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New AT and T data plan - Lower prices and lower limits

Posted Jun 18 2010 12:43am

AT and T has announced new data plan pricing for smartphones and tablets that will go into effect on Monday. This new AT and T data plan pricing is intended to help reduce network usage while providing more transparency in the billing process. The real question, though, is whether other wireless carriers will follow suit.

Article Source: New AT and T data plan - Lower prices and lower limits

AT and T data plans will eliminate 'unlimited'
When the iPhone was introduced on the AT and T network, the one-size-fits-all data plan was just a $29.99 a month "unlimited" plan. The definition of "unlimited" however, was sometimes brought into question. Some AT and T customers got huge data-use bills that seemed to indicate there was a limit to network usage that they are not aware of. Some customers got faxless pay day loans to pay their bills. Heavy use of the data network has also led to dropped calls and slow data speeds that have been a tough sticking point between the carrier and customers.

The new AT and T data plans
The new AT and T data plan will have 3 levels of data use. There could be a $15 plan allowing 200 mb of data per month. 2 gb are allowed by a $25 plan each and every month. Tethering, or connecting a laptop to the internet through an iPhone, will be an additional $20 per month. These new AT and T data plans will send a free text message to users when they are approaching their data limit. These data limits will not apply when the smartphone or tablet is being used at any of the WiFi hotspots - only the 3G network. Users that already have a contract with AT and T can keep their "unlimited" plans and pricing, even when renewing their contracts.

Effects of the AT and T data plans
While the new AT and T data plans will reduce cost for light data users, heavy data users will feel the strongest effects. There have been numerous wireless carriers and app developers are working to move streaming video and data-intense applications onto smartphones and tablets. By limiting data use so heavily, AT and T can be limiting the available applications on its 3G or 4G network. he chairman of the FCC has expressed many concern over the "bandwidth crisis" that smartphones have created. If other wireless carriers don't limit their data usage, then heavy users will probably just switch carriers. Though demand for wireless data services has increased dramatically within the last few years, capacity is growing at a much slower rate.

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