AT&T, Unlimited Data & The Truth

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. AT&T has gone off the deep end here. They are removing the unlimited data from smartphones, including the iPhone, and the iPad. If you already have unlimited, you can keep it. But is that it? Is it all that simple? No. There are a lot of questions I had and here’s what I’ve found as answers.

New plan changes:

DataPlus – 200 MB of data for $15 per month. If you use more than 200 MB, you’ll receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15, replenished as often as necessary during the billing cycle.

DataPro – 2 GB of data for $25 per month. If you exceed 2 GB, you’ll get an additional 1 GB of data for only $10. Each time an additional 1 GB is used up during a cycle, you will automatically receive another 1 GB at the same low price.

This is just the beginning of it all. 200MB of additional data for $15 but the other plan is only $10 for another 1GB (1,000MB). This is just stupid.

How much data do I really use on my iPhone?

Ok, so at first I was really mad about all of this. I use my iPhone all the time. A lot. I also think it’s stupid to have a cap on data. My local cable internet and DLS do not have this so why do cell companies. So, I’ve always been happy that my iPhone had no limit. Then I started thinking, do I use 2GB? I checked my usage on my iPhone and I had only used 500mb or so total. You can reset this number but I hadn’t since I restored it last and I don’t know that date so this didn’t help me. Then I found a way to check online what my usage was.

Screen shot 2010-06-04 at 10.23.56 PM

Here’s how to find it:
1. Just go to http://www.att.com.
2. Log into to your account under “Manage My Account” on the top right.
3. Once logged in, click “Bills and Payment” under the top menu.
4. Click “Billing Reports” from the menu on the left.
5. Change the second dropdown to “Data Usage Trend” and select the date range. (Note: Data usage prior to November 2009 is not available for trending.)
6. Click Submit and you should get a graph like the one above.

You can also find out your current data usage at anytime by dialing *data#

IMG_0203 IMG_0204 IMG_0205

Ok, so yeah, I’m annoyed that I can’t have unlimited but since I haven’t really been using it much, I guess I’ll be fine and it will cost me less. Now this is all in the context of today, and the last few months, but what about the new iPhone 4? And where I live, I’m on EDGE most of the time when not on WiFi. So will iPhone 4 + 3G put me over? I’d say yes. We’ll see when our tower is upgraded to 3G and I get the new iPhone.

Can I keep my current unlimited iPhone plan?

Yes. AT&T will allow you to keep your current plan (unless you activate tethering). Here’s what their website says: “Current smartphone customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension.”

As a current iPhone owner, can I keep my unlimited plan when I purchase my new iPhone 4?

Yes. Although AT&T won’t comment on the new iPhone since it’s not released yet, they will say this:

Screen shot 2010-06-05 at 12.12.52 AM

What if my current iPhone is a 2G and I only pay $20 a month. Can I buy the new iPhone 4 and get unlimited data for $30 or do I have to use the new plans.

You can get the $30 unlimited. Here’s AT&T’s response to the same question on Facebook:

Screen shot 2010-06-05 at 12.03.12 AM

What about the iPad?

It also is losing the unlimited plan. Right now, information is flying all over. According to AT&T’s website, you can still get the unlimited plan and it says nothing about new plans on this page: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/ipad.jsp?wtSlotClick=1-00398R-0-1&WT.svl=calltoaction but according to the AT&T Facebook page the plans will change on July 7th. See the _ tab here: http://www.facebook.com/ATT?v=wall&story_fbid=402179198908#!/ATT?v=app_10442206389.

For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their wireless data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the $29.99 per month unlimited plan are not required to change their plans.

This sounds great right? Wrong! Everytime someone on Facebook has asked the following question, they get the same answer:

Screen shot 2010-06-05 at 7.51.30 AM

So, as of right now, if you buy an iPad or already own and iPad and have the unlimited plan, you will lose it if you do not set it to auto-renew each month. This directly contradicts what is posted on AT&T’s website right now:

Extend the data coverage for your Apple® iPad™ Wi-Fi + 3G even further. Sign up for 3G data service from AT&T, the nation’s fastest 3G network. AT&T offers two data plan options – 250 MB or unlimited data, with recurring monthly charge and no long-term contract.

And this is what Apple’s website says:

In the United States, 3G service is available through a breakthrough deal with AT&T. You choose the amount of data per month you want to buy — 250MB or unlimited. If you choose the 250MB plan, you’ll receive onscreen messages as you get close to your monthly data limit so you can decide whether to turn off 3G or upgrade to the unlimited plan. Best of all, there’s no long-term contract. So if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back. You don’t need to visit a store to get 3G service. You can sign up, check your data usage, manage your account, or cancel your service — all from your iPad.

iPad makes it easy to choose the data plan that works best for you. When you need more data, you can add another 250MB or upgrade to the Unlimited Data plan. Because you sign up for a data plan in monthly increments, you can cancel your plan at any time and then sign up again whenever you need 3G service.

What about tethering?

You can now tether your iPhone! But guess what? This is just another fail. With the new plan you can pay $20 to enable tethering. The key word here is enable. You do not get more data for $20, you just get to share your data with whatever your tethering with. And no, you can’t keep your unlimited plan and add tethering. If you add tethering, you lose your unlimited plan forever and have to pick from the new plans. And one more thing, you can’t tether your iPhone to your iPad. Great news huh?

What will I do?

Right now I already have my iPad ordered. It won’t be here for a couple more weeks. I’m really hoping that AT&T changed their position and allows me to turn on and off my unlimited data per month. If not, I’ll use the 3G much less. I’m on Wifi most of the time so I’ll just deal with it. I plan on keeping my unlimited data on my current iPhone 3GS and moving it to my new iPhone once they are released. For me, the main issues with all of this is that the reason I wanted the iPad was to be able to turn on and off unlimited data at anytime, without a contract, for $30 a month. As of now, this is not possible. Hopefully AT&T gets enough bad press/comments and changes things.

What will you do?

Let us know in the comments what you plan to do? Also, if you see any other hard information please let us know so we can update our article. If you have questions not answered here, ask them in the comments and I’ll get them added to this page.

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Comments

  1. tomcrown1 says:

    With the internest fast becoming the new cable TV ala Google tv Apple TV etc these new pans will make ATT a mint. With the new IPhone I do believe that their will be more video streaming. Video streaming eats up alot lot of data. Watch 5 tv shows a month on your I phone and the bill will be $50.00

  2. 3gs unlimited data…. contract expired… buying 4th gen outright… will continue to tether… well hotspot my fon i guess since i dnt use a wire.. i am what they claim is the 2% that use over 2gb monthly.. they acted like they were doing the customers a favor when i called…. shut rite up when i brought up the crazy new etf penalty and the soon to expire apple contract…. im taking my ball and going home

  3. I think iphone 4g should switch to sprint its way much cheaper then at&t and verizon wireless. I can not believe that at&t is doing this it costing more and more at&t sucks! verizon wireless is ok for price. t moble and sprint and cheap and best!

  4. It’s simple for me. Keep my unlimited plan that I already have on my jailbroken phone and use MyWi to broadcast wirelessly and tether my iPad to it. Same as I’ve been doing.

    Will suck if they ever get rid of unlimited completely and definitely sucks for new users who can’t get unlimited.

  5. Att stated if u ordered the iPad prior to June 7 they will honor the unlimited plan for iPad $29.99. Read it on iphonefreak.com

    • They will, only if you autorenew each month. But the will not honor the no contract, turning it on and off when needed unlimited plan. If you turn it off, you will only have the choice of the new plans if you start up again.

  6. Will MyWi tethering cause AT&T to bill jailbroken iPhone users for enabling tethering through MyWi and force them on a new plan?

    • That’s a really good question. It depends on how MyWi works. If it’s just a hack to enable the built in tethering feature, the I would think it would look the same to AT&T as turning it on from the iPhone. If MyWi crates tethering a different way, then it might look different to AT&T and they wouldn’t be able to tell it’s tethering. This is something someone will just have to try. AT&T won’t have an answer for that.

    • You will be charged no extra cost for using MyWi (unless you go over your usage limits) the people at AT&T would just be able to see the sites you accessed on your laptop / ipad and assume you were on them on your phone

  7. I used to back AT&T with a vengence with my droid using friends. Have a JB 3GS right now. But want I do want to buy the new iPhone when it hits the streets. I guess I will take wait and see approach with the new carriers and plans.

  8. I have jailbroken my 3gs which here in the uk after 1 year you can pay £15 ($25) to unlock your iPhone officially. You can get a £10 ($17) contract for unlimited texts unlimited Internet and a few calls on most networks. I plan to get the ipad wi-fi and use the MyWi app to tether the unlimited data to both my laptop and ipad.
    In the UK (and most european countries) the iPhone (only recently) and ipad are available on many carriers and the compertition has been high. All networks are reducing prices significantly every month and unlimited data is becoming available at increacingly lower rates £9.99 ($16.99)
    I think if the iPhone / ipad does come to verizon you will see significant reductions in price plans as verizon will want to come in with cheaper rates than AT&T
    just out of intrest I hear it mentioned a lot but what does AT&T actually stand for?

  9. Right now I am looking to borrow an old iPhone from a freind so that I can grab the unlimited plan back. (my 3G broke a month ago so down graded) I use less than 2Gigs but more than 200MB. So just saving 55$ a year is major FAIL.

    • Update just in case any body wants to know. Called AT&T rep today and they used the imie number from my busted iPhone that broke 6 weeks ago. Thus putting me back on the unlimited data plan so that I am grandfathered in. She also has the same veiw as slot of the people out there that are upset with AT&Ts new data plan rate. Next up iPhone 4G.

  10. am i the only one that got MMS removed??? this is not cool

  11. So what about adding a line to an existing account/family plans for the $30.00 unlimited 3GS contract? I got my new line and number last years when the 3GSs came out and I was thinking about adding my girlfriend. Any ideas?

  12. I was on the phone with AT&T for 30min today and asked them about this “ordeal”. And basically at the end of all this they told me that they aren’t getting “rid” of the unlimited plan they are just giving people the chance to not have to pay so much for their data plans. Because alot of people don’t use their data as much as others. I use at least 2-3 gigs a month and like I told the AT&T employee i don’t want to pay more for my data package if I already have unlimited data. I also asked them about if I were to upgrade to the iPhone 4 would i lose my unlimited data package. And they said no. Even if it shows you only have DataPlus on your account you can call up AT&T and have them fix it.

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