AT&T limits new customers to data-share plans only

NEW YORK Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:58pm EDT

The AT&T logo is pictured by its store in Carlsbad, California, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The AT&T logo is pictured by its store in Carlsbad, California, April 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New AT&T Inc customers will soon only be able to buy Mobile Share plans, which involve higher data fees, but allow subscribers to share data allowances among multiple devices.

The No. 2 U.S. mobile operator said on Friday the elimination of older plans for new customers would take effect on Oct 25. It said it was streamlining its offerings because the data-share plans are its most popular.

AT&T added that existing customers could keep their current plans, even when they are upgrading to a new device, unlike its biggest rival Verizon Wireless. Both companies introduced shared-data service plans in 2012.

Investors say these plans could help operators such as AT&T and Verizon retain customers at a time when competition is ramping up in the U.S. wireless industry.

In particular, AT&T is facing increasingly aggressive competition from No. 4 U.S. operator T-Mobile US Inc, which compares itself directly to AT&T in its marketing.

The idea of is that customers subscribing to shared-data plans might be less inclined to switch to another carrier if their cellular service for several devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, is attached a single plan.

Carriers also see the plans as a way to encourage subscribers to add more devices and increase how much they spend on cellphone service.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (5)
Burns0011 wrote:
It’s basically a money grab. Another one. I have one phone, one device that uses cellular data. Without a plan that specifically addresses my minimal usage, I will be forced to “upgrade” and pay more for capacity I *don’t use*.

Oct 11, 2013 6:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Loucleve2 wrote:
Looks like I wont be an ATT customer.

EVER.

Oct 11, 2013 7:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
XDC wrote:
Glad I use wifi for my “extra devices” as 95% of my time is near Wifi sources. I have looked into but will never use AT&T.

Oct 11, 2013 8:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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