March 8 AT&T Inc said on Saturday it is
cutting wireless data charges for individual customers who have
no annual service contract, as the No. 2 U.S. mobile operator
attempts to better compete with rival T-Mobile US Inc.
Customers having one smartphone with no annual service
contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan
that includes 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text
messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50 GB cloud
storage. Customers with two smartphones will now pay $90.
The latest plan follows price cuts AT&T announced last month
for families and customers who share large data plans, as well
as its offer of a $200 credit to customers who switch to its
AT&T has been fiercely competing with smaller rival T-Mobile
U.S. after T-Mobile spent several quarters directly marketing to
AT&T customers. T-Mobile, a long-time industry straggler, was
able to report three full quarters of customer growth after four
years of losses.
Separately on Friday, T-Mobile said it was doubling to 1GB
the amount of LTE wireless data it was providing with its
flagship Simple Choice plan, which costs $50 a month, and also
includes unlimited talk and domestic and international text
AT&T previously said that T-Mobile's efforts only concerned
the most cost-conscious customers, who are not its or market
leader Verizon Communications Inc's primary targets.
All four U.S. wireless providers, including Sprint Corp
, have made price adjustments as they attempt to sustain
growth in a mature market built on stealing growth from
While discounts are always welcomed by consumers, the
intensifying competition is a new challenge to a U.S. industry
long used to imposing its will on consumers, and analysts fear
it could result in the loss of billions of dollars of revenue.