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AT&T Television Cellphones Wireless Networking

AT&T Brings Back Unlimited Mobile Data To Lure TV Subscribers (bloomberg.com) 68

An anonymous reader writes: Five years after AT&T discontinued its unlimited mobile data plan, the company is bringing it back with a catch: users must be subscribed to DirecTV or U-verse TV as well. The service will start at $100/month for a single subscriber. Two additional users can be added for $40/month each, and the fourth is free. There's also one more caveat: "Customers that exceed 22 gigabytes of data use in one month will have their speed throttled during peak network traffic periods." AT&T looks to do battle with T-Mobile, who has a similar four-person plan. This is one of the first major consequences of AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion. The company says it will soon roll out other plans to combine the services.
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AT&T Brings Back Unlimited Mobile Data To Lure TV Subscribers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    AT&T Cannot possibly go out with a underdefined caveat such as "peak network traffic periods" for a bloody $100/mo contract.

    • AT&T Cannot possibly go out with a underdefined caveat such as "peak network traffic periods" for a bloody $100/mo contract.

      So, which of naive, delusional, or insane would you fall into?

      Unless someone passes a law which defines in what precise ways AT&T can fuck over their customers, what on Earth makes you think they can't just make shit up as they go?

      Cannot possibly? Sorry, but you have nothing to back that up. Certainly not reality.

    • 2016 where i live.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      In practice, "peak periods" would probably end up interpreted as those periods when the tower to which your device is associated is at or very near capacity, as opposed to those periods when said tower has unused time slots. Unused time slots on a tower probably happen most often in early mornings local time. Perhaps you wanted AT&T to spell it out as satellite ISPs do, where "peak" means 5 AM to midnight and off-peak data is not metered at all.

  • Two catches (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @12:08PM (#51278079)

    >> catch: users must be subscribed to DirecTV or U-verse TV

    I'd expect the other catch is "also, we can cancel or change the 'unlimited' bit at any time' - only suckers need apply.

    • by lbmouse ( 473316 )
      And you are stuck with two years of shitty TV at premium pricing.
    • One more: since the announcement does not specify otherwise, one can presume that 22GB per customer means 22GB per contract.

      Got 4 phones on a contract? Share that 22GB between all of you, which makes it 5.5GB/phone, which isn't a lot.

      • 5 phones == $300/mo. with 5.5 GB/phone With Straighttalk (which runs on the ATT network in our area) I pay $41.25/mo == $207/mo with 5Gb/phone and they are all on independent contracts. Also, if you can time it right, you can get it even lower during their specials (I am paying ~$36/mo at the moment). I don't see this new deal as anything but closing a gap partially with the competition but still lagging.

  • Bringing it back? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MorderVonAllem ( 931645 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @12:09PM (#51278085)
    You mean they had it before and took it away and now they expect that I'll think they won't do it again?
    • AND..They will change it again after a year, and then you will get a giant bill on that 13th month with ATT claiming it was just a promotional program and now you need to pay up.
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        But you can be grandfathered. I know people still on unlimited, they just stopped offering it to new customers, and provided incentives to old customers to get off their unlimited data plans. Verizon did the same. TBH, for me it was a no-brainer. I don't use enough data to make unlimited an issue for me, and the LTE connectivity in general is crappy enough on either provider that it doesn't substitute for a real broadband connection, not to mention that mine is reliably several times faster than any LTE con
        • My grandfathered unlimited plan with subsidized phone was barely more expensive than a 1GB metered plan for many years, but I didn't get tethering. With the advent of plans that don't included a subsidy plus the coming price increase for grandfathered unlimited data I may finally be motivated to move away, perhaps all the way to T-Mobile.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @12:13PM (#51278129) Homepage
    att 6 years ago: unlimited data for a low low monthly fee, browse all the tubes. browse too much and we cancel your service.
    att 5 years ago: nevermind. we dont like this.
    FCC: net neutrality. it doesnt matter what your provider likes, they cant throttle or cap or inject ads. common carriers are common carriers...
    Comcast:cant hear you over the hold music.
    Time Warner: fuck your shit.
    fcc: guise...seriously...
    T-Mobile: unlimited data forever for a low low price also if you use too much or too little or certain kinds of sites we will throttle you to oblivion
    ATT:Ditto we have this too also ATT is best TT.
    fcc: ok assholes come on...common...carrier.
    comcast: have fun in our corporate cheerleader thunderdome this year AKA the supreme court.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd like to see a Kickstarter program to raise a few billion dollars to lay down fiber for a common carrier Gigabit Internet.

      Not anyone can do it - it'd have to be someone who actually did it for Google or some other ISP who had to deal with putting physical cable down.

    • by whh3 ( 450031 )

      fcc: guise...seriously...

      It's early but this should go on the list of the best inadvertent typos of 2016.

  • If I subscribed to DirecTV or U-verse TV will you push the Marshmallow OTA to my Nexus 6? It's only been 98 days so far!
    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      The blame is with Google on that one. They provided the carriers a way to have their own update process. That should never have been allowed for the Nexus product line.

      Nexus 6 here too, and still no update. Fuck AT&T. I'm half tempted to dump DirecTV just because AT&T now owns it.

  • Dear AT&T.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @12:49PM (#51278437) Homepage

    I would LOVE uverse... But your refuse to build out the fiber to cover the city. Instead you stopped 5 years ago just outside of town and have done nothing at all since.

    If you want more Uverse subscribers, freaking build it out so that people can actually have it as a choice.

    • ^This! I recently moved, and my first choice was Google Fiber. Except that they didn't serve that area yet. My 2nd choice was Uverse. Same problem. Time Warner got my business by default.

    • I would LOVE uverse... But your refuse to build out the fiber to cover the city. Instead you stopped 5 years ago just outside of town and have done nothing at all since.

      If you want more Uverse subscribers, freaking build it out so that people can actually have it as a choice.

      U-Verse is not necessarily fiber. I had it a couple of years ago and it was ADSL based. Got rid of it because AT&T thinks that they can do HD with 3.14 Mbps. It was horrible.

      They claim to have more HD channels than their competitors. In reality, the didn't have ANY HD channels.

    • by zvar ( 158636 )

      Even worse, they started calling DSL Uverse. Got the ad blitz so I thought they actually had fiber here. Got the DSL self install kit instead of fiber install kit and called without even hooking it up as I know I'll only get 768k DSL here, as max speed.
      Still took over a year to convince AT&T we ere not paying as at least they had a 30 day return/cancel thing going.

  • If everybody holds out (there's a word for that), we can get them to offer a real unlimited plan...Consumers have to do a little collusion of their own.

  • It occurs to me that "unlimited" can read one of two different ways, depending on whether the "limited" in the term is either being used as a verb or adjective.

    If they are using the adjective form, then they can call something that they throttle "unlimited" without any realy conflict.... there even though they may be throttling the data speed, there is no predefined limit on the amount of data that they can receive, and so "unlimited" applies, as an adjective.

    However, it does *NOT* apply if the term "l

  • by whh3 ( 450031 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @03:24PM (#51280317) Homepage

    ... just keeps getting more expensive. In the grand scheme of things, that $5/mo price increase for my age-old unlimited data plan is not a big deal. The problem is that it reminds me just how far we can trust these companies. They expect us to hold up our end of the bargain (2 year contracts, phone leases, etc) but they don't do their part (SLAs, uptime, throughput that matches advertised speeds, etc).

    • Not that it matters but what good is it when they throttle you anyway. Ok, you get unlimited data....but at 1-25kbs. The frustration was enough to make me jump ship.

      /ex-unlimited grandfather person that gave up the ghost.

      • by whh3 ( 450031 )

        Interesting. I never get anywhere near the throttle point so I've never really noticed. I am definitely going to look into this now that you mention it!

        • Yea, if you don't download music or watch a ton of vids like I do on commutes its probably hard to tell with out tethering.

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