AT&T Drops Unlimited Data Plans

att drops unlimited data plans 01 apple iphone 3gs

Wireless carrier AT&T has long been complaining that a small portion of mobile data users have been taking advantage of its all-you-can-eat data plans, creating network congestion and driving down service levels for everyone. Now the company is doing something about it: beginning June 7, AT&T will be abandoning its $30/month unlimited data plan for a two-tiered system that gives users 250 MB or 2 GB of data per month for $15 and $25, respectively. Also, at long last, AT&T is planning to bring tethering to the iPhone in the United States, so users can connect laptops and other devices to the Internet using an iPhone’s 3G service…although that feature will wait until iPhone OS 4 is available.

“AT&T helps mobilize everything on the Internet—your favorite Web sites, TV shows, music, games, and social networks,” said AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets president and CEO Ralph de la Vega, in a statement. “To give more people the opportunity to experience these benefits, we’re breaking free from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ pricing model and making the mobile Internet more affordable to a greater number of people.”

AT&T’s new mobile data plans are dubbed “DataPlus” and “DataPro.” The DataPlus plan offers 200 megabytes of mobile data for $15 per month; if users go over that limit in a monthly cycle, they can get an additional 200 MB for $15. AT&T says this plan will cover the needs of about two thirds of its smartphone users, and represents a savings of $15 per month over their current billing.

The DataPro plan offers 2 GB of wireless data per month, and customers who go over will pay $10 for each additional gigabyte in the billing cycle. The good news here is that customers are unlikely to bankrupt themselves through indiscreet use of wireless data services; the bad news is that if you’re in the minority of AT&T customers who use more than 2 GB of data service per month, your bill is going to increase.

AT&T also plans to bring tethering to the iPhone and other smartphones as an $20 per month adjunct to the DataPro plan.

For Apple iPad customers, the 2GB/$25 per month plan will replace AT&T’s current $29.99 unlimited data plan; iPad customers will continue to operate on a pre-paid contract-free basis. Current iPad owners can stick with the $29.99 unlimited data plan if they like, or switch to the equivalent of the DataPro plan.

AT&T’s tethering option in the DataPro plan is reasonably in line with market rates from other carriers; however, heavy data users may want to check out AT&T’s business-oriented DataConnect plan, which offers a price cut on larger amounts of data transfer.

Overall, AT&T’s pricing changes should bring actually billing cuts to many smartphone users, which may encourage fence-sitters put off by the high cost of plans to try out the devices. However, folks who have been living large on mobile data may suddenly find themselves paying more—even a lot more—to pull down all that music and video.

Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Smart Home

This Silicon Valley studio rents for $1,500 per month — to 2 cats

A man in San Jose, California, rents a studio apartment for $1,500 per month for a very important reason: So his daughter's two cats have a place to call their own. It may be the swankiest cat pad on the West Coast.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for January 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for January 2019.
Mobile

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.