PhotoAT&T is jacking up data plan rates by as much as 33% for smartphones and tablet computers.

“Customers are using more data than ever before,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment.”

Normally, when one produces and sells more of a commodity, it becomes cheaper. But in the case of bandwidth, demand is outpacing supply and carriers are raising prices or imposing usage ceilings, or both. AT&T prefers to say the plans "give customers more data and value."

“Customers are using more data than ever before,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment.”

The new plans will launch this Sunday, January 22. 

The new smartphone plans include:

  • AT&T Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
  • AT&T Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Smartphone customers needing additional data can pay $10 per additional gigabyte on the AT&T Data Pro 3GB and Data Pro 5GB plans; AT&T Data Plus users will receive an extra 300MB for $20.

The new tablet plans include:

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Existing smartphone and tablet customers will have the choice of keeping their current plans or choosing one of these new plans, and the current $14.99 for 250MB plan for tablet customers will remain available. 

The tablet plans are for 30 days and automatically renew every 30 days, unless you cancel service prior to the start of the 30 day renewal, while smartphone plans are covered by contracts, normally three years. 

The company said customers should keep their device’s Wi-Fi turned on because data usage over Wi-Fi does not count against a customer’s monthly data plan. AT&T smartphone and tablet customers have access at no additional charge to AT&T’s 29,000 Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

Now that AT&T has officially given up on its plan to acquire T-Mobile, it's going to have to keep a tighter rein on its available spectrum, which would have been greatly increased had the T-Mobile deal gone through. Not that AT&T is any stranger to rate caps. It was the first carrier to limit consumption when it introduced tiered pricing plans way back in 2010.


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