After cutting its unlimited data plan in 2010, AT&T has brought back the offer, but with a twist.
The days of unlimited data at AT&T are back for qualifying customers, but there's a catch. AT&T is now offering unlimited data for $100/month, only along with a DirecTV subscription as well. After the acquisition of DirecTV, this move could be seen as a way to boost reception of its TV services in a sluggish market. But (as with all unlimited plans), there are some constraints. "After 22GB of data usage on line in a bill cycle," AT&T specifies, "for the remainder of the bill cycle AT&T may slow data speeds on that line during periods of network congestion." Users may add additional lines for $40/month, with the fourth line free after bill credit. DirecTV plans start at $20/month for the first year, with prices increasing from there.
Mobile carriers have had to get creative to offer data-hungry users the most competitive deals (that won't break the bank). Unlimited data plans used to be a popular service until a realistic cap was surpassed. As a result, companies like AT&T and Verizon cut their unlimited data plans entirely, while T-Mobile and Sprint raised monthly rates on unlimited data plans to accommodate. T-Mobile also decided to offer features such as its "Binge On" service, which allows unlimited streaming of mid-quality video from select services. Whether or not AT&T's new move will win more users over to both its phone and new TV services may determine how long this temporary offer will last.
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