AT&T hikes up data plan prices(Read article summary)
AT&T nudged up its data plan prices this week. Here's what you need to know.
The carrier currently offers three tiered smartphone plans: 200 MB for $15 a month, 2 GB for $25 a month, and 4 GB for $45. Beginning on Sunday, new users will be forced to pick from one of the following new options: $20 for 300 MB, $30 for 3 GB, and $50 for 5 GB. So, yes, you'll be getting more data, but you'll also be paying a larger price. Good news for power users â€“ bad news for casual owners.
Meanwhile, tablet data plans will now run at two price points: $30 for 3 GB and $50 for 5 GB.Â
Importantly, current AT&T consumers won't see their data plans change.Â
So what's behind the rate hike?
Increased usage, according to AT&T.Â
"More content downloading, more video streaming, more apps. Connecting with family and friends 24-7. Mobile broadband has become part of our daily lives â€“and data usage has skyrocketed,"Â AT&T exec Mark Collins wrote on the AT&T blog. "And as the AT&T network gets even faster with 4G LTE deployment â€“ up to 10 times faster than 3G â€“ and devices and applications become even more sophisticated, itâ€™s clear that data usage will surge even more."
Indeed, as analyst Jack Gold told Computerworld today, there's little reason to doubt that AT&T will again hike rates.Â "AT&T can charge higher prices because consumer demand is there, and there really is very little price pressure," Gold said. "I don't think this will be the last increase consumers see."