AT&T raises unlimited data pricing as carriers push users away from grandfathered plans

AT&T is increasing the price of its grandfathered unlimited data plans by $5—just like it did in 2016.

AT&T says that if you like your unlimited data plan, you can keep your unlimited data plan, but it will cost you an extra $5 per month. Just as it did in early 2016, AT&T is raising the price for subscribers still on unlimited data plans, as first reported by DSL Reports. AT&T’s unlimited data plans were originally a tool to encourage people to get an iPhone during the early days of the modern smartphone era.

Starting March 2017, AT&T subscribers with unlimited data plans will have to pay $40 per month instead of $35. AT&T isn’t the only carrier hoping to reduce its roster of grandfathered plan subscribers. Verizon is currently weeding out data hogs that use more than 200GB of wireless data per month.

The impact on you at home: AT&T’s increase is minor by comparison to Verizon’s act, nevertheless the strategy is clear. If AT&T continues to raise unlimited data plans by $5 or more every year eventually it will become cheaper to dump the old plan for one of AT&T’s new data buckets—though that time may be quite a few years away.

Pushing and throttling

AT&T’s current data plans start at $80 for 10GB of data that can be shared across multiple devices. When AT&T raised the price of the unlimited plan in 2016 it said that anyone who was displeased with the increase could switch to a currently offered plan or cancel their contract without incurring any early termination fees

Price hikes aren’t the only measures AT&T uses to keep its unlimited plan subscribers under control. In September 2015, AT&T announced it would throttle unlimited users after they used more than 22GB in a given month.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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