AT&T shakes up Mobile Share Value plan pricing, increases $100/10 GB plan to 15 GB

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) is revamping and simplifying its pricing plans for its Mobile Share Value shared data plans, eliminating some options and giving customers more data for the same amount or less on others. The biggest change to AT&T's plans is that its $100/10 GB plan will now come with 15 GB of data. The new AT&T plans, which will go into effect tomorrow, come just days after Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) introduced its own simplified shared data plan pricing.

Existing customers can keep their pricing plans or switch to the new plans, all of which come with unlimited voice and texting. Here are the new pricing plans from AT&T and how they compare to AT&T's existing offers:

  • 300 MB of shareable data for $20 per month, which is remaining the same. 
  • 2 GB for $30, which is replacing AT&Ts 1 GB and 3 GB plans, which had been $25 and $40, respectively. 
  • 5 GB for $50, which is replacing AT&T's 6 GB for $70 plan. 
  • 15 GB for $100, which is the most significant change and replaces AT&T's 10 GB for $100 plan, which had been its most popular plan.
  • 20 GB for $140, which replaces the 20 GB for $150 plan.
  • 25 GB for $170, which is a new option AT&T said is designed for small businesses with multiple lines.
  • If customers need even more data, AT&T said 30 GB, 40 GB and 50 GB plans are also available and business customers can get plans up to 200 GB.

AT&T said that for customers who buy their smartphones through its Next equipment installment plan and pay off their devices in monthly installments, the monthly smartphone access charge per line will be $25 for plans with 5 GB or less of data and $15 for the plans with 15 GB or more.

Wells Fargo analysts Jennifer Fritzsche, Caleb Stein and Eric Luebchow said in a research note that they view new AT&T pricing plans positively "as it should further encourage customers into higher data buckets." They noted that at its analyst day earlier this week, John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services, "indicated we should expect to see T do things that would encourage more usage on its network -- especially as it pushes the wireless/video 'Critical Bundle' (now with DTV in the fold). Today's announcement is one example of many we are yet to see in our view -- the biggest one of course being its own over the top (OTT) offering."

All of AT&T's plans with 15 GB or more of data will get unlimited calling and texting to Mexico and Canada, an attempt to match recent moves by Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) to offer service that extends across borders.

Sprint recently unveiled its new "Open World" international roaming service that makes unlimited calling and texting to Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries free for its U.S.-based customers. The offering also gives Sprint customers free calls and texts and 1 GB of high-speed data when they are traveling in those countries. T-Mobile last month launched its "Mobile without Borders" offer, under which T-Mobile will let customers make calls, texts and, crucially, use data as they do in the U.S. when they travel to Mexico and Canada. 

The new AT&T plans also come as other carriers are either rejiggering their pricing or offering promotions for families. Verizon's new plans are $30 per month for 1 GB of shareable data, $45 for 3 GB, $60 per month for 6 GB and $80 per month for 12 GB.

Sprint recently launched a family plan promotion that offers unlimited voice, texting and 10 GB of shared data for $100 per month. The carrier also said that families can choose Sprint's 40 GB shared data plan for just $20 more per month, or $120 in total. For a limited time, Sprint will also pay off customers' leftover balance of monthly device payments and wireless contract if they switch. Sprint also said these new 10 GB and 40 GB options on the plan have no per-line data access charges ever on the first four lines when a customer switches.

T-Mobile also recently unveiled a new family plan promotion that offers each customer unlimited voice, texting and 10 GB of data and includes a monthly price of $100 for two lines. Under the new T-Mobile plan, each additional line beyond the first two costs $20 more per person.

Under the T-Mobile promotion, T-Mobile has said customers can add a fourth line for free when they sign up or switch to the new plan from now through Labor Day, which is Sept. 7. T-Mobile said a family of four can get 10 GB of LTE for each person for just $120 per month under that offer.

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