AT&T rolls out new unlimited wireless plan with a catch

AT&T is bringing back unlimited wireless data — at least for customers who also get pay television service from the company.

Consumers who already subscribe to DirecTV, the satellite television provider that AT&T acquired last year, or to AT&T’s landline U-Verse TV service, can get an unlimited wireless smartphone plan from AT&T for $100 a month, the telecommunications giant announced on Monday. Customers who sign up for the plan will get unlimited data, voice calls and texts and can add additional smartphone lines with unlimited service for $40 a piece.

When Apple announced the iPhone in 2007, part of the lure drawing consumers to the new smartphone was that AT&T offered unlimited data for the device for a flat $30 fee on top of the charges for voice and text services. But with its lines overloaded from iPhone customers, AT&T stopped offering the plans to new customers in 2010.

Consumers can take advantage of the deal even if they don’t yet subscribe to television or wireless service from AT&T by signing up for both. The company is offering a $500 credit to consumers who are new to AT&T’s wireless service who sign up for the unlimited plan and also buy a smartphone from the company under one of its Next installment and upgrade plans. Consumers can sign up for DirecTV service at promotional rates of $20 a month, which last for the first year of a two-year contract.

The new unlimited plan does not include the cost of a phone. If a consumer wanted to buy a new iPhone 6s to go with the service, it would cost them at least $21.67 a month on top of the $100 service plan fee.

Consumers can add other devices to the unlimited data plan. AT&T is charging $40 a month for each tablet consumers tie to an unlimited plan, for example, and $10 for each smartwatch. Customers who have added three smartphones to the plan can add a fourth one at no additional charge.

Since ending its original unlimited data plan in 2010, AT&T has been selling plans that include a certain amount of data per month. Currently, the company offers monthly data plans ranging in size from 300 megabytes to 50 gigabytes.

All of its plans offering 15 gigabytes or more cost at least $100. It’s unclear whether the company will continue to offer those plans after rolling out the new unlimited agreement.

While AT&T and Verizon ditched their first unlimited data plans years ago, both T-Mobile and Sprint have continued to offer unlimited service plans.

 

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