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Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 02:54 pm PT (05:54 pm ET)

AT&T introduces larger, costlier data plans: $30 for 3GB, $20 for 300MB

In a bid to cope with ever increasing data usage from subscribers, AT&T has introduced new data plans for smartphone and tablet users, adding additional cap space but also charging customers more. The new plans max out at 5GB with tethering for $50 per month.

A press release on Wednesday from the number two U.S. mobile carrier details the new rates that will take effect on Sunday, Jan. 22, marking the first change to the company's data plans since 2010.

"Customers are using more data than ever before," said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment."

The new smartphone pricing is basically a $5 surcharge for a 1 GB bump in data for DataPro users, while DataPlus subscribers will get an extra 100 MB for the same price.

Tablet owners will see a reshuffling of options as the previous 2 GB DataConnect plan is to be replaced a 3 GB per month flavor previously only available on a two-year contract. An additional 5 GB plan will also be added for $50 per month and the lowest 250 MB plan remains unchanged.

Current subscribers can keep their existing plans or opt in to one of the new tiers when the program launches on Sunday.

Smartphone plans are as follows:
  • AT&T DataPlus 300MB: $20 for 300MB

  • AT&T DataPro 3GB: $30 for 3GB

  • AT&T DataPro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Additional data pricing remains at $10 per gigabyte for the DataPro plans and $20 per additional 300 MB for DataPlus customers.

AT&T smartphone data plans

Current AT&T smartphone data pricing | Source: AT&T.com


Tablet data tiers have changed to:
  • AT&T DataConnect 250MB: $14.99 for 250MB

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB

  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Overage charges only apply to 30-day tablet prices and include $14.99 for and extra 250MB with AT&T DataConnect 250 MB, and $10 per additional gigabyte for DataConnect 3 GB and 5 GB.

AT&T tablet data plans

Current AT&T tablet data pricing | Source: AT&T.com


The new plans reflect an upward trend in cellphone and tablet data pricing from U.S. carriers as their networks strain under the pressure of a growing customer base.