Those roomy unlimited data plans may become a thing of the past. AT&T announced it is scrapping its $30 per month unlimited data plan in favor of two limited-use plans and other carriers are expected to follow.
The news sent waves of despair across the blogosphere, with Gizmodo wailing that “all-you-can-eat wireless data” for an iPhone or iPad is now dead.
Fortunately, for current AT&T users, you can keep that $30 all you can eat plan but new users as of June 7 must choose between a $15/mo. DataPlus service that caps at 200MB or a the DataPro plan at $25/mo for up to 2GB/mo.
Plus users can soon order tethering for the first time from AT&T for an iPhone, but that will cost you an extra $20 per month.
AT&T claims that 98 percent of its smartphone customers use less than the 2GB of storage offered in the $25/mo plan and 65 percent use less than 200MB in the $15 per month plan.
Wireless spectrum for data is becoming a coveted commodity. MarketWatch notes, “Executives at AT&T and Verizon Wireless have talked for months about the need to switch to metered billing as a means to reduce congestion and better manage their mobile networks. Heavy data usage by a tiny percentage of customers occasionally has clogged networks and reduced the quality of wireless service for other subscribers.”