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AT&T Opens Unlimited Plan To All Customers; Is There Any Real Difference Among Big Phone's Big 4?

AT&T Opens Unlimited Plan To All Customers; Is There Any Real Difference Among Big Phone's Big 4?

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) may have had the adage "better late than never" in mind when it took a plunge into the ring to combat against the rest of its peers in offering unlimited data plan for all its customers.

AT&T already provides unlimited to data to customers, who have subscribed to its DirecTV and U-verse subscribers.

The company revealed through a PRNewswire release on Thursday it will launch an Unlimited plan, beginning last Friday.

Features Of AT&T Unlimited Plan Option

  • The plan is priced at $100 a month for a single line and allow unlimited calling, texting and browsing.
  • Every incremental line would cost you $40 a month, up to a maximum of four lines.
  • However, for the fourth smartphone line, the company offers a $40 credit. Essentially, you get the fourth line free of cost. However, you may have to pay for it until credit starts in two bills.
  • For a family of four, the plan costs $220 for the first two months and $180 a month thereafter.
  • The plan allows unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico and sent unlimited texts to 120 countries
  • On adding the Roam North America feature, which comes at no extra cost, one can talk, text and use data in Canada and Mexico without roaming charges.
  • The plan, however, disallows tethering, for which one may have to fall back on a capped data plan. Tethering is using a mobile device connected to the internet as modem for another device.
  • AT&T's unlimited data offering activates the Stream Saver feature by default, which limits video streaming to around 480p DVD quality. However, customers wishing to have high-quality of video streaming can turn the feature off.
  • There is a data cap at 22GB after which data is prioritized, which is slowing of speed when the data usage exceeds a prescribed limit for a month.

Related Link: Tougher Fundamentals Trump Strategic Positioning For AT&T

How AT&T's Plan Stacks Up Against Rival Plans

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s unlimited data plan costs $80 for a single line and $180 for a family of four. It allows HD video streaming and offers 10 GB of Hotspot data.

T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ: TMUS) charges $70 for a single line under its unlimited data plan. The price increases to $160 for a family of four. HD video streaming and 10 GB of hotspot data are also part of the plan. Data prioritization kicks in at 28 GB.

Sprint Corp (NYSE: S), the economy class telecom firm, which rounds out the Big Four wireless telecom carriers, is the cheapest bet, as far as unlimited data is concerned. With $50 for a single line and $90 for a family of four, it allows HD video streaming and offers 10 GB of Hotspot data and 1–5 Mbps music streaming. The $50 pricing is effective only until March after which it would be scaled up to $80.

Other Costs In Unlimited Data Plan

One-time activation fee is $25 for AT&T and $30 for Verizon and Sprint, while T-Mobile offers a $20 SIM starter kit. Buying a phone valued at $649 from the provider requires the customer to pay up $27 per month over a two-year timeframe.

The advertised rates, exclude taxes and regulatory fees. Additionally, if the customer is not enrolled in auto-pay billing, he has to cough up an incremental $5 for a single line and $10 for multiple lines in the case of Verizon. T-Mobile charges an extra $5 on a flat basis.

Posted-In: DIRECTV U-VerseNews Movers Tech Media Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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