Over the past year, AT&T has been feeling the competition within the mobile space. We have seen and reported on the reintroduction of its unlimited data plans, BOGO programs, data increases for GoPhone plans, and extended coverage outside of the US. AT&T now seeks to simplify the rest of its data structure and eliminate data overages with its new Mobile Share Advantage plans starting August 21, 2016. It is making data more affordable while protecting consumers by removing data overages, continuing to build in data rollover and including unlimited talk & text with all plans.
The new plans will start at $30 for 1GB (plus line access fees), and plans will range up to 100GBs. Business customers will have additional plan options up to 200GBs for 25 lines. All plans over 10GB will also come with free roaming to both Canada and Mexico at no additional charge.
AT&T V.S. Other Major US Carriers
AT&T now offers consumers 13 distinct data plans. As a consumer, I appreciate the options, but something always worth considered is pricing:
- AT&T 10GB plan: $80 + $20 line fee = $10 per GB
- Verizon 8GB + 2GB plan: $70 + $20 line fee = $9 per GB
- T-Mobile 10GB plan: $30 + $50 line fee = $8 per GB
- Sprint 12GB plan: $60 + $20 line fee = $6.67 per GB
While these numbers may not include other “one time fees”, taxes or activation charges, it will give you a glimpse at the pricing structure for similar plans month over month for these carriers. RootMetrics recently ranked Verizon the #1 network for the 5th consecutive time, and T-Mobile’s Binge On™ leads all other carriers in free streaming, making your data plan go further. Add to this the fact that many carriers now offer some form of data overage protection, rollover data, and unlimited talk/text, AT&T’s new plans already seem a bit outdated.
While new and cheaper data plans are always welcome, these “updates” feel more like AT&T is playing catch-up rather than leading the way with new data plans that benefit the consumer. The question becomes has AT&T done enough over the past year to increase value for the consumer? and will AT&T’s efforts be enough to stem the growth of other carriers and stimulate its own?