AT&T announced on Wednesday that they are raising the prices of their tiered data plans by $5 each. Along with that extra $5 comes a larger data allowance.
The new tiered pricing will only be applied to new plans being purchased. Current AT&T data plan users on contract will be allowed to keep their current data plan, or switch to the new tiers if they wish.
The lowest cost tier will increase from $15 for 200 MB of data per month, to $20 for 300 MB (bit less than a third of a GB) of data per month. The medium price tier will go from $25 for 2 GB of data/month, to $30 for 3 GB of data/month. The top tier will go from $45 a month for 4 GB of data/month, to $50 for 5 GB of data/month.
For comparison, Sprint’s tiers are currently $20 for 1 GB/month, $35 for 3 GB/month, $50 for 6 GB/month, $80 for 12 GB/month. Verizon charges $30 a for 2 GB/month, $50 a month for 5 GB/month, and $80 for 10 GB/month T-Mobile charges $40 for 2 GB/month, $50 for 5 GB/month, and $80 for 10 GB/month.
Breaking down by gigabytes on the lowest and highest tiers, Sprint clearly has the cheaper data cost. In the mid range, 3 GB level, AT&T comes out ahead. Of course, there are many other factors that enter into a shopper’s consideration when buying a data plan, not the least of which is their preferred carrier, availability, and the fine print on the contract. Considering the price increase is modest, it comes with the upside of a larger data allowance, we do not expect this to be a game changer in the marketplace.
The changes in AT&T’s tiers will be effective starting today, and the current plans will no longer be offered to new users. However, as mentioned previously, users that are already on contract will be able to keep their current plan.