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AT&T to raise unlimited data plan pricing to $40 in March

Just over a year after AT&T raised rates for subscribers grandfathered in to unlimited data plans, the company once again intends to bump up prices another $5 per month come March.

Starting in March 2017, AT&T, the nation's second-largest cellular carrier in the U.S., will raise rates for customers subscribed to legacy unlimited data plans from $35 to $40 per month. The rate increase follows an identical $5 per month bump instituted in February 2015.

The latest price hike was spotted earlier this week by DSLReports forum users who received word of the coming rate change via email. The website subsequently confirmed the policy modification with an AT&T representative.

"Our Mobile Share Advantage plans and our AT&T Unlimited Plan provide several benefits that our legacy unlimited plan doesn't. If you have a legacy unlimited data plan, you can keep it; however, beginning in March 2017, it will increase by $5 per month," AT&T said.

When reached for comment, AT&T furnished AppleInsider with the same statement.

Like competing mobile providers, AT&T introduced unlimited data plans years ago to lure in potential smartphone buyers. As the handsets became more popular, and at the same time more data-hungry, carriers replaced all-you-can-eat models with tiered plans. AT&T, the first carrier to offer unlimited data plans for iPhone in 2007, began to roll out capped tiers in June 2010.

In a bid to negate customer churn, telcos allowed subscribers to carry their unlimited plan in perpetuity. Once these grandfathered-in customers switch to a new plan, however, they can never go back.