AT&T requiring data plan for 'Quick Messaging' phones

AT&T Mobility has followed Verizon Wireless' lead and is now requiring customers to add a $20 per month data plan to their service when they purchase certain classes of non-smartphone devices. The changes apply to "Quick Messaging" devices such as the Samsung Solstice and LG Neon.

Under the new requirement, AT&T "Quick Messaging" phone customers must purchase a $20 per monthly minimum plan for messaging and/or data for individual lines. Family plans will be required to have a minimum $30 per month per line plan for texting and/or data.

"Nearly all of these devices now have full Web browsing capabilities, and as such, customers are more likely than ever to surf the Web on them," AT&T spokeswoman Jenny Bridges told FierceWireless in explaining the move. "In light of this increased usage, a data and/or text plan will enable customers to enjoy a plan that does not involve paying as-you-go charges."

The changes apply to new customers who purchase these devices as well as subscribers who upgrade to them, Bridges said, noting the changes went into effect Jan. 18.

The move mirrors a similar action by Verizon Wireless. When Verizon unveiled its new unlimited calling and messaging plans earlier this month, the carrier said shoppers who purchase certain devices--which it classified as "3G Multimedia" phones--will be required to add a minimum $10 data plan to their service. (It's worth noting that AT&T lowered the price of its own unlimited calling service hours after Verizon did--and to the same price as Verizon).

For more:
- see this release
- see this Boy Genius Report post

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