Enlarge / An AT&T retailer in Washington, DC, on April 21, 2015.Getty Pictures | Bloomberg
AT&T yesterday introduced three new “limitless” knowledge plans. Protecting observe of all of the completely different limits on AT&T’s limitless cellular plans is simply as tough as ever, however there’s some excellent news for purchasers who use a lot of smartphone knowledge.
Shopping for AT&T’s least expensive limitless plan nonetheless comes with the chance of getting your knowledge throttled to speeds slower than these offered to different clients when the community is congested. The potential throttling could be imposed at any time, even when a buyer hasn’t used a lot knowledge that month. However whereas upgrading to pricier plans at the moment solely offers AT&T clients 22GB a month earlier than potential throttling, the plans popping out quickly have choices for not less than 50GB or 100GB of un-throttled use.
AT&T’s present entry-level plan known as “Limitless & Extra.” It prices $70 monthly for one line (not together with taxes and costs), with the per-line costs descending with every extra line you purchase. Every line prices $40 a month should you purchase 4 traces.
It comes with an enormous restriction. “On AT&T Limitless & Extra, for all knowledge utilization, buyer[s] might quickly expertise decreased speeds on these line(s) throughout occasions of community congestion,” AT&T says. Prospects aren’t throttled to the identical velocity every time. As an alternative, these clients get slower speeds than clients who purchased different plans after they’re in a congested community space. Speeds are returned to regular if the community congestion clears up or if the client strikes to an un-congested location.
The Limitless & Extra plan additionally solely contains SD video high quality as video streams are throttled to 1.5Mbps, and mobile-hotspot utilization just isn’t allowed.
Beginning November three, AT&T will provide a brand new “Limitless Starter” plan because the entry-level version at costs of $65 monthly for a single line or $35 for every line once you purchase 4 traces.
“You will get limitless calls, texts, and knowledge, with the catch that AT&T can throttle you at any time when it decides that the community is just too congested,” The Verge reported yesterday. “Not like the opposite plans, there is no assured pool of knowledge earlier than deprioritizing begins. You are additionally restricted to SD-quality video, and there is no choice to share your Web through the use of your telephone as a cellular hotspot.”
The throttling particulars weren’t talked about in AT&T’s press launch, however AT&T confirmed to Ars that the above particulars are right.
New premium choices
If you’d like mobile-hotspot utilization, HD video streaming, and a assured quantity of knowledge earlier than you could be throttled, it’s a must to pay extra. With the present “Limitless & Extra Premium” plan that may quickly get replaced, knowledge could be throttled after you employ 22GB in a month. This plan prices $80 monthly for a single line and $48 per line should you purchase 4 traces. The plan permits 15GB of high-speed mobile-hotspot use and HD streaming in 1080p.
Going ahead, there can be two premium choices as a substitute. AT&T Limitless Additional, accessible November three, can be $75 a month for a single line or $40 per line with 4 traces. The plan contains not less than 50GB of knowledge monthly earlier than you could be throttled throughout occasions of congestion, in addition to 15GB of high-speed mobile-hotspot knowledge. Nonetheless, video is restricted to SD.
The brand new top-level plan is Limitless Elite, and AT&T stated it would launch “within the coming weeks” however didn’t reveal a particular launch date. This one is $85 a month for a single line or $50 per line with 4 traces, and it comes with 100GB of knowledge earlier than any potential throttling. Limitless Elite additionally has 30GB of high-speed mobile-hotspot knowledge and HD-quality streaming video.
There are additionally modifications by which video companies come bundled with limitless plans. Each of AT&T’s present limitless plans include AT&T’s WatchTV service, which has 35 channels of reside TV. Limitless & Extra Premium additionally lets clients select one of many following companies: HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Pandora Premium, Spotify Premium, and VRV.
The brand new limitless plans is not going to embody WatchTV and won’t give clients a alternative of leisure companies. Nonetheless, Limitless Elite will embody HBO and HBO Max when it’s launched in Might 2020.
AT&T settlement with FTC is pending
AT&T’s throttling of limitless knowledge plans was once much more restrictive. Till a change in 2015, AT&T clients who used 5GB of LTE knowledge in a single month-to-month billing interval had been throttled for the remainder of the month always, no matter whether or not they had been in a congested community space.
The Federal Commerce Fee sued AT&T in October 2014, saying it misled customers by promising limitless knowledge whereas imposing draconian throttling insurance policies. The FTC and AT&T lately reached a tentative settlement, however particulars of the deal have not been made public but. AT&T can be dealing with a class-action lawsuit over the apply.