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AT&T Announces Their Own Shared Data Plans, Launching in August

We knew it wouldn’t be long before AT&T stepped into the shared data plan game. You didn’t think it was going to be Verizon only, did you? The mobile landscape started changing years ago when tiered data was first introduced, but now more than ever, you will be paying a premium to take that smartphone of yours onto the web or into an app. Carriers realized that the money they were making from minutes and texts wasn’t going to hold up forever and that data was their new cash cow.

So AT&T’s shared data plans look a lot like Verizon’s in that you pay a flat fee for your phone and then pick from a variety of data options. Their’s differs in that as you buy a bigger data bucket, your per device monthly charge goes down. The first tier of 1GB is cheaper than Big Red’s at $40 and they are also not offering a 2GB plan.

These plans will go into effect in August. For now (or at launch), they will allow you to choose between shared plans and their current plans, however, you have to expect that to change.

The press release is below, but stick with us as we’ll have comparison charts to Verizon’s and also dive into the dirty details. 

AT&T Gives Customers More Choice with New Shared Wireless Data Plans

New Mobile Share Plans Allow Customers to Easily Share Data Across Smartphones, Tablets and Other Devices. New and Current Customers Not Required To Choose or Switch to Shared Plans

AT&T* customers will soon have more options in choosing the plan that’s right for them and their mobile devices. With new AT&T Mobile Share plans, available in late August, new and existing customers can share a single bucket of data across smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. AT&T Mobile Share plans make it easy for customers to manage their data, voice minutes and texting, without needing to keep track of multiple plans.

Customers can select one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T’s existing individual or family plans. Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T’s device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T’s best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers.

With AT&T Mobile Share plans, customers start by choosing how much data they want each month, then choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones. The larger the data bucket you choose, the less you pay per gigabyte and the less you pay for each smartphone added to the shared plan

AT&T Mobile Share allows customers to essentially build a plan to fit their devices and usage. Customers who are more data-centric can choose a larger data bucket. Customers who typically use more voice than data can add multiple smartphones and basic phones and opt for a smaller data bucket.

“We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They’ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It’s their choice.

“Today we think of people’s smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we’ll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet,” said Christopher. “Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.”

Mobile Share plans give customers more control over how, where and on what device they use data — which has become more important as people use more data devices. You can choose to use more of your data bucket on your tablet, for example, or tap into your data bucket only when needed for devices you use occasionally. And by consolidating data plans, you can take advantage of any data you currently have unused each month by efficiently sharing it across devices.

“The ‘more you share, the more you save’ concept is one that will resonate well with customers because of the value provided through the Mobile Share data plans themselves and in smartphone connection fees,” said Roger Entner, Founder and Lead Analyst of Recon Analytics. “AT&T also is providing its customers with flexibility and choice by keeping its existing data plans and not requiring customers to move to Mobile Share unless they want to. It’s a win-win for both AT&T and its customers.”

To help customers track their data usage, AT&T keeps users informed with courtesy alerts as they near their data allowance for the month. Also, customers can check their usage at anytime online, through the myAT&T mobile app, or by calling *DATA# from their mobile phone.

Each data plan also includes access to more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots — the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network** among wireless carriers — at no additional charge. Wi-Fi usage at public hotspots, home or office does not count toward the monthly wireless data plan usage.

Customers can learn more about the new plans and determine which plan is best for them atwww.att.com/mobileshare.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.

Smartphone required. 3G, HSPA+, LTE devices only. Up to ten devices per plan. Additional monthly charge per device. Tablets sold at a discounted, 2-year contract price not eligible. $15 per GB for add’l data. Activation fee may apply. Additional deposits and other restrictions may apply. 

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

  • KewlRobD

    Not everyone ends up paying more with the share plans. I currently have 4 smart phones on my plan. I pay for 1400 minutes, unlimited text messages, 3GB on one line and 2GB on the other 3. This currently costs me $245 before taxes and fees. Under the Shared plan my bill would be $240 with 10GB shared. So $5 less and I get 1GB more. But in reality I get 5.5GB more than I get now. See my wife and her mother are on my plan. They both stay home most of the day and are on WiFi a good part of the time. While the 300MB plan was borderline not enough for them the 2GB/3GB plan was way to much. I was paying for 4.5GB more than they were probably going to use in a month. These GB’s were going to waste. Mean while myself and the other power user in my household had to be careful with our usage so not to cross the 2GB line. Under the current plan those two lines get to share 9.5GB per month. No longer will I fear streaming video when not on Wifi. I feel for the people who have 1 or 2 phones on their accounts as I can’t imagine the Shared plans will benefit them. I just wanted to voice my opinion that these plans are not horrible, at least not for everyone that is.

  • Billy

    I dont know guys, I work for vzw and I changed 6 price plans today alone for customers that end up saving anywhere from $20-60 a month. A ton of customers are saving money on these plans

  • NorCalDroid

    Please people do not try to justify this crap load or shared and tiered data prices. We used to be able to use unlimited data and now we cannot. I don’t care if I don’t use 10GB every month. I like knowing that if I want to download the whole internet I can if I want. You are getting less in every way. I’d pay $50 to $60 a month just to keep unlimited data alive and support the expansion of their LTE market with new funds.

  • wow. i have unlimited, but the most ive ever used is probably in the 7 gig range. rest of my family never uses that much. if we were to switch to at&t and get the 10 gig plan and with 4 android phones, it would be 240. 60 bucks less than verizon AND more data? that seriously cant be right. am i doing something wrong?

  • fauxshizzl

    My recomendation? Whay thats quite simple.. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1455014

  • Stephen Escobar

    The amazing things is that no one in the government will investigate these companies for collusion….

  • Sean Wood

    Has anyone else noticed that when you actulaly do the match on this… say for 2 phones. it nets out to be the same as the Verizon plans… I really hope peopple aren’t stupid enough to fall for these marketing tricks… It’s bad enough that the FCC is allowing these 300+% per unit hikes in service…. and yes.. I realize that SOME people are saving money becasue theydon’t use the extra data they would ahve other wie gotten.. but still apples to apples and oranges to oranges.. these teired share plans SUCK for the consummer…

  • Jeremy Case

    You guys are pathetic you demand the best from carriers and the whine and cry like bitches when they raise prices. If you can’t afford the plan maybe you shouldn’t have a smartphone. This site is seriously turning into a whining bitch fest.

    • JoshGroff

      I wouldn’t mind paying 80-100 for 1 line with unlimited everything with no throttling. These tiered plans just suck hardcore.

    • leoingle

      Yup. Buncha bitches. Take your whiny asses to StraightTalk or SimpleMobile.

  • You guys all seem to forget that the vast majority of smartphone users will not use data anywhere near to the degree that we do. You have to consider we are in the 10% of all data users, the other 90% don’t even go above 2 gigs and would prefer unlimited minutes and text

    • Droidzilla

      That’s true . . . for now. When more people start to catch on to what their smartphone can do, data usage will go through the roof. Kind of like how home data usage exploded once people figured out why they should be on the internet aside from forwarding joke emails.

  • blackcatroad

    If I were to move to shared plans & switch, I could save $10 on AT&T over VZW — but thats after my bill goes way up and my data allowance goes way down. lol

  • Jon

    This is way better than the Verizon plan. Our family of four would come in at $280 for the data that we need.

    With Verizon, this would cost a hell of a lot more. North of $50-70 more.

    • frankandsimple

      you spend almost 300 dollars a month on your cell phone bill?? no offense.. but that is just crazy.

      • Detonation

        He said family of four. $300/4 = $75 a line. That’s cheaper than most single line smartphone plans…

        • frankandsimple

          I know what he said.. He could cut his bill in half by switching to straight talk for example.. or even further with one of T-Mobile’s prepaid plans and being a bit clever. 300 dollar out of your pocket every month for cell phone is a bit hard to digest for me. Not that I am suggesting he change anything.

      • arturo_bandini

        $3,600 a year for smartphones!

  • ocdtrekkie

    I like how this is more expensive, but they hide it under not offering the same bucket sizes.

  • Aryeh Hersh

    According to engadget, unlimited data users will be allowed to keep unlimited when upgrading at subsidized pricing. F**K VERIZON!! If Sprint keeps offering unlimited data in a year or 2 and has a decent LTE network then goodbye fat red!

    • Turb0wned

      Att is the less evil of the two.

      • Aryeh Hersh

        At this point I agree — verizon is big enough that they can give a big FU to their loyal customers and have most of them stay on.

    • Sp4rxx

      Both AT&T and Sprint throttle. I would rather have limited full speed than throttled unlimited hands down.

      Just use wifi when possible to save data.

      • JoshGroff

        Throttling doesn’t kick in until you pass 5GB, your argument is invalid.

        • I’ve used almost 4GB is 7 days. Your argument is invalid.

          • JoshGroff

            So you’re willing to spend more for tiered data than have it throttled after a reasonable amount and still have unlimited?

      • Sean Wood

        maybe.. but from my understanding the throttling mechanism they use is incorperated into the phones software.. easily by passed via custom rom

    • Sp4rxx

      …and the more customers leave because of trivial issues such as this leaves more bandwidth for the rest of us!

  • htowngtr

    Still rape and it sucks. Not even using lube.

  • dragonflyr

    I don’t expect unlimited data. But I do expect, no .. would LIKE TO EXPECT reasonable prices. Wrong, I am. The bait and switch continues.

    • Droidzilla

      This. I like the idea of pooled data if one has to be on a tiered data plan, but don’t make it more expensive than it was prior. That’s just douchey.

  • once again… no contract routes win again


    • Tim242

      StraightTalk limits you to 2GB. They also prohibit streaming. You better read the small print.

      • Turb0wned

        Thank you! People keep replying to me telling me how to spend my money. Go to straighttalk is all I hear.

        • Turb0wned

          That comment was @Tim242

          • FknTwizted

            he isn’t telling you how to spend your money but before you open your mouth read you terms and conditions.

    • frankandsimple

      T-Mobile 30 dollar 5 GB data, unlimited Text and 100 minutes with 10 cents for additional minutes is working out just great with my unlocked GNex.

      • JoshGroff

        This ^

      • bcrew5

        Just ordered two last week for me and the misses.Can’t wait but… where is my order GOOGLE?

      • Mapekz

        Is T-Mobile’s coverage as bad as people say? Also what area do you live in? I want to use a GSM carrier for AOSP-friendliness but by the time the new Nexi come out I may be forced onto this AT&T shared plan if I choose big blue over hot pink.

        • frankandsimple

          Im in Northern California.. T-Mobile coverage hasn’t been an issue for me so far.

      • bhazard

        I just switched to this from Verizon myself. I have an unlocked bootloader GS3 with better data speeds than CDMA, and wi-fi calling! I don’t miss Verizon at all.

        • frankandsimple

          I don’t miss Verizon either. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ speeds are comparable to Verizon LTE’s practical speeds. Not to mention my battery easily lasts me 2 days on a full charge and moderate usage.

  • Butters619

    The only way these plans could benefit you is if you already pay for unlimited minutes. If you have a 450 minute plan (like myself), then bend over and get ready to take it.

    • Sp4rxx

      OR if most of the people you actually talk to on the phone have your same network. I honestly wish VZW would offer less than 450 minutes for a plan because I barely use 30 minutes a month on my plan.

      • Adam Brandt

        same here…if I could get a phone with data ONLY and just use, say, the Vonage app (free calls in the U.S.) for the few times I need to talk, I would be set. I don’t NEED the value packed new plans with free voice and text. Why don’t they sell JUST data?

  • repeat after me “I would like to you request an investigation into price fixing and collusion”. Put that in a letter to the SEC along with an explanation of how the carriers have behaved over the last few years. If enough of us do it slmething might actually happen. Look at the big publishers and ebooks. They are working out a settlement with the SEC right now because they pushed worked together with apple to force higher ebook prices on consumers and Amazon

  • unko

    wtf is with these companies? this is not the 90s where you had that supply of toilet cash to rip out of peoples asses. All this will do is cause people to either suck it up, cut back on use or drop data all together. ATM I am regretting spending the cash on a SIII instead of pooling for a wifi tablet, cause that is what my SIII is quickly becoming. Unfortunately it is a monopoly of sorts, they tie you to the data via a network that a smaller company cannot step into without huge funding and outlay. Have to say the SIII is likely my last smart phone. Once it becomes like my OG droid (utterly useless since it is out of ram 98% of the time) I will be going to a flip phone without data and to hell with these faggots.

    • King of Nynex

      How do I give a million downvotes? Homophobic slurs have absolutely no place here.

      • htowngtr

        Wow, settle down there, hoss.

        • leoingle

          Right?? Bunch a Lil bitches. Its shocking that everybody doesn’t share the same opinion! That is why it is called an opinion and everybody is entitled to their own.

    • Mark

      The sad part about the internet, is that you actually had a valid and solid rebuttal against this issue, and then everything became null and void with the derogatory term at the end.

      • leoingle

        Cry like a Lil bitch much?

        • OfTheDamned

          Act like a 12 year old much? See, it works for everything. Now please go away, the grown ups are talking here.

          • leoingle

            *yawn* actually I already did. I don’t have time for people who get butthurt and offended so easily. Frankly it bores me.

          • OfTheDamned

            If you already went away, why are you still here?

            You can try to pretend that you are above it all, but your replies are juvenile and silly. That bores everyone.

            The person you replied to wasn’t getting offended easily, he was addressing the fact that the original comment was rendered pointless by the last sentence. Which it was. There is no place for rude or derogatory comments in an intelligent conversation. Anyone who believes there is obviously has no place in an intelligent conversation.

          • leoingle

            Was I still here? Or did I come back when I got a notification email, just like you did? If you are going to “act” smart then what you choose to say should be smart also, high and mighty one.

          • OfTheDamned

            If you are still commenting, you are still here.

            Also, are you trying to insult my acting or my intelligence with your quotes? I think you need to take your own advice there, silly and juvenile one.

      • sru571
  • Bionicman

    at least they still get their unlimited data plan grandfathered if they choose. lucky

    • Butters619

      It’s unlimited but throttled. Although, I have crossed the 3GB threshold a few times and have never been throttled. I think it’s because I have LTE and they might as well leave me on their lightly used LTE then pushed me to their over crowded lower networks.

      • LTE is throttled after 5gb. HSPA and below are after 3gb.

        • Butters619

          You are right! They changed their policy back in March. That explains it!

        • Droidzilla

          Then that’s barely unlimited. One Netflix movie streamed from your device to your HDTV and you’re at the limit.

          • Butters619

            During the NCAA tournament I streamed 2 games……3GB…..

          • Droidzilla

            The problem with unlimited used to be that people were “taking advantage of the system” by tethering. With the ability to do things like stream video to your TV from your device, that’s no longer the case. One can easily hit 100+GB in a month with zero tethering; using solely the apps and features of the stock device over an LTE connexion.

            Sprint can’t build out their LTE network fast enough, in my opinion.

          • Butters619

            If you are hitting 100+ GB then you are doing some serious heavy lifting with your device and/or you just don’t have a wifi connection available. I am only off wifi for about 3 hours a day on the weekdays and all weekend and I push 3-4 GB a month and I’d say I’m a pretty heavy data user.

          • Droidzilla

            I generally don’t have WiFi. I cut the cord a long time ago; I very rarely need access to a full computer outside of work. If I’m using mainly my mobile device at home, why should I have to pay for another data plan for it when LTE is just as fast as what I’d get from cable?

            My point is that mobile devices and mobile data connexions are now such that one could easily rack up a ton of data usage by simply using the device as advertised. Why advertise the super fast mobile connexion and the ability to stream Netflix/HULU+/etc. if you’re going to only offer 2-10GB/month for your customers (and the higher end plans at ridiculous prices)?

          • Butters619

            If I completely cut wifi I could push 100+ GB a month, but I have an apartment with a couple roommates so there is no way to get around having internet at home.

          • Adam Brandt

            seriously…I took a 2 hour train ride and streamed some music and watched about an hour, maybe 90 minutes of video and blew through 2GB JUST for that trip. Not tethering, not supporting all the computers internet on my block, just REGULAR usage. I have NO idea where they think 2-4GB is normal usage at ALL on today’s phones. And displays keep getting better, with 1080p coming soon, and Netflix already said they are soon releasing an HD mobile version. Data usage will go up and up. I really do not see how this pricing model can work now, let alone long term

  • Dang…how long before Sprint and T-Mo do the same thing?

    • Butters619

      As soon as they stop bleeding customers. Which, going by the ass raping coming from the big 2, shouldn’t be much longer.

  • Mark

    ***insert typical OMFG I HATE VERIZON!! THEY ARE SUCH A MONEY HUNGRY CORPORATION response here***

    • Gary

      But this is AT&t this time….

      • Mark

        That comment was in regards to AT&T letting customers keep their Unlimited Data plans if they choose.

  • At those prices I can only imagine what kind of incredible hurdles Verizon and at&t must go through to deliver data over the air. Maybe they should ask Walmart what their secret is.

    • Josh Flowers

      haha, the wondrous ability of an MVNO (as Walmart uses ATT/Tmobile networks for StraightTalk). StraightTalk really is becoming a great option for people that want/”need” a smart phone but don’t necessarily tether and use it for simple things like email/occasional FB checks…esp w/o a contract.

      • Ben Tarpley

        Yea, every other mvno always failed when it came to paying the bill, but as long as they keep it up they won’t go the way of amp’d, kajeet, or espn mobile. Now if Vzw, sprint, or att start to raise the rent, it’ll all be the same.

    • Cowboydroid

      At this point, there needs to be a federal investigation over collusion and anti-trust practices by both Verizon and ATT.

      • Adam Brandt

        EXACTLY…this has gone too far. Is there anywhere we can send a complaint to the FCC to investigate? I am sick of AT&T and Verizon CONSTANTLY changing their pricing one after the other. It’s OBVIOUS they plan it, and I would think that constitutes a monopoly. Time to break up the new Ma Bell

  • Greg Morgan

    Where one goes, the other follows…

    • htowngtr

      Indeed. Much like airlines and cable company/providers. World’s biggest collusion ever.

  • King of Nynex

    Honestly, if you don’t already have unlimited data, smartphones are a complete ripoff.

    • Mack

      Very true. I’ll be holding on to my unlimited data on Verizon for as long as I can.

      • dragonflyr

        me too. used phones from here on out.

        • Mack

          Used or un-subsidized if I can afford it. If they ever kick me off unlimited, unlocked gsm phones seem to be the way to go.

    • Deeter

      If a majority of people pay full price for their phones just to keep the unlimited data, I wonder if Verizon will do one of two things… 1. make some sort of change or say that the phone i buy is “not compatible” with my unlimited plan (kind of like they did with higher end feature phones “NEEDING” a data plan, they said the phones were not compatible with older plans” …. 2. See that they have a ton of out of contract customers, which makes Verizon and Vodafone not happy, so they may buckle and allow a discount to resign. Personally, i like having the freedom, will never do another contract again….

      • SilverUberXeno

        Contract pricing accounts for the subsidies offered for new devices with upgrades. If we’re buying our phones at full retail, we’re still losing, because our plan prices are artificially high based on the subsidy we DIDN’T get on our device. Verizon still wins. Contract plan pricing and full price for devices is a great deal for carriers.

        • Stewie

          I don’t buy that, enough blogs, DL included did cost analysis’s of going to tiered vs keeping a retail priced phone, you would save some cash by staying on unlim. But let’s face it – take my Gnex for example, other than the “Want” of having the latest OS on it at some pointt, with JB right now this could last me way longer than 2 years for what I use it for. Unless they get 7G satellite data networking etc, I could stay on this unit and stay unlim …

    • Bob G

      Yup. At least gotta show AT&T love for giving you the option to keep your unlimited plan unlike Verizon.

  • MrEnglish

    Blow me…..a kiss as you’re leaving.

  • Mapekz

    Meh, maybe it’s time to accept the death of unlimited. This pricing structure actually isn’t terrible: it’s much better than Verizon’s if you are going for 10GB+ shared and have at least 3 smartphones (2 to break even on price) on your plan. AT&T’s plan also scales up to 15/20GB whereas Verizon charges their overage price past 10GB.

    • sc0rch3d

      Why hast thou forsaken me? I will smite thee. — Unl Data Plan

    • They will have to take unlimited from me by force!

    • William Henry

      AT&T w/10gb = $120+30+30+30 = $210
      Verizon 10gb = $100+40+40+40 = $220

      for $10 more on verizon you can go in 2gig increments all the way up to 20gb rather than the $15/1gb overage.. not sure where you got that information.

      $10 more a month for a much more reliable network, and hundreds more LTE ready cities seems like a better deal to me.

      • Mapekz

        Then you have to factor in that Verizon keeps locking their devices and runs a CDMA network which causes issues for the AOSP devs.

        It really depends on what you use your phone for and where you live so while I am inclined to agree that VZW is better than AT&T because of the numbers I have no actual experience with AT&T to make that judgment (especially since the city I live in has LTE from both services but also HSPA+ from AT&T).