Some heavy data users thinking of signing up with AT&T may be crying foul at new data plans just announced today. DataPlus is the basic service, offering 200 MB for $15, while DataPro is $25 monthly for 2 GB. Aaaand that’s about it. Yep, no more unlimited data. If you want to be able to use that 2 GB for tethering, that’ll be another $20/month. Voice/data bundles are now $54.99 and up. Those prices are actually pretty good, considering up here in Canada we pay $30 for 500 MB and $50 for 2 GB of data on Rogers.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, as now AT&T subscribers can finally use an iPhone to provide internet access to their laptop, which is a feature that has been a long time coming. iPhone OS 4.0 will for sure be offering the capability, but will the data cap just mean AT&T will be able to squeeze overage charges out of the app-happy customers that have brought their network to its knees? The network upgrades made to meet these demands don’t come cheap, so maybe these added charges are justified, and it does say something about AT&T’s confidence in their capacity that they’re even offering the option for tethering. On the other hand, if AT&T can’t handle an army of iPhone and iPad tethererererers despite the 2 GB cap, and everything just buckles under the weight again, AT&T will be in bad shape for the June launch of the next gen iPhone. I can’t even imagine how such a tight situation would be compounded with the sudden and magical proliferation of video calling on the iPhone 4. If things do go south, there’s a good chance that Verizon could step in and offer a viable alternative.
The new plans go live June 7, but those currently on the $29.99 unlimited plan can keep it, or if they’re rather save five bucks a month or desperately need an official tethering plan because they can’t jailbreak for some crazy reason, can switch over to the new offer. Be sure to grandfather the old unlimited plan onto your new handsets if you’re completely in love with it, because odds are it won’t be coming back.
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