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AT&T revives unlimited data plans for DirecTV & U-verse TV subscribers

AT&T is briefly resurrecting the concept of an unlimited data plan for its smartphone customers, but with the catch that subscribers must also have DirecTV or U-verse TV, and pay a high monthly fee.

The new Unlimited Plan (link currently non-functional) costs $100 per month for a single smartphone, and an extra $40 for each additional phone line, AT&T said on Monday. A fourth one can be added for free, though the discount is only being credited back after two billing cycles.

The carrier is generally charging $40 per tablet. People can, however, opt to pay $10 instead and get just 1 gigabyte of data. Cellular-enabled smartwatches and some other "connected devices" cost $10 to add.

The plan will only be available for a limited time, though it can be kept after the promotional period ends.

AT&T has fought to push customers off of its older unlimited data plans, which were officially nixed for new subscribers in 2010. Starting next month, fees for them will increase by $5 per line.

Until September the company was also throttling speeds for unlimited plans when data exceeded 5 gigabytes per month. It then shifted the ceiling to 22 gigabytes, also relaxing the conditions for throttling to periods of network congestion. This was likely in response to a $100 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission, accusing the company of misleading marketing.