AT&T adds data caps, changes rates for iPhone plans, will support tethering for extra charge

AT&T has just changed the face of cell data in the US by axing their "unlimited" plans, offering cheaper but data-capped (200MB/2GB) plans in their place, and supporting tethering for an additional fee. Existing customers can keep their own plans, but new customers get these starting June 7. Coincidentally, that's the day Steve Jobs takes the keynote stage at WWDC 2010 to announce the 4th generation iPhone HD/iPhone 4G, probably with video chat over 3G.

NOTE: Existing customers -- even if you upgrade to the new iPhone HD/iPhone 4G in June -- can still keep your existing unlimited data plans. You're grandfathered in.

Here are the details:

  • DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month.** This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.

  • DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month.** Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.

  • Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering lets customers use their smartphones as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.

No 5GB option, even if purely for psychological reasons, is pretty hard to imagine. You can do it by adding $30 in overage to your $25/2GB plan but that sounds silly.

As Jeremy would say, sound off in the comments!

[AT&T]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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AT&T adds data caps, changes rates for iPhone plans, will support tethering for extra charge

125 Comments

First. Wow just wow. It's like how many times can a company basically say FU to its customers? Why did Verizon have to pass up the iPhone... just why???

A good deal for us current customers...we can keep our $30 unlimited plan and new subscribers are capped.

Now this I can live with... I love the iPhone and I have been contiplating getting a different phone because I am not using enough of the data to keep paying an extra $60 (2 phones) a month. Now I will get by paying only half for most months. I would like to see them drop the $30 a month for unlimited texting and combine data plan like they combine minutes on a family plan.

I'm upset, yet I'm alright with this announcement. Kinda wish the 2GB cap was 5GB, but oh well.
The June 7th date sounds a lot like a new iPhone coming next week...

This is kind of a deal breaker for me and b/c of this don't know if I'll be upgrading to the 4th gen iPhone anytime soon. I value access to data more than I do newer features. Another check in the box for switching to another carrier and picking up an android phone.

Not sure how I feel just yet about this whole thing! I personally use less than 2 GB on a typical month unless I am traveling. However, my spouse used 5 GB alone last month by listening to podcasts live and streaming radio. I have already given the warning that he must learn to change that habit FAST! I do think tethering should be paid for month by month if you choose. For those of us who travel and want to tether to our iPad that would be a nice option!

This is outrageous! I break 5GB every month on a 3GS and I don't jailbreak or tether. The apps I use are pandora, youtube, safari and Eliminate. AT&T is slowing Apple down, and Apple won't stand for that very long. Where i live, i get solid 3G coverage and no problems with signaling channels. I'm predicting a rush of jailbreakers and unlocking. AT&T should up their game, or go back to the 90's. This is a world of 24/7 internet connectivity, if AT&T isnt prepared, then free market will replace them. Good riddens AT&T. Long live Apple!
End rant :)

AT&T sucks a big one. You know what is sad is that if you have a windows mobile smart phone like an HD2 you can tether that to your laptop for free! I used to do it when I had the Tilt on ATT. Now by default if you get your phone from ATT it will be blocked, but if you got an unlocked smartphone you could tether no problem. Why in the heck can't ATT cut it's customers a break! If you are already paying $30 a month for an unlimited data plan you should be able to tether for free! or at the most an extra 5 dollars a month max. It almost makes you want to go back to using a windows mobile smart phone like the HD2 just because of its uncapped features. sigh. Guess you have to pay double for every additional device and feature you want.

Definitely switching. The only thing that causes me to go over 200MB is downloading/updating apps when on the road. Otherwise I'm connected via WiFi 90% of the time when stationary. No brainer here.

With wifi at home and work, the most I've used in one month is just under 100 megs, and most months down around 50. So I'll get to save $15 a month, and maybe if the new phone is faster on 3G than my iPhone 3G, I may occasionally break 250 megs and have to spend the same as I am now on that month. But at least for me with wifi hotspots readily available these caps shouldn't be a problem. But if I had need for tethering, I would be real annoyed right now.

The price changes aren't a big deal for me -- I typically use 1.1GB a month (except for last month, when I went up to 2GB buying music on iTunes mobile). I think for most people, this will save them money.
I'd like to know if we will be able to tether wifi iPads to the iPhone's data plan. Why isn't anyone talking about that? The press release talks about "laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices" which is pretty vague. If iPhone OS 4.0 tethering just creates a mobile wifi hotspot, I'll be all over that!
Do you think we will see 4.0 on Monday?

You guys are failing to miss one large point. IF YOU ARE ALREADY AN AT&T CUSTOMER NOTHING CHANGES! They are not changing exciting account holders even if you upgrade your iphone it will not change your plan at all. The only thing it does is limit converters to the iPhone to go complete unlimited. It will also limit who adds skype voip to new iphones and who adds tethering.
This is great for someone like my wife who only uses like 150MB a month of data but wants to have an iphone. She does light web browsing and emailing and has never used enough data to make it worth while. Now I can reduce her plan and add tethering to mine for only $5 sounds like a win win.
My question is can I add Tethering without changing my data plan ie. keep unlimited like i have but add on tethering? If so Ill probably do this and drop my ipad plan.

@jtz5
Are you sure that this doesn't apply to current customers as well? I hope you are right. I read this policy change for current customer as well and not just for new subscribers.

Those stats about 65% < 200 MB and 98% < 2 GB are bogus because those are AVERAGES. If you get those plans, you need to make sure you're under the cap EVERY month, not just on average, or else you'll get hit with overages. Too bad, AT&T won't cap my data based on monthly averages for the past year.

What happens with current customers who upgrade to new phone? Can you keep your old unlimited plan?

If so few of their customers use high amounts of data why make such low caps, I could have accepted 500 for 15 and 5 gigs for 25, this makes sprint look so much better. The ten years I had them I rarely complained. All I need is a camera on the next ipod touch and I might be able to ax my iPhone and att, I hope apple does it this time.

AT&T sux Apple rules! Apple needs to get away from AT&T otherwise, I'm done with both REAL soon. Can you say windows?

What part of "existing customers can keep there plan but new customers will get these plans" is getting missed here. Everyone take a breath and realize that even if you upgrade to the new iPhone you are not going to get switched to one of these plans. You will extend your contract on your existing plan. Please read the fine print at he gayt&t website.

What does this say about the 4G/HD? Hotspot? Possibly. What about iTunes streaming? Possibly. Clearly, there's something in it that AT&T believes will increase data usage faster than they can add capacity.

I'm wondering if existing iPhone customers will be required to change their data plan if they upgrade to the new iPhone. That might make me think twice about making the switch. And an extra $20 for tethering? I could see if they maybe gave you some extra data along with that, or if you were on an unlimited plan. I'm guessing that tethering won't be available to the existing unlimited data customers.
Wow. Up until this point, I've been fairly happy with AT&T. Maybe I'll hold out on the hopes that another carrier gets the iPhone later this year, rather than lock myself into another 2 years of something I may regret.

Okay...Will AT&T also cap data for BlackBerry users? How can they choose to charge iPhone users more for data usage than other smartphone users? Data is data, right?

200MB & 2GB plans??? AT&T did this s h i t on purpose. They know that the average consumer is going to think 200MB/mo won't be enough and will buy the more expensive 2GB/mo plan instead, which most users will never come to close to using all that.
And how much you wanna bet that when you get a new phone, you contract will automatically new, which means you get stuck with the new plan.
I hate big government sticking their noses in things they, Constitutionally, don't have the power to do but damnit, somebody needs to step in and knock these phone companies off their high horses.

I've been wanting an iPhone since its debut. I have money put away and Apple Store Gift Cards saved up to purchase my first iPhone (hopefully next week). I'll be leaving Verizon and before this news I knew which AT&T plan I was going to shoot for: 450 minutes, etc. Now I'm not sure which plan would best fit my needs. I keep telling my friends who own iPhones that basically I want to have a new iPod, access my mac e-mail account, do some light web surfing and be able to have a iCal on the go. If the new iPhone 4g come out Monday I'm not sure what the best plan if good for me.

I have an original iPhone that still works great but I eventually need to upgrade. I currently have no contract and pay $20/month for unlimited data. I'm thinking that once I get a new iPhone, they will force me into one of their new plans, existing customer or not. I think all of the new contracts are going to have these new rates because they are tied to the contracts and new phones. Anyone have any clarity on this? I'm wondering if I should go get a new iPhone this week and at least lock into the existing unlimited plans for 2 years before June 7. Any thoughts?

@veepers not sure how it will effect 2g customers, but I would imagine that you would be grandfathered in with the unlimited data plan sans tethering. See my previous comment (#30). I think the new data plans are for new iphone customers or those who want to enable tethering.

Meh, caps are a little low but it was to be expected. Personally I tend to use around 500MB a month so I will be ok with these changes and we finally get tethering. I don't know how on earth some people use more than 2GB on a phone every month but people have to realise that IP systems are shared services. You are not paying for a dedicated line to the Internet for $30 a month.

@pink download the official iPhone "myWireless" app. There is a section in there that can show you how much data you use per month.

@chatnoir80 -- That post looks promising. But I know that once I upgrade to the 3G (right now) they are going to raise my data plan to $30/month unlimited and not let me keep my $20/month, so I am fearing I might not even be able to keep anything unlimited. Methinks it will be worth a call to AT&T to find out my options. The fact that I don't have a contract is usually a good thing, but in this case it might be bad.

1.) This works out fine for me. Just checked my data usage and I average just over 60MB of data per month. I can drop down to the 200MB plan and cut my data rate in half.
2.) Everyone talking about switching carriers over this needs to take a deep breath. I'm still not sure how someone uses more than 2GB of data per month, but if you don't think Verizon is going to follow suit with this, then I've got some beach ocean front property in Kansas I'd like to sell you.

@veepers check out the at&t fb page. tons of people are asking questions and they've been doing a pretty good job of answering them

was seriously about to add a few lines and get my family the new iphone thats the end of at&t for me probably get an android phone my brother has one and there not bad at all im done with brand loyalty its a new day

Finally a US cell phone company is becoming like those in europe and offering tiered data pricing to smartphones. I love these options. My gf and I have been waiting to switch for the upcoming iphone and since she doesn't use too much data this is a great way to save.

How will this affect people who reup to get the Iphone HD? Will we still be able to keep Unlimited?

"It’s like how many times can a company basically say FU to its customers? Why did Verizon have to pass up the iPhone… just why???"
To really find out the answer to how many times a company can say FU to a customer, we can travel to an alternate universe where VZW got the iPhone, covered it in logos, replaced the AppStore with the VZWAppStore, and offereed no rollover on their voice plans and no simultaneous voice/data. My point isn't that Verizon is evil... oh wait, that part was ;). I kid - my point was that these are businesses and you always think the grass is greener until you go there and that VZW had their chance and refused to play ball, so now they will wait 'til later this year or next to get the iPhone. There aren't THAT many people who use more than 2GB, so calm downa bit -- if you are a current customer you can keep your 5GB $30 plan.

This is getting silly.
Thats why I'm glad I have a Nexus. Tethering and hotspots for free. I refuse to pay for something that should be included within a normal data package.

I don't know how I feel about this. I'm happy I can keep my current plan, but what happens if/when I get a new iPhone? AT&T is giving me even more reason to leave them - iPhone or not.

Even the ipad data plan is getting cut to two GB. That, i would have a bigger problem with (if i had an ipad 3g and based my decision on plans only made available a couple months ago) considering the type of device the ipad is. Yes, existing customers can keep the 30 a month plan only if you keep it going. The main appeal of the ipad plan was month to month.

I'm will tail24 on this one...
I just checked and on average I use an average of 500mb a month. My gf, also on my plan, uses on average 160mb. I can switch her to the cheaper plan while enrolling myself in the 2gb + tethering at no increase.

If you currently have an unlimited data plan ($30) and get a new phone, do you get to keep your unlimited plan or does AT&T screw you over? I don't like it... and when you throw in the $325 ETF for new smartphones (including upgrades), it's a slap in the face to long their customers...

Nowhere in AT&T's press release do I see confirmation that people that upgrade can keep their exisiting unlimited plan. It does say current customers can keep their plan bit no mention about if you upgrade. This is a deal breaker for me on upgrading seeing as I use 5-6gbs a month on one phone and my gf uses 4-6gbs on hers. Just shows how AT&T thinks of some of their most diehard customers.

I was going to have to switch to a family talk plan this June when i add my wife over from sprint. Have to rethink that. But she's not a big data user.

I just checked my data usage trends for the last 8 months or so and it's been under 100mb every time. I thought this was odd, until I realized that I mostly do my app downloading/iTunes downloading at home via wifi. That being said, I may downgrade my plan because $15 a month is a big difference and, in the unlikely event I go slightly over, it'll be no more than the $30 I'm paying now.

3 years ago (almost) I could get unlimited data + 200 texts for $20. Now I can get 200 MB data + 200 texts for $20. I'm glad my wife still has her original iPhone data plan (and on my old unlocked iPhone 3G for a year now despite repeated threatening texts from AT&T saying she "needs a data plan for iPhone"- well, we already have one!).

@zeagus
Please listen to Zeagus. My wife was with Verizon before getting an iPhone and they are HORRIBLE about access (everything was channeled through their applications) and prices. While AT&T can be jerks (I had tethering with my AT&T WinMo phone before switching), Verizon is just as bad, and we all cannot assume that their network can handle the iPhone traffic.
Now, these caps are low if you stream anything, but the new plan will make the iPhone affordable to many more people, which will mean more users, which will mean more money for app developers, which will mean more (and hopefully better) apps for us all.
And all of us current data hogs get to keep our unlimited plans.

chatnoir80 -- I must be an idiot or missing something, but it doesn't look like I can post anything on AT&T's FB wall.

if you already have an AT&T data plan this doesn't affect you. Read the article. This is only for new subscribers. All of you whining about it that already have plans with AT&T aren't affected.

Why are people freaking out that are already customers? You get to keep your current plan UNLESS YOU MAKE CHANGES TO IT! I had a plane for like 4 years until i switched to a windows mobile phone back in 2006 they never forced me to switch and my old plan was amazing I had like 700 mins for $40 a month until i needed to switch and add data and what not. When you get a new phone you keep your current contract.
Only question will be will tethering change your plan. Some people are saying that you will others dont.

As an existing customer, I sure hope I can keep my unlimited data plan after my 2 year contract is up. If I cant, using my slingbox app on 3g is pretty much out of the question. Good job AT&T, imposing a data restriction in todays day and age is ridiculous.

Thank the good lord almighty I left ATT.
Switched to VZW and got the HTC Incredible.
I had all three generations of the iPhone and camped out for all 3 of them. I was a die hard fan, influenced dozens of friends to get one.
However, the poor service provided by ATT is what is holding me back. If the iPhone comes to VZW, count me in! Otherwise I'll be at androidcentral.com reading up on my wonderful new love for the Drooooooooid.

Is it just me or does it seem like other parts of the world are far less regulatory and restrictive when it comes to wireless? My company is taking over my plan in July and moving to Verizon. I guess I don't feel so bad about getting a droid now after all.

I was wondering how tiered data pricing was going to look when it started rolling out, and I'm a fan of the change. Everyone knew they were coming and every carrier is going to do it until they can find a way to be more efficient with the way they send data. Everyone knows how annoying it can be to work on a bogged down network and AT&T is the first to make changes to protect their network, and ultimately the user experience. Most customers will actually save money, and it's not like they're even totally gouging you if you go over your allowance. You ever use a Verizon 5GB data card and go over? I have seen a customer here in my hometown when i worked for VZW who brought in a bill for $25,000 in overages. Even if you go over your allowance on these new AT&T plans by 3 GB, you're still only being charged $30. Not terribly cheap, but again, if you use more, you are going to pay more. Everyone knew it was heading that way.
I hated AT&T when I had to switch to them to get my iPhone, when they didn't allow MMS, and when they didn't allow tethering out of the gate, but unlike everyone else, I seem to hate them less and less lately. I actually HAVE seen improvements in their network in areas I travel to, and I give them credit for making the changes and also to the pricing structure they are rolling out.

I'm glad i can keep my current plan, I have a Nexus One and now with froyo 2.2 my data usage in 5 days is 412.5MB
Streaming videos(flash), music (pandora), twitter, facebook
browsing, no tethering, Im just a regular user
I think the new data prices are ridiculous limited expensives
What can you do with 200MB/2GB?!
I ordered an iPad 3G yesterday night for my mom (she's a youtube, pandora lover) sadly i will cancel the order because of the new prices

I am glad AT&T is doing this, for the past 3 years its always complainin about how much it is for the data and they finally do something bout it and your all worried about your current plan, call 611 and ask, damn. and pretty much where always somewhere where WI-FI is calm down

I never thought it was going to be possible but ATT may have just given me a reason to leave the iPhone. I was a die hard WM user. Switched to the iPhone and fell in love. I have been counting the days until the release of the next generation. If I can't keep my unlimited plan I will at least have to look elsewhere. I'm in that unlucky 2% that uses about 3-4 gigs monthly of data. And I don't mind tiered data plans actually. I would gladly pay $40 for an actual unlimited cap. But to go from $30 to like $55 to get the same thing I have today is absurd. I hate to say it but I may be heading to Verizon or Sprint.

The only part that bothers me is the $20/month charge for tethering. First, bits are bits. What difference does it make if the bits originate on my iPhone or transmit through it from my laptop? It doesn't affect AT&T's network capacity any more or less if I send the same number of bits.
Second, it's unclear to me if I have to keep paying $20/month. I may only need to use it on rare occasions (e.g. vacations), not as a regular mobile user. Once I activate tethering, can I deactivate it the next month?

People read the articles. Just google ATT capped data and you can read a plethora of articles that gives you all the info you will need on the subject. You can renew your present contract and be just fine. You can add another line and be just fine but the new line will change. Any line that currently has an iphone and upgrades to the new iphone plans wont change. Only plans that have no unlimited data or no ATT service already will automaticly be given a tiered plan. If you already have unlimited it is optional to switch plans.

I dont really think is that bad, my wife neves uses more that 200mb and my top usage is 1.8 gb, so it's saving to me, I also Like that they dont charge you by the Kb if you go over your cap, even if I do and pay extra $10 for 1Gb...I'm gonna pay less that what I pay now.
If anyone uses more than 3gb a month......you should get a job....and a life.

Check your bills it says data usage right on it. Look back at previous months. Or go to settings, usage, and look at bottom for data usage and see how much you have used divide by how long you have had the iphone. I have only used 9GB on 11 months of 3GS. I had used 13 GB on 3G when I had that for a year and 6GB when I had Edge

Makes me glad I got in on Rogers's 6GB plan for $30 a month when it was available: they included tethering for free recently.

my only complaint is that if you have the 200mb plan for for 15$ and go over they charge you another 15$ they should instead charge you $10 and put you in the 2GB tier for the month. otherwise your paying 30$ for 400MB while someone else is paying 25$ for 2GB

What makes me laugh is they are trying to sell this off as better for the customer. Let's run down a real quick math problem...
AT&T Unlimited Plan (5gb cap) = $30.00/mo
$30 / 5gb = $6.00/gb
AT&T 2GB Plan = $25.00/mo
$25 / 2 = $12.50/gb
Now somebody try to tell me how this is more aggressive pricing. Sure, I save $5 per month but look at the price per gb, they just increased it by 208%!

Tiered data plans are inevitable. We shouldn't expect the majority of people paying $30 per month and only using 200MB to subsidise the people paying the same amount but are using 4-5GB.
The tethering add-on is stupid though. 2GB of data over 3G costs ATT the same to deliver irrespective of whether it is being used on your iPhone or laptop.

You are grand-fathered with a current plan. I get to save money by decreasing my wife's plan since she uses about a gig a month and I can keep my unlimited plan. What is not to like??

I have to agree that the tethering plan is obscene. Basically, they want to charge you for data you're already paying for.

@D-Rock Exactly. What BS is it that they charge $20 to just have the ability to tether when it uses the same data caps? That's total BS and robbery in my book. I'm sure someone will find a way around it eventually. I wonder how difficult it will be for the devs to jailbreak OS4.0?

@cha0tik
yes, that is simple math for those that use a gb each month.. but my wife uses under 100mb.. I'm saving $15 alone on that.. and if you want to keep your unlimited plan, guess what.. you all have that option.. and for those saying they are switching to Verizon.. go, we'll see you back here in a year when they do the same.. and lastly, for folks using 5-6 gb.. do you ever interact with real people.. or is your phone always in your hands?

Also.. how often are you folks tethering? Does that plan suck, yeah, it does.. but you have internet on your phone.. I think this site just has people on here that complain for the sake of complaining.. its getting hard to believe this many people care so much.. and the folks that are happy about this, are quickly overrun by the complainers, its sad.

Translation:
"Yes, this sucks for other people, but since it screws them and helps me it must be their fault, so STFU."
Yes, because people should never be allowed to complain when their prices go up without checking with you first. Dbag.
Stay classy, d.allen

Most here already know this, but for those who don't, you can check past months' data usage on ATT's website, including getting a bar chart of each month's usage:
1) http://wireless.att.com/ and log in
2) Click "View Past Data Usage"
3) Pick "Data Usage Trend" from the report dropdown
Caveat: Data trend charts only go back to Nov 2009, so, if you have outliers (e.g. you use a lot of data during summer months), you cannot see that here, though you can go back and examine the old bills themselves in the "Bill History" section.

""look at the price per gb, they just increased it by 208%!""
Math fail!! The price per gigabyte increased by 108%, not 208%.

Uh...maybe current owners are worried cause they wanted to upgrade or add lines. That with affect t them I'm sure. So the folks getting snarky should really clam up.

I realize your name is duh, and so I shouldn't expect much of a conversation from you, but my point is.. complain with your actions not with your words.. leave AT@T.. no one cares, and obviously if AT@T is taking the risk of cutting their data packages, they don't care either.. stop complaining and do something about it.. I guess you and I are just opposites, I tend to not use my energy for complaints.. although, I guess that is a lesson learned with age.

If you want to know your data usage, dial *3282# then you'll recieve a message from at&t

You can really spot the 'young crowd' here and the entitlement mentality that is always called out in the news articles. Also, the mental immaturity is also evident in the knee-jerk "Im switching to Android/Verizon" reactions.

People are making this too difficult. Guess that's what happens when more choices are added.
Simply put:

  • Power Users/Data Hogs (top 2% of users): keep current $30 UNLIMITED plan, nothing has changed from yesterday, you're grandfathered for the new iPhone 4G/HD/3GS Pro being launched next week.
  • Heavy Users (33% of users, between .2Gb and 2Gb per month): take the $25/mo DataPro plan. Save $60/year. Overages are $10/Gb. Tetherers add $20/mo.
  • Light Users (65% of users, less than .2Gb per month): take $15/mo DataPlus plan. Save $180/year! Overages are $15/.2Gb.

I would actualy be good with this. My wife and I both have an iPhone and are on a wifi conection half the time so we don't use much data at all (at least AT&T's data). We can cut our data charges in half with the 200 MB PLAN.

@whsingleton - I think you nailed this one on the head. Those who complain should look at their usage first. Did AT&T just take away from you... OR... did AT&T just hand you a way to lower your iPhone bill? If you pay $30 now, and you don't use that much data, you could save $5 or $15.
I was about to freak out about this when I went back and looked at my data usage on att.com. I thought I was a pretty heavy data user on my iPhone, but it turns out my peak over the last 6 months was 240 MB. I thought I would need a huge amount of bandwidth. However, I won't be needing more than the 2 GB plan, and I might be able to save even more money if I watch my usage because over the same period I only exceeded 200 MB once.
However, tethering still doesn't make sense to me. If I have a data connection to the phone, why do I have to pay more to hook it up to a laptop? Does tethering add additional data to the service or make it unlimited? I should be paying for a connection I can use any way I want, and I should not be "licensing it" from AT&T for each individual device.

I like the changes. I'm almost never over 200MB since I'm on WiFi almost everywhere I go. I'm gonna save $30 on my plan with 2 iPhones.
Really people, why is everyone so up in arms about tethering and think AT&T is screwing us when there are no carriers out there that offer FREE TETHERING! You're not paying for the data usage, you're paying for the ability to tether. Nothing is free anymore.

You'd THINK that tethering would be allowed for anyone who bought a 3Gs last year. Wasn't tethering promised as a new feature for the 3Gs?

I think this is great for existing users because it gives us options we can keep our $30 dollar unlimited plan or change it for less if we want also what's great is now for us that are jailbroken and use a tethering app from there don't have to worry about AT&T watching for high usage of data since more all around will be using less in the long run idk could be wrong though

[MV ROB: I use 5-6gbs a month on one phone and my gf uses 4-6gbs on hers.]
What the hell do you use your iPhones for???

I think the issue here why folks are getting upset has to do with the fact that AT&T is offering much less for a little less. I don't buy the argument that 98% would never go over the 2GB limit. If that is the case, then why make any kind of change at all? They're giving up $5 for nothing.
My guess is that the AT&T IS SCARED because the iPhone HD will offer something that will cause bandwidth usage to skyrocket like video calling so they're trying to dangle a financial carrot to get folks to switch based on past usage. The $15/mo plan is nothing more than a marketing ploy that only fits a very small audience.

If you use less than 200MB/month is a good deal to add a line to your account switching from MetroPCS, you will pay $9.99 voice and $15 data. BUT at&t is so devil they changed the ETF charge before announcing the new data plans.

I understand that current customers keep their current plans, but what's going to happen to me when I pull this number off of it's plan to put it in my own name? Is that going to be considered a "new plan", even though I'll have been with AT&T for nearly 2 years?! The iPhone is the only phone I want and I'm willing to make some sacrifices to keep it, but last month I used 7.1 GB of data and paying an extra $50 for my "extra" data every month is NOT something I'm willing to do! Does anyone know how it will affect me?

I am curious as to how this will effect me. I am using a BB right now but I plan on switching to the iphone when it comes out.

I'm not worried about the data usage. I only use around 500 - 600 mb a month. My wife uses less than 200 so she'll be downgraded for sure to save the $15 a month. I'll stick to the unlimited just because I can ($5 a month is not a big deal to me). But, its just the extra $20 a month for tethering for those who are data capped. If they allow me to add the tethering to my unlimited data plan, I have no problem paying the extra 20 as I know I'd use significantly more data with it as I'm not worried about watching my usage. But, for those who get capped at 2gb (if they don't want to pay more), its BS that they have to pay extra to "license" their laptop to use part of those 2gb. I wonder if ATT is imposing the fee mainly for all those who are grandfathered in with unlimited data. On the other hand, it would be total crap if they will not allow those grandfathered in to purchase the tethering option without downgrading their plan although I don't see that requirement attached to any tethering announcement just yet.

So if alot of users who thought they were heavy on data are actually on Wifi alot or have a pretty low usage who is bogging down the AT&T network? :)

Steve: "I think the issue here why folks are getting upset has to do with the fact that AT&T is offering much less for a little less. I don’t buy the argument that 98% would never go over the 2GB limit. If that is the case, then why make any kind of change at all? They’re giving up $5 for nothing.
My guess is that the AT&T IS SCARED because the iPhone HD will offer something that will cause bandwidth usage to skyrocket like video calling so they’re trying to dangle a financial carrot to get folks to switch based on past usage. The $15/mo plan is nothing more than a marketing ploy that only fits a very small audience."
Couldn't agree more! Don't look any further people, here is exactly why AT&T did what they did.

@jimmyd
slingbox my friend, love it and I'm about to add a second one. Yes I do have a life and I work 60-70 hours a week. I also have a Verizon mifi with an old grandfathered unlimited plan that I used 30GB the other month. I love unlimited data

@Gino From The Bronx I do agree with you, IMO we should wait for the next iPhone features and THEN decide wether or not change the data plan.

Now that my wife and I have iPads there is no need to tether anymore... we'll stick with the unlimited, even if we don't use it currently, in case iTunes goes to the cloud or something else fun gets introduced.. what one uses today vs. tomorrow on the next version of iPhone might be completely different. These carriers need to start keeping up with demand though - imagine if your ISP started pulling this crap. Then again they probably want to avoid cheap a$$es using their iPhones as their home ISP connections.

This is an incredibly awful move, in my opinion. It's fantastic that some people were grandfathered into the unlimited plan, but there are plenty of people out there who haven't gotten an iPhone yet, might be enticed by the 4th Gen, and now won't because of AT&T's rather dick move. I'm currently in China, and plan on returning to the US in the future and was hoping to get back on the AT&T boat. With the existence of a data cap, however, I can safely say that is no longer an option.
And seriously, tethering with a data cap? Nothing about that sounds good or promising.

These plans look very good, just wondering I am traveling from Ireland ( my home ) to USA for vacation and was wondering if any of these plans can be got as PAYG pay as you go, in other words no need for contract. I want to take my iPhone to USA with me but do not want to get international data charges. So I can continue to check my email, stocks etc. Does such a plan exist with ATT or any carrier that provides 3g speeds?

I just checked my usage and I constantly go over 5gb a month. I use my iphone for everything. Makes want to run out and get an iPad before they change. I have jailbroken my iPhone and I guess continue to after this. This really is bad for everyone .

Let's all remember that Verizon Wireless carries the Droid Incredible, which is two times faster than the I Phone. It actually has a network that will give you more 3G in more places...soon to be LTE. Droid has 30,000 apps, and I Tunes. Most important...UNLIMITED DATA. What are you waiting for?

I can see this failing on so many levels. This is going to put a huge dent on the upcoming iphone which seems to be even more data hungry. I can see ATT coming up with an "unlimited" plan again in the future, charge 40-50 dollars for it. And do this all over again. ATT has a habit of hindering a phone with MASSIVE potential. Att needs to chill out and FIX their current network before we get hit with 4G service. ATT's roadmap is visible now. They wanna give us the cheap service, to "lessen" the blow and then charge double for 4G service. Its gonna be the 20/30 dollar fiasco we whent through when iphone 3G launched.

Once again a site claiming that upgrading to the new iPhone will keep a current user grandfathered on the unlimited plan. There is nothing in the official AT&T info/release that says anything about upgrading or renewing your contract. All they say is that if you are a current user you get to keep what you signed a 2 year only contract for. I will not be surprised when you all go to upgrade to iPhone 4 that you discover you have to sign a new two year contract and only have the new tiered data packages to choose from. Go to the Att web site and read it for yourself.

Since when is AT&T a leader in wireless? All these comments that other carries are moving the same way dont make sence. The only thing AT&T has is the iPhone. Other than that, they lead at nothing. Sprint and Verizon are the current leaders, as far a inovation goes.

Okay, 25$ for the 2Gigs is great, but you have to pay an extra 20$ for the thethering?? That's 45$. I don't know.. Would that even be worth it? My sister has tmo and pays 10$ for her wireless plugin. Eff that.

"Let’s all remember that Verizon Wireless carries the Droid Incredible, which is two times faster than the I Phone. It actually has a network that will give you more 3G in more places…soon to be LTE. Droid has 30,000 apps, and I Tunes. Most important…UNLIMITED DATA. What are you waiting for?"
Actually, that's incorrect. Verizon has a 5GB data cap on all smart phone plans. I read the agreement when I got my droid.

I am 17 years old and do not know which plan to choose for a 3GS Iphone. As a teenager, which would be best for me? I had internet capability on my older phone and did not exceed the limit of 200MB a month. However, I am wondering if the Iphone will make me want to Google and use social networking sites more often? What sounds like the best option? I am on money constraints which is why I would like to know which to chooose.

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