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AT&T brings back unlimited data plans, but there’s a big catch

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:11PM EST
AT&T Unlimited Data Plans TV Bundle

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The moment that AT&T subscribers have been waiting for since 2010 has finally arrived… but it comes with some strings attached. AT&T on Monday announced that it will be bringing back unlimited data plans for new and existing subscribers, although you’ll need to also sign up for one of AT&T’s pay TV packages to take advantage of them.

FROM EARLIER: Hate the iPhone? Apple might help you ‘Move to Android’

Essentially, AT&T is bringing back unlimited wireless data as a carrot to lure in customers to subscribe to DirecTV or AT&T U-Verse. The unlimited plan also includes unlimited talk and text and costs $100 a month for the first phone added, with additional phones costing $40 each. If you have three phones on the plan, adding a fourth phone costs you nothing.

Of course, like with most carrier plans, this plan raises questions about just what a carrier means when it says you have “unlimited” data. AT&T will throttle your speeds during hours of network congestion if you’ve exceeded 22GB per month, so heavy users shouldn’t expect to have 4G connectivity at all times.

Even so, this is better than getting hit with overage fees, so that’s progress. This deal sounds particularly good for people who are already DirecTV or U-Verse subscribers who don’t want to have to worry about paying extra each month for using too much data.

Check out AT&T’s full press release below.


A family of four may now get unlimited video streaming, data, talk and text for $180 per month*

New York, Jan. 11, 2016 – AT&T1 is kicking off the New Year with a new unlimited wireless data offer for its new and existing TV subscribers who like watching their favorite videos and TV shows almost everywhere.2 Beginning tomorrow, new and existing AT&T consumer wireless customers who have or add AT&T DIRECTV® or AT&T U-Verse TV may get the new AT&T Unlimited Plan, offering customers more data to use for watching video, playing games and surfing the web on their mobile devices.3

The new AT&T Unlimited Plan includes unlimited data and unlimited talk and text. Customers can get the AT&T Unlimited Plan on a smartphone for $100 per month. Additional smartphones are $40 per month each, and a fourth smartphone can be added at no additional cost.*

The new AT&T Unlimited Plan is the first of many integrated video and mobility offers the company plans to announce in 2016. Also, AT&T plans to launch a wide-range of new video entertainment options later this year.

If you are a new or existing DIRECTV or U-Verse TV subscriber but not an AT&T wireless subscriber, for a limited time, you can receive $500 in credits when you switch to the AT&T Unlimited Plan with an eligible trade-in, and buy a smartphone on AT&T NextSM.4 And, if you are an AT&T wireless customer, but not a DIRECTV subscriber, you can add a TV package beginning at $19.99 per month for 12 months, with a 24 month agreement.5

“Our new unlimited plan is our best offer yet. It’s the perfect reward for our valued customers who like to take advantage of our integrated offers of TV and wireless services,” said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions. “Video traffic continues to grow on our network as fast as ever because people enjoy viewing their favorite video content on their favorite devices.”

“We’ve got the content consumers want, we’re delivering it to the devices they want, and we’re making it as easy as ever for them to consume as much as they want,” he said. “And, they will get a high-quality video streaming experience from the start. No compromises in video quality.”

You can also add additional devices to the plan. For example, add a smartphone or tablet for $40 per month or $10 for a smart watch. If you don’t need unlimited data for your tablet, you can take advantage of our new 1 GB tablet plan for $10 per month, exclusively available for customers on the AT&T Unlimited Plan.6


AT&T Unlimited Plan customers also have the option to add unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB of data for mobile Internet roaming in Mexico.8

The AT&T Unlimited Plan may be available for a limited time to consumer wireless customers. Business customers are not eligible.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.