AT&T, who was actually the first carrier to get rid of unlimited data back in 2010 – back when they still had the exclusive on the iPhone – brought it back a few months ago. Although it’s not the same old unlimited data plan they once had. There are a few caveats with the plan. One, you have to either sign up or be a current customer of U-Verse or DirecTV. The other, is that you only get about 22GB of data before they’ll start slowing your speeds. Now this is to keep the network fast for all of their customers, but it’s also to keep unlimited data users from using a few hundred gigs of data. The unlimited plan is $100 for one line, and then $40 for each line afterwards. So a family of four could get unlimited data on all four lines for just $180, which is actually a pretty good price.
When AT&T announced the new unlimited data plan, they didn’t do a whole lot of advertising. The advertising they did do was basically from sites like Android Headlines covering the new plan. AT&T’s CFO John Stephens told investors that they had 500,000 people sign up for the new plan in the first two weeks. Now two months later they have over 2 million. That’s an average of about 250,000 unlimited data plans a month. Not a bad increase for AT&T. Although it’s tough to tell if these are those that are current customers of DirecTV or U-Verse and AT&T that just changed their plan, or new customers.
Back in 2015 when AT&T acquired DirecTV, they had planned to offer some more discounted bundles to their subscribers. The reason for this was to get them signing up for more and more of their services, instead of giving money to their competitors. Stephens stated that “a customer who’s buying our wireless services from us, buying video services from us, and then oftentimes buying broadband services from us, they could be paying us three or four hundred dollars a month”. We went on to explain that AT&T wants to give their customers a good deal and make sure they are treated correctly. After all, AT&T doesn’t have the monopoly that had a few decades ago, so customers could always switch to another carrier or cable company for a lower price.