Unlimited Smartphone Data Plans Are Back From the Dead

3 minute read

AT&T will once again offer unlimited data for new and existing subscribers, the carrier announced Monday. The catch: it’s only for those who subscribe to AT&T’s DirecTV or U-Verse TV services, or are planning to do so in the future.

The unlimited plan costs $100 per month, with unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data. Additional smartphones and tablets will cost $40 each per month.

AT&T customers will be able to add a fourth phone to their unlimited plan for free. Subscribers can also add smartwatches to the plan for an extra $10 per month.

AT&T also wants existing DirectTV and U-Verse TV subscribers to switch to its wireless phone service as well. The company is giving these customers $500 in credit when they trade in their old smartphone and buy a new one on an AT&T Next plan.

Existing AT&T wireless customers, meanwhile, will be able to add DirecTV service starting at $19.99 per month for 12 months, but they’ll have to commit to a 24-month agreement. After 12 months, the standard $49.99 pricing for the package applies.

Read more: How to buy a phone now that 2 year contracts are dead

The announcement comes as AT&T is abandoning two-year contracts for wireless service. The carrier hinted that more changes may be unveiled soon, saying this is “the first of many integrated video and mobility offers the company plans to announce in 2016.”

AT&T axed unlimited data plans for smartphones and tablets back in 2010, while Verizon stopped offering them to new customers in 2011. T-Mobile and Sprint both offer unlimited data plans, but as The Verge points out, Sprint throttles data speeds after a certain amount of usage. T-Mobile also notes that customers who use more than 23GB of data in a billing cycle will have their data usage “de-prioritized” compared to other users during peak times.

5 Horrible Habits You Need to Stop Right Now

Do Not Email First Thing in the Morning or Last Thing at Night “The former scrambles your priorities and all your plans for the day and the latter just gives you insomnia,” says Ferriss, who insists “email can wait until 10am” or after you check off at least one substantive to-do list item.Chris Pecoraro—Getty Images
Do Not Agree to Meetings or Calls With No Clear Agenda or End Time “If the desired outcome is defined clearly… and there’s an agenda listing topics–questions to cover–no meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes,” claims Ferriss, so “request them in advance so you can ‘best prepare and make good use of our time together.'”Sam Edwards—Getty Images/Caiaimage
Do Not Check Email Constantly Batch it and check it only periodically at set times (Ferriss goes for twice a day). Your inbox is analogous to a cocaine pellet dispenser, says Ferriss. Don’t be an addict. Tools like strategic use of the auto responder and Boomerang can help.Jetta Productions—Getty Images
Do Not Carry a Digital Leash 24/7 At least one day a week leave you smartphone somewhere where you can’t get easy access to it. If you’re gasping, you’re probably the type of person that most needs to do kick this particular habit.by nacoki ( MEDIA ARC )—Getty Images/Flickr RF
Do Not Let People Ramble Sounds harsh, but it’s necessary, Ferriss believes. “Small talk takes up big time,” he says, so when people start to tell you about their weekends, cut them off politely with something like “I’m in the middle of something, but what’s up?” But be aware, not everyone agrees with this one (and certainly not in every situation), and you may want to pay particularly close attention to norms around chit chat when traveling internationally.Reza Estakhrian—Getty Images

Although Verizon hiked the price of its unlimited data plan by $20 for those who are still eligible for it, the carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo has told CNET that Verizon isn’t “in the habit of throttling customers.”

Still, AT&T’s decision to bring back unlimited data is just one example of how carriers are competing to offer more compelling deals for customers who stream a lot of media on their phones and tablets. T-Mobile announced its BingeOn service last year, which lets customers stream video from nearly 40 services including Netflix and Hulu without eating into their data.

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