AT&T today announced its answer to T-Mobile’s off-contract pricing plans with “Mobile Share Value.” As of December 8, the revamped share plan will give subscribers a discount on service if they’re not on a hardware contract. But of course, with AT&T nothing is simple; the company has found another way to mess around with their cash-cow data plans.
For starters, AT&T will now charge a flat fee of $40 for folks who add a smartphone to their data plan, instead of the $30 to $50 it would normally charge. Like a true hustler, AT&T splits the difference right in the middle — and calls it a deal. The real savings comes to those who pay the full price for their handset off-contract, or bring their own phone to their plan. Doing this cuts the $40 fee down to $25.
Unfortunately, for subscribers on Mobile Share with three or more lines on contract attached to a 6GB plan or larger, will have to pay a bit more; the adding a smartphone fee will be increasing by $5 to $10 per phone. If you’re rocking with two unsubsidized phones on one plan, with 4GB or higher, expect to see a modest $15 discount on your monthly bill. The company also made changes to its AT&T NEXT program, by adding a new 18-month upgrade option along the 12-month plan.
With all these changes going down, one can surmise that AT&T is feeling pressure from T-Mobile’s “UNcarrier” approach; causing the company to shake up their Mobile Share Plans, upgrade policy and data buckets.
In the end, the new Mobile Share Value plans don’t match-up well against T-Mobile for various reasons, however, the new plan is mostly a better deal than the one its replacing. And as an AT&T customer, any discount is a good thing.