AT&T To Launch New Mobile Share Plans and Reduce Off-Contract Pricing Next Week

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AT&T is getting ready to roll out some updated pricing options for their Mobile Share and Next plans. Just announced this morning, the new plans are a move by AT&T to lower cost and add value for customers whose contract expires, or who don’t want to sign a contract at all. The Next plans are still a bit of rip off, but AT&T and other wireless carriers have to do something to compete with T-Mobile’s UnCarrier strategy. So what’s new with these AT&T plans? Let’s take a look.

With current AT&T pricing plans, the cost per smartphone goes down as you increase your data plan. You pay $50 per smartphone on the 300MB data plan, but only $30 per smartphone on a data plan with 10GBs or more. Customers pay those prices while they are in a contract and after their contract has expired. With the updated plans, smartphones can be added for $40 per month and AT&T will offer a $15 discount for smartphones that are not in contract. This is one of the areas that T-Mobile’s UnCarrier plans had an advantage over other offerings. T-Mobile offers a $20 discount for plans that are not in contract. AT&T is at least trying to keep up. Their $15 discount is applied automatically once your contract is up.

AT&T is also changing the base cost of each level of their data tiers. Lower tiers get a price decrease and become more cost-effective as you add more lines. The higher tiers get a pretty big price decrease as well, to cover the difference in additional per-device charges. They’ve also added a new 8GB plan that slots in between the current 6GB and 10GB plans, too.

As far as changes to the Next plans, AT&T is adding an additional 26 month payment option. The current plan lets you pay off your phone in 20 months, and upgrade every 12 months. The new Next option will let you break up the device payments over 26 months, and you’ll be able to upgrade after 18 months. The new option lowers the monthly cost of the phone, you just won’t be able to upgrade as frequently.

The updated plans are set to launch next week. You can find more details on AT&T’s website here and here. You can read the full press release below if you want to dig in to the fine print.

AT&T INTRODUCES new Mobile Share Value Plans with More savings and ‘NO ANNUAL SERVICE CONTRACT’ Options

PlansSet New Standard in Freedom, Choice and Affordability for Wireless Customers

DALLAS, DEC. 5, 2013– AT&T’s* new Mobile Share Value® plans will make it even easier for customers to share data and save money while enjoying the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.1   Beginning Dec. 8, new and existing wireless consumer and business customers will have the option to choose from new Mobile Share Value plans. The new plans offer customers more savings and provide ‘No Annual Service Contract’ options.

With the ‘No Annual Service Contract’ options, smartphone customers can save $15 a month on Mobile Share Value plans.2 Customers can receive these monthly savings when they: Get a new smartphone for no down payment with AT&T Next; bring their own smartphone; purchase a smartphone at full retail price; or when their smartphone is no longer under contract and they switch to the new plans. All Mobile Share Value plan customers will benefit from shared data plus unlimited talk and text on their phones. Consumers will have the ability to connect up to 10 devices, including tablets and other wireless devices, while business customers will be able to connect up to 10, 15, 20 or 25 devices, depending on the plan.

  • It’s never been more affordable to get on the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network. For only $45 a month, smartphone customers can now get unlimited talk and text plus 300MB of data.3 Qualifying smartphones can be added to any Mobile Share Value plan for $25 more a month per phone; tablets can be added for $10 more per device.
  • Customers with basic and messaging phones can enjoy a low monthly rate of $40 for unlimited talk, text and 300MB of data.3  For $20 more a month per phone, additional basic and messaging lines can be added to any Mobile Share Value plan.
  • In addition to the 300MB option, AT&T Mobile Share Value plans offer data options ranging from 1GB up to 50 GB, all with unlimited talk and text.

AT&T is also adding a new AT&T Nextsm plan with an 18 month upgrade option on Dec. 8.  It will be available to consumers for up to four smartphones, and to select small business customers, who may provide employees with up to six company-owned devices.3 The new plan will make monthly smartphone payments even lower than the existing AT&T Next option, by spreading payments over 26 months and giving eligible customers a way to get a new smartphone after 18 monthly payments for no down payment, no upgrade fee, no activation fee and no financing fee.

“With our new Mobile Share Value Plans, customers don’t have to compromise,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility.  “Our new no contract option lets customers add a smartphone to the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network at a lower monthly cost.  Customers want great value and a premium network – and now they can save more and get unlimited talk, text and data to share.”

The new Mobile Share Value plans make it easy for customers to manage their data without needing to keep track of multiple plans. Consumers, Individual Responsibility Users (IRUs), and Corporate Responsibility Users (CRUs) have different options to stay informed about their data usage and can check it anytime online through the my AT&T mobile app, or by dialing *DATA# from their mobile phone. AT&T also sends courtesy alerts as customers nearing their data allowance for the month.

All plans include access to AT&T’s nationwide Wi-Fi network at no additional charge.5 Customers can learn more about the new plans and determine which plan is best for them at http://www.att.com/mobilesharevalue.