AT&T’s New Cell Plans Eliminate Data Overage Fees
AT&T has introduced a set of new wireless plans, called Mobile Share Advantage, that eliminate the $15 per gigabyte data overage fees. Instead, when you reach your data cap, your speed will be reduced to a maximum of 128 Kbps for the rest of your billing cycle. That’s painfully slow, but at least you won’t have surprise data charges on your bill. Those who find the speed reduction problematic can jump to the next highest plan; we presume you can switch back at a later date.
Although AT&T hasn’t said anything to this effect, generally speaking, you must explicitly switch to one of the new plans to take advantage of it; AT&T doesn’t usually switch you automatically.
The new Mobile Share Advantage data plans start at 1 GB for $30 per month, with 3 GB for $40, 6 GB for $60, and 10 GB for $80. Unlike competitors T-Mobile and Sprint (see “T-Mobile and Sprint Announce Unlimited Data (for Higher Prices),” 19 August 2016), AT&T isn’t offering an “unlimited” option, but the company’s new plans go all the way up to 100 GB for $450 per month.
All Mobile Share Advantage plans include Rollover Data (unused data in one month remains available for the next), support for iOS’s Personal Hotspot, unlimited domestic talking and texting, and unlimited texting to 120+ countries. The 10 GB and higher plans also include unlimited talking and texting with Mexico and Canada, as well as free roaming in Mexico.
You can add up to 10 devices on one plan. All of AT&T’s plans require a per-device access charge of $10–$40 per month, but AT&T has simplified these fees as well. With Mobile Share Advantage plans, contract-free smartphones on non-business plans incur a $20-per-month access charge; adding a cellular-capable iPad or other tablet costs $10 per month. Smartphones still under 2-year contracts retain their $40-per-month access charge.
It’s likely that the new Mobile Share Advantage plans will either save you money or provide more data for roughly the same amount that you’re paying now. To determine the specific details for your situation, call AT&T or visit an AT&T store.