AT&T kills off unlimited smartphone data, announces cheaper rates

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Ladies and Gentleman, unlimited smartphone data from AT&T is a thing of the past. Or at least it will be as of June 7th. Starting that day, AT&T will introduce two new data plans to replace its current $30 unlimited smartphone plan. Without a bunch of preamble and crying over the changes, here’s the skinny on the plans that AT&T says will make it possible for “more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.”

DataPlus

  • 200MB of data for $15 per month. AT&T says this will be enough data to meet the needs of 65% of its smartphone users. If you go over the 200MB cap, AT&T will charge you $15 per 200MB of overages.

DataPro

  • 2GB of data for $25 per month. According to AT&T, only 2% of its smartphone customers manage to blow through more than 2GB of data per month. Go over the limit and you’ll be charged $10 per GB.

Tethering

  • Smartphone users that want tethering and have a DataPro plan can add the feature for $20 per month. This means you’ll be sharing 2GB between your phone and your laptop for $45 per month. Not great at all, but remember this: A 5GB data card plan costs $60 per month. This means — with overages — you’ll be able to have 5GB of smartphone and tethering data for $75 and not have to worry about two contracts. Oh, and “Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.” About bloody time.

iPad

  • The $29.99 unlimited data plan for the iPad has not escaped the chop. Starting June 7th, new iPad customers will have two options: $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB of data. Any iPad customers who wish to stick to the $30 unlimited plan are free to do so, but AT&T is hoping most people will opt to save $5 and change plans.

As much as it hurts to see unlimited plans die off (and don’t pretend we didn’t know it was coming), the new rates will make data more accessible to those who don’t have a lot of coins in their coffer. And again, to be perfectly clear, you are welcome to stay on the current $30 unlimited smartphone data plan, but if you think you can squeak by on the new plans and save $5 to $15, AT&T will move you over to the DataPlus or DataPro plan without renewing your data commitment. Awww, so sweet.

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