AT&T's new plans: iPhone tethering but no more unlimited iPad 3G data

Summary:Is AT&T's bandwidth bursting at the seams? The company released a bunch of new plans, all designed to save you money and / or lessen the burden on its network.

Earlier today, AT&T released new data plans that carry both positives and negatives.

According to the company's press release, iPhone users will now have the option of paying an extra $20 a month for the ability to tether their iPhone. The only requirement is that you must also be a subscriber to the DataPro plan, which means that you're capped at 2 GB and will pay a total of $45 a month before any overage fees.

On the iPad front, new iPad owners no longer have an unlimited, $29.99 option, but instead can choose the 2GB of data "DataPro" plan for $25 a month. Existing iPad owners can still enjoy the $29.99 unlimited option, though.

If you're not a heavy user of data, AT&T is offering up a cheaper "DataPlus" plan at just $15 a month for 200 MB of data.

It's not surprising to see AT&T revamping its data plans. After all, with so many iPads and iPhones on the loose in the United States, consumers must be eating up a tremendous amount of bandwidth.

AT&T isn't gouging customers right away, either. It seems that with the new data plans, if you hit over the limit, the company is offering up some additional bandwidth at a reduced charge. For example, if you're on the DataPlus plan and use up your 200 MB of data, for another $15 per billing cycle you can buy an additional 200 MB. On the DataPro plan, $10 will buy you an additional 1 GB of data for use in the billing cycle. AT&T also mentioned that it's planning to send text messages or emails to customers as they approach their monthly usage limit.

If you believe AT&T's claims, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers are using less than 200 MB of data per month, on average. Given those numbers, AT&T's new plans will be a welcome change for a number of customers.

I'm still torn on the removal of the unlimited option for iPad data, though. Currently, I'm using the 250 MB option, but I liked the idea of going unlimited if I was traveling. As for the tethering, $45 a month isn't terrible, but it's capped at 2 GB a month, which definitely doesn't make it a must-have. Then again, I could pay the $45 a month and share data between my iPhone and my iPad and every other device. Now I have until June 7th, when the new plans come into play, to make a final decision.

Topics: iPad, AT&T, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

About

With more than fifteen years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands, technologies and services into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the Vice President of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider. Prior to Mobiquity, Evans was Managin... Full Bio

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