AT&T No Longer Offering Traditional Capped-Per-Device Data Plans to New Customers
To acknowledge the increasing number of consumers who have more than one data consuming mobile device, AT&T recently announced that it will no longer offer traditional capped-per-device data plans to new customers. The company will instead steer them toward one of the company’s Mobile Share plans.
Instead of choosing individual voice or data plans for each device on a customer’s account, Mobile Share offers consumers unlimited voice calling and text messaging alongside a pooled data allowance that applies up to ten devices. AT&T introduced Mobile Share last year and says that their offering has quickly become the plan chosen most often by new customers, with more than 13 million connected devices.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Mobile Share plans are offered in 11 tiers ranging from 300 megabytes to 50 gigabytes for between $20 and $500 per month, each connected device requires a separate monthly fee. Smartphones can be added to the plans for roughly $30 and $50 per month, while tablets, wireless home phones, laptops and basic “dumb phones” are an additional $10, $20, $20 and $30 per month respectively.
The carrier says that “the way customers use their phones and other devices has changed – a lot,” and as a result, Mobile Share offers more amenities for the same or better price as discrete plans in 95% of new customers cases. The new plans can be a boon for iPhone and iPad owners who are known to consume significantly more data than other smartphone users. Existing customers will be grandfathered in and will not be required to change to a Mobile Share plan, even if they upgrade their device. While Mobile Share may shave a small percentage off of a customer’s monthly bill, those with years-old unlimited data plans are often reluctant to trade them in for less costly metered plans.