AT&T to Drop Unlimited Data Plans, Add Tethering

iPhoneAT&T is shaking up the cost of mobile Internet browsing and e-mailing with the elimination of the unlimited data plan and offering two limited-data packages for new customers – including the long-anticipated tethering option for iPhones and other smartphones.
The announcement today is probably bad news for heavy data users and good news for minimal-use customers.
Starting June 7, two data plan choices will be available for AT&T customers: DataPlus and DataPro. Those with current unlimited data plans for $30 a month are not required to switch.
The changeover, which also affects iPad data usage, is to coincide with Apple’s unveiling of the new iPhone.
DataPlus will provide 200 megabytes (MB) of data for $15 a month. AT&T said this covers about 1,000 emails (sent and received); 150 emails (sent and received with attachments); and 400 web pages viewed (including the posting of 50 photos on social media sites and 20 minutes of streaming video).
DataPro is to offer 2 gigabytes (GB) of data for $25 a month. This would cover 10,000 emails (sent and received); 1,500 emails (sent and received with attachments); and 4,000 web pages viewed (including 500 photos to social media sites and 200 minutes of streaming video).
Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average, AT&T said.
When customers are approaching their monthly usage limit, AT&T will send three text notifications – after they reach 65 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of the threshold.  Customers will also be sent emails if AT&T has their email address. An additional 1 GB of data usage will cost $10 for those who exceed their limit.
Smartphone customers, including iPhone customers, can add tethering for an additional $20 a month, but only with the DataPro plan. Tethering lets customers use their smartphones as a modem for broadband connections to laptop computers and netbooks. Tethering does not add additional data usage. 
Read AT&T’s announcement.

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