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AT&T Shaking Up Their Pricing

In an effort to avoid getting flamed further about my writing and controversial image selections, I’ll run a semi-copypasta yawn piece with actual “information” in it. Okay so AT&T fired out a long press release on how they intend to take your money differently, too many asterisks for my taste but Engadget did a decent job of translating it. However since you’re here now, let me take a swing at it and break it down for you. Starting with you iphone owners, you’ll be able to tether once the 4.0 upgrade hits on the a $45 plan for a whopping two gigs.

Effective June 7th (all of this except iphone tethering), instead of the existing $30 pseudo-unlimited smartphone data plan you’ll have the option for $15/month for 200MB and $25/month for two gigs. If you’re like me and don’t like the sound of either, you may stick with your $30 plan until AT&T tells you otherwise. I think this is not an attempt to appease customers but to flirt with a tiered pricing model and maybe more aggressively to enforce that 5GB “soft” cap you already have and as a possible fringe benefit to take a little heat off their infrastructure, maybe in anticipation of the new iphone, a new Google phone and more and more ipad sales. Makes me nervous; I’m an all you can eat guy when it comes to bandwidth. If you go with the $15 plan and break through 200mB, that will cost you another $15 each time you break through a multiple of two hundred. I should figure this out but I think that means if you burn through 230MB you’ll be looking at a $30 bill. On the $25 plan which gets you two gigs, that will be another ten bucks per gig. If you break through five gigs on the DataConnect plan, bam, say hello to another fifty bucks. Goodbye rather. You’ll be able to hop between plans at your leisure, additional money getting prorated.

If you want to tether without flying under the radar, and you can start to expect doing that unscathed to be less easy once this all kicks in, you’ll have to go with the DataPro plan ($25/2GB) plus another twenty bucks, or forty five bucks a month for two gigs cumulatively between your computer and phone, $75 for 5GB which is $15 more than tethering officially on the existing DataConnect plan when doing it out of the closet. So adding tethering ain’t going to be so cheap and we all know how easy it is to eat up five gigs downloading various forms of entertainment over various protocols involving your peers. They price iphone, $45/month for the first two gigs, but note that you won’t be able to do it until the iphone OS 4 gets released, slated for this summer.  For you ipad owners, you may either stick with your existing plan indefinitely, drop down five bucks (and three megs) to the $25/2GB. No mention of ipad tethering. But speaking of ipads, if for whatever reason you own one but want to use it on a different carrier, here you go.

Doug Simmons