AT&T imposes $10 price increase on most of its older unlimited plans

AT&T will impose monthly price increases of $10 and $20 on users of older unlimited wireless plans starting in August 2024, the company announced. The price of a single line of these 10 “retired” plans will increase by $10 per month, while customers with multiple lines on one plan will receive a total monthly increase of $20.

“If you have a single line of service on your plan, your monthly plan charge will increase by $10. If you have multiple lines on your plan, your monthly plan charge will increase by a total of $20. This is the total monthly increase, not by line increase,” AT&T said.

AT&T has offered a dizzying array of “unlimited” data plans over the years, all with different limits and perks. While unlimited plans allow customers to avoid overage charges, speeds may slow once customers reach their high-speed data limit. There are also limits on hotspot data usage.

The $10 and $20 price increases “affect most of our older unlimited plans,” AT&T said. The list of affected plans is as follows:

    • AT&T Unlimited and more Premium
    • Improved AT&T Unlimited Choice
    • AT&T unlimited and more
    • AT&T Unlimited Choice II
    • AT&T Unlimited Plus
    • AT&T Unlimited Choice
    • AT&T Unlimited Plan
    • Improved AT&T Unlimited Plus
    • AT&T Unlimited Value Plan
    • AT&T Unlimited Plan (with TV)

AT&T softens the blow with more high-speed data

To soften the blow of the price increase, AT&T said it would allow customers who keep their older plans to have more high-speed data and hotspot data:

AT&T Unlimited Choice, Choice II, Choice Enhanced, Unlimited & More and Unlimited Value plans will now include 75 GB of high-speed data and 30 GB of hotspot data. AT&T Unlimited Plus, Plus Enhanced, Unlimited &More Premium, and AT&T Unlimited (with TV) plans will now include 100GB of high-speed data and 60GB of hotspot data.

Customers can get a better price by switching to one of AT&T’s current unlimited plans, which range from $66 to $86 for a single line before taxes and fees. In 2019, as we wrote at the time, Unlimited & More was $70 per month for a single line, while Unlimited & More Premium was $80 per month for a single line.

The Unlimited & More plans replaced Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice in 2018. The 2018 change resulted in AT&T’s entry-level unlimited plan starting at $70 instead of the previous $65. All of these plans are affected by the price increase planned for August 2024.

Unlimited & More originally had no set amount of high-speed data. Instead, that plan was subject to reduced speeds during times of network congestion, regardless of how much data the customer used. The more expensive Unlimited & More Premium received 22GB of high-speed data before potential slowdowns.

Unlimited & More originally did not allow mobile hotspot usage, while Unlimited & More Premium allowed 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot usage. New increases in high-speed data and hotspot allowances make these older plans behave a little more like AT&T’s current mid-range and high-end plans.

Limits of current “unlimited” plans

Before deciding whether to upgrade to a current plan, AT&T customers should examine their limits. For the current basic plan titled “AT&T Unlimited Starter SL,” which costs $66 for a single line, AT&T says it “may temporarily reduce your data speed if the network is busy,” regardless of how much data you’ve used.

The current mid-range offering, AT&T Unlimited Extra EL, costs $76 for a single line and comes with 75GB of smartphone data before potential slowdowns. The top-end Unlimited Premium PL, which costs $86 for a single line, has no slowdowns based on how much smartphone data you’ve used.

The above limits do not apply to hotspot data, which is handled separately. Unlimited Premium PL comes with 60GB of high-speed hotspot data, the mid-range plan has 30GB of high-speed hotspot data, and the entry-level plan has 5GB of hotspot data Of high speed. On all three plans, hotspot speeds slow to a maximum of 128kbps once customers use up the allocation.

AT&T’s price increase on older plans follows a similar move by T-Mobile. But unlike T-Mobile, AT&T didn’t promise it would never raise prices on these plans.

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