AT&T offers an unlimited data plan for iPhone customers, then stops. Verizon says it will offer an unlimited data plan for its soon-to-be iPhone customers, but later says it will only be offered temporarily. And now, AT&T appears to be offering an unlimited data plan — again — for customers who once had the unlimited plan, but have since switched to a limited data option, according to the Associated Press. It’s the latest in what’s shaping up to be a bit of a sparing match between the two wireless companies in advance of Verizon’s iPhone launch on February 10.
Earlier this week, Verizon chief operating officer Lowell McAdam announced his company would indeed offer the iPhone 4 with an unlimited data plan. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” McAdam told The Wall Street Journal. Well, it seems McAdam meant “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot right away” You see, Verizon later clarified that it would offer an unlimited data plan initially, before it later shifted to a tiered data plan, akin to what AT&T currently offers its customers.
AT&T dropped its unlimited data option last summer at the time the iPhone 4 was launched. Customers who had existing contracts with unlimited data were allowed to keep those plans. Those who opted to switch to a cheaper tiered plan were told that there was no going back.
AT&T, undoubtedly nervous about a max exodus of iPhone customers to Verizon next month, has now changed its tune and is reportedly quietly informing customers who switched to tiered plans that they can have their old unlimited plans back. Those customers include anyone who had an iPhone before the iPhone 4 launched in June. There has been no official announcement about a change in policy from AT&T and the evidence so far is circumstantial, but it wouldn’t be a surprising move on AT&T’s part. “We handle customers and their situations individually, and we’re not going to discuss specifics,” Mark Spiegel, an AT&T spokesman, told the AP.
We’ll wait and see if AT&T begins to offer hotspot tethering, as Verizon is currently planning to do with its iPhone model.