AT&T tweaked its unlimited data pricing to reduce the cost of a single line of service and to introduce a cheaper unlimited data option at $60 per month. The carrier is also sweetening its unlimited data deal with discounts to customers who also sign up for its DirecTV service.
The move to reduce the cost of its unlimited plan appears to be a counter to Verizon, though AT&T still charges $10 more per month than Verizon does. And AT&T’s cheaper unlimited plan, at $60 per month for one line of service, is likely a response to Sprint, which previously charged $60 per month for one line of service on its unlimited plan before reducing that by $10 a month in February in order to offer unlimited data service at $50 per month.
“With our incredible new unlimited plans and great entertainment options for everyone, we’re able to give customers what they’ve been asking for, on their terms,” proclaimed David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T’s Entertainment Group, in a release from the company.
AT&T’s new “Unlimited Plus” plans offer 10 GB of tethering per smartphone (after 10 GB, max speeds will be slowed to 128 Kbps), as well as the option to connect a tablet and other devices for $20 a month. Tethering was unavailable with AT&T’s previously introduced unlimited plan. And Unlimited Plus customers can also get discounts on AT&T’s DirecTV services.
Thus, for one line, AT&T’s new Unlimited Plus plan will cost $90 per month, or $100 for those who choose to also subscribe to DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming TV service. AT&T customers can also opt to add AT&T’s satellite-powered DirecTV service to their unlimited wireless data, which will cost a total of $115 per month for a single line of service (AT&T is essentially offering a $25 discount to Unlimited Plus customers who sign up for DirecTV Now or DirecTV).
For four lines, those prices range from $185 per month for Unlimited Plus service to $195 per month for DirecTV Now (and $210 per month for DirecTV).
Those prices represent a slight decrease from the unlimited pricing AT&T initially announced earlier this month.
AT&T also said it will offer a $10 corporate discount on AT&T Unlimited Plus for business users.
Perhaps more interesting though is AT&T’s new “Unlimited Choice” plan, which offers unlimited data starting at $60 per month for a single line, though network speeds are capped at 3 Mbps and video is streamed at 480p resolution, or a max of 1.5Mbps. Four lines on the Unlimited Choice plan cost $155 a month.
AT&T’s pricing positions the carrier just above Verizon. Verizon charges $80 per month for its plan, and it includes HD video streaming and up to 10 GB of LTE hotspot access.
T-Mobile’s unlimited plan is slightly cheaper, starting at $70 a month for the first line and $160 a month for four lines. And Sprint continues to undercut the competition, recently knocking $10 a month off the price of its unlimited plan for users who switch to bring it down to $50 for one line and $90 a month for four lines.
U.S. Cellular’s recently launched unlimited service costs $60 per month for a single line.
But AT&T is hoping that the inclusion of its DirecTV service will spice up its unlimited offerings. Indeed, the carrier closed its DirecTV acquisition roughly two years ago, and has since been working to leverage that acquisition into an over-the-top streaming TV service it calls DirecTV Now. The carrier is hoping that bundling entertainment with its wireless offerings will give it an edge in the wireless market.