AT&T Is Completely Doing Away With Traditional Data Plans For New Customers

AT&T iPhone

Today AT&T announced that it will be completely doing away with traditional data plans for new customers on October 25th. The carrier has been transitioning to its pooled, “Mobile Share” plan options since it introduced them last summer.

New and existing customers have still been able to choose from a Mobile Share plan or a traditional data package, but that luxury will be gone for new customers in two weeks.

AT&T says that Mobile Share is already the most popular plan option for new customers, and that the new policy reflects what people already want. “Our customers have expressed an overwhelming preference for simplified options that allow them to share data across multiple devices,” said the company. Existing customers won’t have to switch to a Mobile Share plan the next time they upgrade—at least not yet.

Mobile Share starts at $70 per month for a smartphone with unlimited talk/text and a measly 300MB of data, and you can add other lines to the plan for an additional, per-device fee.

Verizon also requires that new customers choose from one of its “Share Everything” plans.

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  • MrsCleaver

    AT&T continually innovates. Problem is, it’s not their service they innovate, but rather how they make more money at the expense of the customer.

    This isn’t “rocket surgery.” How hard can it be to establish reasonable plans to cover the needs of the users? If they’d do that, and then leave things alone (and spend more time on improving the user experience), customers would flock to them, instead of running away.

  • barleymcgrew

    You can bet that there is a back door plan in the future as they switch off the older 2G and 3G networks in preference to the LTE system (once they get coverage in place), to push everyone over to the same plan structure. Then they can claim to be a data only network. That makes the voice and data used through LTE purely data and simply having a warning with the bill will make it okay under FCC rules since they can claim that their text messaging and voice are no different from using Skype or Facetime voice and imessage or facebook messaging which are all ‘data’. So to top it all people will be paying for more data, and individuals will really be paying more for less.

    Sorry got to be negative about it but there is always a reason for making a change and it’s the only way they can increase the data usage of those already on the shared plan more than they currently use and to find a way to monetize the voice calls that are used and the text messaging without back tracking is to declare that they are a data only network and turn the voice and data under LTE into data.

    Never trust any company that makes something unlimited and makes it part of the package, especially one that has already made something unlimited and then backpeddled when they needed to monetize all that excessive use! Especially when that same company tried to reduce data usage and now they are pushing people to use more (and pay for more data allocation).

  • zviivz

    You know it’s crap when you smell one …

  • lwdesign1

    “Rocket surgery”? I find the concept interesting, humorous, apt but possibly misguided. I believe you may have inadvertently combined the two phrases “rocket science” (which is very complicated) and “brain surgery” (also very complicated) into the highly convoluted concept of “rocket surgery”. Both of those original phrases would have worked in your description that it should be a no-brainer for AR&T to deliver a simple and relatively inexpensive plan for subscribers. However, you actually may have invented a brand new term that delivers the message that AT&T is so duplicitous that not only do they make things as complicated as possible, but they make them incomprehensibly ridiculous at the same time.

  • MrsCleaver

    “Rocket surgery”? I find the concept interesting, humorous, apt but possibly misguided. I believe you may have inadvertently combined the two phrases…”

    Oh dear, I think you missed the quotes around the mashed-up term. Conflating the two common phrases is frequently used to indicate that a solution to a problem is even more painfully obvious.

  • DJBabyBuster

    “AT&T says that Mobile Share is already the most popular plan option for new customers, and that the new policy reflects what people already want.”

    Why they their research indicates that anyone wants to pay more for less data is beyond me. I’ve been loyal to AT&T since it was cingular simply because I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, and Verizon is evil. But AT&T is looking worse and worse every day they keep up with this bs.

  • TheMadTurtle

    Quite impressive the way AT&T continues to innovate new ways to drive customers away.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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