AT&T’s New Data Plans Good for Heavier Users, Hard on Light Ones

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AT&T has reconfigured its data plans so that they cost more, but also offer more capacity. This makes them a better deal for those who use a lot of wireless data, but not as good for those who don’t.

AT&TPreviously, this carrier’s offered 200MB of data transfers for $15 a month, 2GB for $25, or 4GB for $45. Its new offerings are 300MB for $20 a month, 3GB for $30, or 5GB for $50.

Current customers aren’t being forced to move to any of these plans.  These are the options for new AT&T smartphone and tablet customers — previous ones are “grandfathered” into their old plan. Still, those who use a lot of wireless data, or those who would like to use more, should consider making the switch, as the cost/MB is lower.

On the other hand, those who won’t make much use of this carrier’s 3G or 4G network will find themselves paying more than they would have before without any benefit. Essentially, the minimum cost for having an AT&T data plan (a requirement for smartphones) has jumped from $15 to $20 a month.

In Comparison
Verizon, AT&T’s biggest rival, has a higher base cost. Its lowest cost plan for smartphone users is 2GB of data transfers a month for $30. Other options are 5GB for $50 or 10GB for $80.

Sprint does just about everything it can to funnel new customers into its unlimited data plan, which is a great deal for those who use a lot of wireless data. For those who don’t, it’s a heavy expense with no benefit.

T-Mobile charges $10 a month for 200MB of data transfers. Beyond that, it offers 2GB of high-speed data for $20 a month, 5GB for $30, or 10GB for $60. In this second set, there is no charge for going over the allotment, but data speeds are throttled.

For those looking to pay the least for a data plan, the best option is T-Mobile, but AT&T isn’t too far behind. Those on the other end of the spectrum, who want a good price for truly unlimited data transfers, then Sprint is really the only option, though T-Mobile is close.




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