AT&T has just announced new, more affordable data for the carrier’s Mobile Share plans that makes connecting to 3G or 4G LTE mobile broadband more cost effective. With its Mobile Share plans, the nation’s second largest carrier will offer unlimited talk and text and the new savings come with 10 GB of family data to start, which is enough to add multiple family members without fear of overage charges.
For example, for two smartphone lines, the new monthly service cost with the 10 GB Mobile Share plan is $130. A comparable plan on Verizon Wireless would cost $180.
These new plans are for AT&T’s contract-free lines, meaning you won’t have to sign up for a two-year agreement but at the same time you won’t get any subsidies for your handsets. If you’re bringing your own device, this will work out well but if you need a new phone, those devices will cost the full retail price.
Similarly, having 4 lines with a total of 10 GB of sharable data on AT&T costs $160 while a similar plan on Verizon would cost $260, a savings of $100 with AT&T.
“These best-ever prices on AT&T’s best-in-class network are available beginning tomorrow to any AT&T customer, including small businesses with up to 10 lines, and customers of Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and other wireless carriers who switch to AT&T,” the company said in a statement.
Additionally, for customers who are switching from a rival carrier, AT&T may also be offering switching credits as well, so your savings may be more.
With AT&T’s plans, if you have a lot of members under your family account with each individual member using a smaller amount of data a month, the 10 GB would work well. Also, it would work for a family with fewer members with each member using more data. For example, if you have a 3-person family on your plan, and each person uses about 3 GB of data a month, this plan could be a good fit for you.
With the influx of users using their smartphones and tablets to stream high quality video and music files as well as share high resolution photos, data consumption will increase over time. For example, if you stream about 30 minutes of high quality video per day, in a month you will likely consume between 3 to 6 GB per month based on this usage activity alone. Add in emails, web surfing, and apps downloading over mobile networks, and your usage will likely increase.
Heavier data users could customize their Mobile Share plans to include more than 10 GB of data per month at an increased fee.
AT&T isn’t the only carrier getting more aggressive with its pricing plans. Rival Sprint, which operates a smaller 4G LTE footprint, is trying to get friends and families to refer each other and join the new Framily plan where each individual member gets billed, but they pool their accounts together to get savings. T-Mobile has also been aggressive with its UN-carrier initiatives and is building momentum in the U.S., though its network footprint is still smaller than AT&T’s and Verizon’s at this time.
For its part, AT&T is blending in a more economic pricing approach coupled with its network strengths–including network performance and speeds, reliability of calls and texts, and customer service–for which it has won accolades in recent years.