AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
We know that AT&T’s sudden announcement that it will put a halt to unlimited data put a lot of you into a tailspin this morning, but now that you’ve had some time to come to terms with the change (provided you didn’t immediately switch to another carrier), let’s take a moment to think about this. Many of you are going to grandfather your unlimited plan, but a lot will leave to either save a few bucks or to enable iPhone tethering. If you’re one of the later, how much data will you need? Unless you’re planning to tether, it’s pretty easy to predict how much data you’ll use in the future by looking into how much you’ve used in the past. And thankfully AT&T has a way for you to do this. Here’s how.
- Hit up att.com and log into your online account
- Click on My Accounts and select Bill & Payments
- Click Billing Reports and select Data Trends
- Hit Submit
From there, you’ll be able to get a detailed history of your wireless data usage. If you’re an iPhone user, you can simply grab AT&T’s myWireless Mobile app from the App Store. Unfortunately with the latter you’re restricted to viewing your usage from the current billing cycle, but maybe, just maybe, the app will get an update. How much data do you use a month? More →
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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. More →