AT&T to limit unlimited data plans to 5GB a month?

AT&T may be planning 5GB limit on unlimited data plansThe wireless market in the US is one big game of copy-cat. When one or two of the big-dogs in the US market make a serious move to maximize their revenue, you can be sure that the other players will be making similar changes. With other carriers already limiting their “unlimited” data packages, we can see why AT&T would follow suit – not that it’s right, but it’s not entirely unexpected.

The agent/employee discussion forum at HowardForums has revealed the possibility of new data plans for AT&T. The new unlimited data plans are said to include a 5GB “soft” cap in order to discourage excessive use – “users will not be billed overages but people with constant overages will be contacted to try to reassess the users needs.”

Unlimited PDA data plans will be lowered to $30, with unlimited MediaNET access going for just $15 per month. However, text messages will no longer be bundled with data plans. An extra $5 gets you 200 SMS text messages per month, $15 gets you 1,500 text messages, $20 gets you unlimited individual texts, and $30 gives your family plan unlimited text messaging.

[Via: HoFo]

  • newtype2011

    They still won’t have a text plan that falls in bewteeen 200 and 1500 texts…I can’t believe they will stil force people to get a plan that has too few or too many texts –

  • Topy

    4 newtype2011
    I think that you are absolutely right.
    AT&T policy is strange for me

  • MicahH

    If it’s not unlimited, they shouldn’t be allowed to advertise it as such. It’s false advertising. I see a lawsuit coming along.

  • antoinette C

    I seen the commerical over and over about people with the family plans would get unlimited texts messaging and when i called about it they said it was a mistake by there advertising dept..And they would not give it to me I don’t think they should get away with making a mistake like that that is more like false advertising..
    and also now there bundle packages we were paying for they r doing away with that so we have to pay seperate for text and internet.. I think if we want since they falsly advertised this stuff that we should be able to get out of our contracts without a fee…They should be sued for false advertising..

  • Emily

    lol uh how much does it cost to text from the U.S.A. to Italy?

  • BlackJack

    If it’s not unlimited, they shouldn’t be allowed to advertise it as such. It’s false advertising. I see a lawsuit coming along.

  • iphoneuser

    there really isn’t any need for a message plan between 200 and 1500. the 200 is $5 with 10cents a message in excess of that. so if u do the math, u’ll realize that 300 messages will cost ya $15 a month, the same as the 1500 a month plan, so if u use between 300-1500 messages, go for the $15 level. $5 is good for 25 pay as you go, so if u use more than 25 messages and less than 300, get the $5 plan, 300-1600, get the $15 plan and anything above that, go unlimited

  • Raidium

    The main reason for these changes is because there are a very few minority (when I saw few I’m talking about 100 people, thats it) That use over 75% of the carriers bandwith because they run companies on a single aircard, no lie. These VERY few individuals are costing the carriers MILLIONS of dollars a month. So inorder to stop these serious loss, they limited their plans down to 5 Gigs a Month to get rid of these individuals.

    So try not to blame the Carrier for switching their rate plans to limited becasue chances are, you wont come close to using 5 Gigs by urself in a month. Not unless you are an illegal file sharer, major porn addict, or your social life consists of your ability to be connected to the net 24/7. And if any of those are the case, maybe you should rethink your lives!

  • james


    your logic makes no sense.

    @ $5 for 200 messages, each message costs me a discounted 2.5 cents each. Yes, 10 cents each after, but that’s why we buy the packages, for the discount.

    Now, when you buy more in a package, the cost increases, but the price per decreases. That’s why if you buy the 1500 package, the price per drops to a penny each.

    So for a middle plan of 700 text’s at the cost of $10 a month, the discount would drop from 2.5 cents each to about 1.4 cents each. And people would save $60 a year that they might not want to waste on 100’s of unused text’s each month.

    It’s just basic math. All of us in the middle either have to pay more for going over or pay more for not having to worry about it. And that’s exactly where they want us.

    Don’t get me started on minutes, My wife and I never use all of our 1400 but we’re always over 700 so we’re forced to pay $20 more each month instead of another incremental step of $10 for 1000 minutes or so. So in a perfect world I could pay $10 less a month on minutes and $5 more a month on text’s and not feel so screwed over by AT&T…

  • james

    And another thing!

    I have family minutes, why not share family texts?

    Yes, there is a family text plan. But it’s unlimited and $30, which is ridiculous for my wife and I. But we could easily share a 700 or 1500 text plan if offered. But instead they make us each have individual text plans while sharing our minutes. Ridiculous!

    So even if I ponied up the $15 for the 1500 text’s, I still can’t text my wife because each text to and from her would cost us collectively 4 text’s (to and from) for only 2 actual messages! So now I have to bump my wife’s plan up so we might as well go to the family unlimited plan at $30 more a month when in actual together we might only use 500-700 text’s total together with unchecked normal usage.

    Alright, now I’m done. (unless you get me started on data packages…)

  • sean


    Nice Telecom propaganda you have there. Too bad one air card can’t accommodate even the needs of an average small company. And even if downstream/upstream was peaked 24/7, 100 cards could not tie up 75% of the bandwidth for a network like you said (granted it would be about 25 Tbits if peaked 24/7, but that really shouldn’t tie up a netwo).

  • neil

    I don’t understand how At&t is allowed to do this.

    It is like advertising free refills and then limiting it to 2 refills in the contract.
    How is this legal…it must be if they are doing it?

  • Jimmie Twofingers

    To the person who says arriving at 5 gigs of data is out of reach it is time to get real. There are multitude of things that could easily reach 5 gigs of data in a months time and many even within a few hours. I download and install open source code a lot as well as use streaming video and audio, all of which contribute to gigabytes of data and are perfectly legal, sane and useful. If I am paying a healthy price for an internet connection and the $76 per month fee, which is the current AT&T ‘unlimited’ data plan in question here, for connecting my laptop to a BROADBAND network then I EXPECT to be able to USE the dang thing. I can reach 5 gigs in a days time EASILY and often do. I used to do this on dial-up and paid a measly $7 a month and only quit because of the turtle like slow speeds, but this marks a full $70 PER MONTH MORE of my hard earned money that I am spending with the full understanding that it will buy SERVICE, not LIMITATIONS! If AT&T insists on ‘capping’ things then the only REAL solution is to DECREASE the charge for the inferior service. All the arguments about bandwidth, p2p, network strangulation etc, are moot points. The bottom line is service and the charges therof. AT&T should leave politics out of it and return to fair business practices.

  • Mr.Iphone

    The 5gig thing to the unlimited plan is retarded. When at&t decided to offer the unlimited data plan, they should had told us about the 5gig limit so we wouldn’t have chose to pay the ridiculous additional $30 a month. It’s just like buying a car and instead of the seller selling it “as it is” they sell it as in “perfect condition” even though the engine is mess up. It’s like they are not giving us the full fact. All I am saying is that it’s hard to trust a company that hides things like those to the loyal customers. Well, at the end I guess it’s legal to deceive customers. A message to all companies like at&t, “There are people who are excited about the 3g unlimited data plan and is willingly pay for it, so I just hope that you guys don’t destroy that excitement by limiting the unlimited data plan”

  • Justin

    iPhone users already pay 30 for data and 5 10 or 20 for unlimited text and mms plus the phone line. But I heard something about 20gb too I mean I’ve only used 6 gbs in like 3 months and I use alot and have 300 apps on the 3gs but I use wifi often also. I would be upset if I ever got a fee since I pay out the but for unlimited everything.

  • Bill

    If we are going to be bumping up wireless networks from 1G to 3G and now 4G, plus not forgetting that every year laptops, phones, and other wireless media that have been designed to handle/use more and more data, how can I believe that ATT and the other majors didn’t see this coming. If you listen to the advertisements by Apple, Dell, Motorola, etc.. they’re big selling point is that you can’t do anything concerning media on them. Watch a movie, download music, games etc… My I-Phone is set up from factory to do most of the things that would eventually cap a 5GB transfer rate. It just sounds like we’ve been set up. Put out all this technology that uses and is capable of using lots of information and then charge the heck out of them once every 1 of 4 American has an bandwidth intensive device. Sorry so long this just gets under my skin big time.

  • Lyndon

    I’m on the phone now (and for the last hour) going round and round with AT&T on this matter. They are wrong, and they know it, but they can’t say so. I have had a ‘Data Connect Including Unlimited MB’ plan for over 5 years now with AT&T. The last renewal, on a 2 year contract, was in August/September of 2009. I routinely use 12GB to 17GB per month via my laptop connect card. My only options, according to AT&T, are to update to the new 5GB plan, whereby I will be charged $.05/MB over the cap (that’s $50/GB, folks), or to cancel my service with no penalty. When I asked the advantage of ‘updating to the new plan’, the answer was “its an updated plan.” When pressed for a realistic answer, they finally admitted there is no advantage to me. I’m only 6 days into the current monthly usage, and I’m already up to 4431.59MB with 24 days remaining on the service month.

  • Silverbarcoffee

    AT&T are dishonest swine. They plain ripped me off after telling me i was granfathered in for unlimited data and now my transfer data rate is being slowed for excessive use making youtubes inoperable. Excuse me for using the fucking phone.

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