AT&T adds parental controls for mobiles

AT&T is launching a service called Smart Limits that allows parents to limit their children's talk time, text messaging usage, IM sessions, web content and downloads. The controls cost $4.99 a month per line. The child does not have to be on a family plan to be within the reach of Smart Limits, but must be on a postpaid plan. The limits do not cover picture or video messages, push-to-talk minutes or make use of location-based technology at this time.

Set limits for:

  • Minutes
  • Text and instant messages
  • Download purchases
  • Time of day or night the phone can be used
  • Numbers the phone can call or text (incoming and outgoing)
  • Internet content access

Children will receive a text message warning when they hit 75 percent of their monthly limits. Subsequently, once a limit has been reached, the child will hear an audio message explaining why a call can't be made or a text alert as to why an SMS would not send. If a child's friend tries to call during a restricted time period or after minutes are up, the caller will hear the message: "The AT&T subscriber you are trying to reach is not available at this time." So, no public shaming is available at this time. The Smart Limits controls span AT&T's offerings: TV, Internet, landline phone and wireless service.

For more on AT&T Smart Limits program:
- read this press release
- check out the FAQ section of the service's site