now. Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T's consumer business, said smart phones would become accessible to more people.

"Customers are getting a good deal, and if they can understand their usage, they can save some money," de la Vega said in an interview.

Figuring out which plan to choose may not be easy, because many people have only a hazy notion of the size of a gigabyte and how many they use now. By contrast, a minute spent talking on the phone is easy to understand, and many people have learned roughly how many minutes they use every month.

The limits will apply only on AT&T's cellular networks. Data usage over Wi-Fi networks, including AT&T's public Wi-Fi "hot spots," will not count toward the limits.

De la Vega noted that AT&T lets customers track their usage online. The iPhone also has a built-in usage tracking tool. And the carrier will also text subscribers to let them know they're getting close to their limits.

Jason Prance, an iPhone 3G user in Atlanta, said his first reaction to the end of unlimited usage was to be "ticked off."

"If you're taking the ability to go unlimited away from people, you immediately get defensive," he said.

But then he checked his data consumption on his iPhone for the first time and found he had never used more than 200 megabytes in a month. That surprised him, he said, because he sends and receives a lot of e-mail and watches online video now and then.

Now he figures he can save $30 per month by switching himself and his wife to the $15 plan.

For the iPad, the tablet computer Apple released a few months ago, the new $25-per-month plan will replace the $30 unlimited plan. IPad owners can keep the old unlimited plan as long as they keep paying $30 per month, AT&T said.

AT&T, based in Dallas, said the new plans shouldn't materially affect its profits this year. Its stock rose 34 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $24.67 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

Customers have rebelled against the idea of data usage caps on broadband Internet at home, at least when limits are set low enough to make online video expensive. Time Warner Cable Inc. was forced to back away from trials of data caps last year after protests and threats of legislative action.

On wireless networks, where there's less data capacity to go around, usage caps have been more common. Most wireless carriers, for instance, limit data cards for laptops to 5 gigabytes per month.

With competition for smart phone users intense, phone companies have been reluctant to impose data caps on those devices, although Sprint Nextel Corp. reserves the right to slow down or disconnect users who exceed 5 gigabytes per month.

Carriers have also started to lift limits on other use, selling plans with unlimited calling and text messaging. That's not a big gamble because not many people have the time to talk on the phone for eight hours a day or spend every waking minute sending text messages. Smart phones, on the other hand, can draw a lot of data, depending on where and how they're used. ;)

http://www.ajc.com/business/for-new-at-t-539833.html

I like it actually I have been waiting to upgrade my phone, because I didn't want to pay the 30 bucks a month extra crap if I get the I-phone. I can deal with 15 a month, I don't use it enough to warrant 30 a month like some people do. ;)

Edited by nativefalcon
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All these cell phone companies suck.... soon internet will be free and you can just use your wireless all the time

HAHAHA. that will be the day.

im moving to sprint or Tmobile. sure they could grandfather me, but their prices are crazy in the first place.

Sprint gots the best android phone in the HTC EVO 4g, plus 4g in atlanta, which is crazy fast and truly unlimited plus you can tether for free. the phone has an 8mp camera with 720p video.

im probably going to tmo, because i like gsm phones, and its cheaper, but spring puts up a great deal.

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HAHAHA. that will be the day.

im moving to sprint or Tmobile. sure they could grandfather me, but their prices are crazy in the first place.

Sprint gots the best android phone in the HTC EVO 4g, plus 4g in atlanta, which is crazy fast and truly unlimited plus you can tether for free. the phone has an 8mp camera with 720p video.

im probably going to tmo, because i like gsm phones, and its cheaper, but spring puts up a great deal.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote Dec. 18 on whether to auction off the so-called AWS-3 spectrum, an unused chunk of airwaves. The winner would have to agree to use at least 25 percent of the spectrum to build a free, national broadband network (one free of porn, too, for anyone except for "adults" who click online agreements claiming to be 18 or older), but could charge a fee for faster service on the remainder. The network would reach 95 percent of the U.S. population, especially those in rural areas where broadband is less accessible, according to FCC spokesperson Rob Kenny.

The plan was originally floated two years ago by Menlo Park, Calif., wireless startup M2Z Networks. A version of the proposal is backed by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who has come under fire for the country's declining ranking in broadband availability compared with other nations, the Washington Post notes. (Critics blame that on a lack of competition in the U.S. wireless industry.) Kenny says the free network would provide basic broadband, which runs at about the same speed as DSL.

"This initiative brings with it the promise of free basic broadband service to hundreds of thousands of Americans who currently have limited or no access to the high-speed Internet," Martin told the Post. "It is important that we find new and creative ways to make broadband services more accessible, reliable and robust throughout our nation and this initiative will help us meet that goal."

T-Mobile has spoken out against the plan, as has the industry's Wireless Association, arguing that use of the spectrum would interfere with cell phone service and is a bad business model. Some free-speech advocates dislike its no-porn provision.

Broadband allows users to send and receive video and other large files. As ScientificAmerican.com tech editor Larry Greenemeier notes, "TV networks can't offer their shows to people via the Web, YouTube is much less popular because the video doesn't PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL evenly, video conferencing is still pretty useless, and real-time chat/Twitter/etc. isn't so real-time" when it's not carried over a braodband network.

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For new AT&T users, no more 'all you can eat'

dataShareThisPrint E-mail .By PETER SVENSSON

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Just in time for the release of a new iPhone, AT&T will stop letting new customers sign up for its unlimited Internet data plan for smart phones and iPads and charge more for users who hog the most bandwidth.

Current subscribers will be able to keep their $30-per-month unlimited plans, even if they renew their contracts. But starting Monday, new customers will have to choose one of two new data plans for all smart phones, including iPhones and BlackBerrys.

Subscribers who use little data — like those who may get dozens of e-mails a day but don't watch much video — will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with higher bills.

The move takes effect in time for the expected unveiling of Apple's new iPhone next week. Analysts said they expect other phone companies to follow. With no caps on consumption, data use could swamp wireless networks while revenue for the operators remains flat.

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier and AT&T's chief rival, had no immediate comment on AT&T's move. There has been much speculation about Verizon getting to sell its own version of the iPhone, but that prospect still appears distant.

One of the new AT&T plans will cost $25 per month and offer two gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each.

A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they'll pay another $15 for 200 more megabytes.

A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and Web pages, but it's quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing. The 200 megabytes offered under the $15 plan is enough for more than 1,000 e-mails, hundreds of Web pages and about 20 minutes of streaming video, AT&T says.

With the smaller plan and voice service, a smart phone could cost as little as $55 per month before taxes and add-on fees, down from $70 now. Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T's consumer business, said smart phones would become accessible to more people.

"Customers are getting a good deal, and if they can understand their usage, they can save some money," de la Vega said in an interview.

Figuring out which plan to choose may not be easy, because many people have only a hazy notion of the size of a gigabyte and how many they use now. By contrast, a minute spent talking on the phone is easy to understand, and many people have learned roughly how many minutes they use every month.

The limits will apply only on AT&T's cellular networks. Data usage over Wi-Fi networks, including AT&T's public Wi-Fi "hot spots," will not count toward the limits.

De la Vega noted that AT&T lets customers track their usage online. The iPhone also has a built-in usage tracking tool. And the carrier will also text subscribers to let them know they're getting close to their limits.

Jason Prance, an iPhone 3G user in Atlanta, said his first reaction to the end of unlimited usage was to be "ticked off."

"If you're taking the ability to go unlimited away from people, you immediately get defensive," he said.

But then he checked his data consumption on his iPhone for the first time and found he had never used more than 200 megabytes in a month. That surprised him, he said, because he sends and receives a lot of e-mail and watches online video now and then.

Now he figures he can save $30 per month by switching himself and his wife to the $15 plan.

For the iPad, the tablet computer Apple released a few months ago, the new $25-per-month plan will replace the $30 unlimited plan. IPad owners can keep the old unlimited plan as long as they keep paying $30 per month, AT&T said.

AT&T, based in Dallas, said the new plans shouldn't materially affect its profits this year. Its stock rose 34 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $24.67 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

Customers have rebelled against the idea of data usage caps on broadband Internet at home, at least when limits are set low enough to make online video expensive. Time Warner Cable Inc. was forced to back away from trials of data caps last year after protests and threats of legislative action.

On wireless networks, where there's less data capacity to go around, usage caps have been more common. Most wireless carriers, for instance, limit data cards for laptops to 5 gigabytes per month.

With competition for smart phone users intense, phone companies have been reluctant to impose data caps on those devices, although Sprint Nextel Corp. reserves the right to slow down or disconnect users who exceed 5 gigabytes per month.

Carriers have also started to lift limits on other use, selling plans with unlimited calling and text messaging. That's not a big gamble because not many people have the time to talk on the phone for eight hours a day or spend every waking minute sending text messages. Smart phones, on the other hand, can draw a lot of data, depending on where and how they're used. ;)

http://www.ajc.com/business/for-new-at-t-539833.html

I like it actually I have been waiting to upgrade my phone, because I didn't want to pay the 30 bucks a month extra crap if I get the I-phone. I can deal with 15 a month, I don't use it enough to warrant 30 a month like some people do. ;)

as an iphone user. this is not something to be happy about. 15 is only for 200mbs. unless you pretty much purely use wifi on your device, then i highly doubt you wont hit this, and if you do its an extra 15 for every 200mbs. Its not like they are going to stop you from using, they are just going to charge you.

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as an iphone user. this is not something to be happy about. 15 is only for 200mbs. unless you pretty much purely use wifi on your device, then i highly doubt you wont hit this, and if you do its an extra 15 for every 200mbs. Its not like they are going to stop you from using, they are just going to charge you.

If you already have an unlimited plan, then you get to keep it as long as you pay $30. I'm sure it says that in the article.

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HAHAHA. that will be the day.

im moving to sprint or Tmobile. sure they could grandfather me, but their prices are crazy in the first place.

Sprint gots the best android phone in the HTC EVO 4g, plus 4g in atlanta, which is crazy fast and truly unlimited plus you can tether for free. the phone has an 8mp camera with 720p video.

im probably going to tmo, because i like gsm phones, and its cheaper, but spring puts up a great deal.

Friend of mine who works at Sprint has the 4G EVO phone. **** is ridiculous heavy.

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If you already have an unlimited plan, then you get to keep it as long as you pay $30. I'm sure it says that in the article.

yea i know, but this **** is ridiculous. i cant support a company that does this kind of ****. they do not even give you extra gbs for tethering. you pay an extra 20 bucks for the same 2gbs.

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yea i know, but this **** is ridiculous. i cant support a company that does this kind of ****. they do not even give you extra gbs for tethering. you pay an extra 20 bucks for the same 2gbs.

They also give you the opportunity to change your data plan at any point with a prorated charge for your previous one. If you feel like you are going to go over the allotted amount of data, then you can change it. It's better than having them charge you for every little bit of data sent.

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They also give you the opportunity to change your data plan at any point with a prorated charge for your previous one. If you feel like you are going to go over the allotted amount of data, then you can change it. It's better than having them charge you for every little bit of data sent.

I know all about it, but thats if you know you are going over. its not like they tell you.

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If you already have an unlimited plan, then you get to keep it as long as you pay $30. I'm sure it says that in the article.

exactly, I have had full on my phone before, and I know I would barely use it. Get directions, emails, txts. I don't like watching videos on a 2 inch screen. I'm stuck on a dual screened 21 inch minitors all day and can go to You tube any time I want. I wouldn't probably go above 200 mgs in 3 months. :P To me to pay 30$ a month is a waste IF YOU DON"T USE IT. ;)

I'm sure there are people out there, that watch TV or porn on their phones, I get enough of the internet.

Edited by nativefalcon
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GA, sprint is hands down the worst. If oyou switch to it you will be kicking yourself in the *** for it before too long

cant be worse than att with the iphone. **** is horrible. I am leaning towards tmo. I am tired of being in a contract. id rather just buy my phone outright and be free.

exactly, I have had full on my phone before, and I know I would barely use it. Get directions, emails, I don't like watching videos on a 2 inch screen. I'm stuck on a dual screened minitors all day and can go to You tube any time I want. I wouldn't probably go above 200 mgs in 3 months. :P To me to pay 30$ a month is a waste IF YOU DON"T USE IT. ;)

slacker internet radio is a *****, plus the new iphone is going to make people become a hog. its not youtube that makes people use a bunch. Apps that connect to the internet. im telling you that 200 is not much.

i agree with 30 being a waste if you do not use it, but whats the point of a smartphone if you are not going to use it?

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cant be worse than att with the iphone. **** is horrible. I am leaning towards tmo. I am tired of being in a contract. id rather just buy my phone outright and be free.

slacker internet radio is a *****, plus the new iphone is going to make people become a hog. its not youtube that makes people use a bunch. Apps that connect to the internet. im telling you that 200 is not much.

i agree with 30 being a waste if you do not use it, but whats the point of a smartphone if you are not going to use it?

I won't use it, I program peoples Blackberrys at work, and work in I.T.,I get enough technology. :P I use smart phones enough for the original reason to CALL SOMEONE. :P

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I just wish A t and T had the Droid. Guess i'll have to get a Iphone. :( I heard though in the next 4 months a bunch of new phones are coming out. ;) Another reason why I'm waiting to buy one. ;)

i havent heard anything for att worth mentioning. i do think they are getting a legit android called the galaxy s or something similar. its a samsung phone running 2.1.

personally im done with the iphone. android gots such a huger potential. i like OS 4, but hardware wise these android phones have the iphone beat, but the new iphone is going to have 4x the resolution of the previous one.

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I just wish A t and T had the Droid. Guess i'll have to get a Iphone. :( I heard though in the next 4 months a bunch of new phones are coming out. ;) Another reason why I'm waiting to buy one. ;)

I tried the Droid on Verizon for a month a while back because I was sick of AT&T ****** service. It was like going from a Lexus to a Pinto. That phone sucks balls. I got the 3G Microcell from AT&T and now I have 5 bars on my iPhone at home all the time.

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I tried the Droid on Verizon for a month a while back because I was sick of AT&T ****** service. It was like going from a Lexus to a Pinto. That phone sucks balls. I got the 3G Microcell from AT&T and now I have 5 bars on my iPhone at home all the time.

you can tell this post is biased by the fact you are paying att for those ******** microcells. **** is comical. you pay them 150 bucks to fix up their ****** service. smh @ that. they should give them to their customers for free. or do like tmo did back then, and put wifi calling on their devices for a small fee.

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you can tell this post is biased by the fact you are paying att for those ******** microcells. **** is comical. you pay them 150 bucks to fix up their ****** service. smh @ that. they should give them to their customers for free. or do like tmo did back then, and put wifi calling on their devices for a small fee.

I've never had a dropped call or anything below 3 bars with AT&T and I've had their service since my first cellphone like 8 years ago. And I don't have Microcells.

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I've never had a dropped call or anything below 3 bars with AT&T and I've had their service since my first cellphone like 8 years ago. And I don't have Microcells.

It must be my phone then, because I have had over 50 dropped calls on my A t and t service and I can see the tower from my house. :unsure: My phones about 1 and a half years old, time to put it out to pasture.

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