Telecommunications/Technology

AT&T raising data plan prices, limits starting Sunday

AT&T smartphone customers, including iPhone users, will have to pay more for data service starting Sunday.

Data-hungry AT&T customers — smartphone and tablet users — will begin paying more for their allotted monthly amount starting Sunday, when the carrier will begin charging an additional $5 per plan. However, the hike will also come with an increase in the amount of data assigned to each plan, the carrier said.

The most economical smartphone plan will be $20 a month — up from $15 — for 300 megabytes of data, up from the current 200 megabytes offered, the company said in a statement. AT&T is Puerto Rico’s largest wireless carrier with nearly 1 million customers.

Smartphone customers wanting the 3-gigabyte “AT&T Data Plus” plan will be charged $30 a month, up from the current 2-gigabyte, $25-a-month offer. The upper “AT&T Data Pro” tier, that currently offers 4 gigabytes for $45 monthly will go up to 5 gigabytes for $50 a month, 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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, new rates for the AT&T DataConnect data plans for tablet computers will offer two options: $30 for 3 gigabytes or $50 for 5 gigabytes.

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, AT&T said.

Roger Entner, a consultant with Recon Analytics, told CNET.com that AT&T’s rate plan hikes seek to curb overage charges applied to customers who exceed their allotted data.

“Nobody is happy about overages — it makes unhappy customers, and unhappy customers tend to leave,” Entner said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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