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AT&T announces $5-a-day data pass for cellular-capable tablets

If you have a tablet, chances are it’s a Wi-Fi only device, with the vast majority of consumers tending to forgo slates which include cellular connectivity, too.

At GigaOm’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco on Thursday, AT&T’s senior vice president Chris Penrose announced a new plan for those tablet owners who did fork out for the pricier cellular-capable devices, and hopes it might even make future buyers consider opting for such a model.

Penrose said the carrier will offer an option where users can connect to the Internet for $5 a day. However, the 250MB limit means indulging in heavy-duty activities like video streaming will be out of the question if you want your five bucks to last any amount of time.

The executive believes the deal could come in handy in places like hotels if their Wi-Fi connection charges are a bit on the pricey side or if the service is unreliable.

Three months for $25

Another option for those with an AT&T-compatible tablet comprises a three-month pass for $25, which gets you a gigabyte of data.

In a move that would obviously benefit his business, Penrose said he’d like to see all tablets made with cellular connectivity, and thinks that falling prices for such technology means it could happen eventually.

“We really think that a Wi-Fi only tablet is good, but it is not good enough,” Penrose said at the conference, adding, “We’ve seen [the cost of including a cellular module] go down substantially over the past several years. Ultimately we’d like to see tablet manufacturers build just one tablet.”

While the idea of all tablets coming with cellular connectivity may be a long way off, there’s more chance of that happening than consumers suddenly switching from Wi-Fi-only devices to ones with cellular connectivity too, meaning AT&T’s offer will see limited take-up. However, for those that do own a cellular tablet but stick with Wi-Fi because they decided not to fork out for a monthly data plan, the deal could certainly come in handy from time to time.

Penrose didn’t mention when AT&T would be launching its new $5-a-day plan, but presumably it’s just around the corner.

[Source: AllThingsD] [Image: Diego Cervo / Shutterstock]

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