AT&T has today announced that customers on any Unlimited Choice plan will soon be able to take advantage of free HBO access at no extra cost. This is a fairly significant move for AT&T as it now sees customers of its lower-tiered unlimited plans able to reap the benefits of a feature that was primary only available to those on the company’s higher-tiered unlimited plans – AT&T Unlimited Plus.
AT&T first introduced both its Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice plan options back in earlier in 2017. With the idea being that those who were willing to pay more, could get a richer service, while those who were happy to compromise in certain areas, were still able to take advantage of an unlimited plan but at a cheaper rate. For example, AT&T Unlimited Plus rates start at $90 per month while AT&T Unlimited Choice rates start at $60 per month. So the saving on offer is fairly substantial. In terms of the caveats for opting for Choice over Plus, the first is that in spite of Choice customers getting unlimited data, their top speeds are capped compared to Plus customers. Likewise, streaming quality for Plus users is available at the HD level, while Choice users are capped at SD quality. Another example of the differences was the inclusion of HBO ‘at no extra cost’ for Plus users. Although that has now changed with the confirmation that users currently on an Unlimited Choice plan are also gaining the free HBO access. Of course, what should be pointed out here is that in spite of gaining HBO for free, the rest of the differences remain in effect. Therefore, while Unlimited Choice customers will now be able to stream HBO for free, they will still be subject to the same stream quality limitation (SD) and maximum data speed capping (3Mbps)
The timing of this announcement is something worth noting, as last week T-Mobile announced that it was making Netflix available to some of its T-Mobile One customer’s free of charge. As per the T-Mobile announcement, the ability for eligible customers to binge on Netflix for free started today. The same day AT&T is announcing the expansion of its free HBO access. Although Unlimited Choice customers will have to wait until Friday (September 15) to see the free HBO going live.