If you’ve been clinging on to one of AT&T’s unlimited data plans for dear life, the nation’s second largest wireless carrier is hoping that an upcoming service plan change will force you to second guess your decision. AT&T announced today that starting in February, it will raise the price of unlimited data from $30 per line to $35 per line.
AT&T’s unlimited data plan has been around since the days of the original iPhone (introduced in 2007) and was discontinued in 2010 in favor of metered plans. Existing customers that wanted to keep their unlimited data plans, however, were grandfathered in and allowed to soldier on unharmed.
“Consumers and businesses are using mobile data at record levels and the trend is expected to continue,” explains AT&T in a support document posted to its website. “To help ensure we continue to provide the best service for all of our customers, a small price increase is being made at this time.”
It should be noted that AT&T has eased restrictions on its unlimited data plans in recent months. The wireless carrier previously throttled unlimited customers that consumed more than 5GB of data per month when connected to a tower in a “high congestion” area. However, that cutoff point has been raised to 22GB, giving customers quite a bit of additional headroom.
22GB should be more than enough to cover all but the most “elite” data hogs on AT&T’s network, and an extra $5 per month likely won’t be enough to get these users to switch to a more expensive Mobile Share Value plan. And after all, it’s a much more palatable increase than Verizon’s $20 rate hike on unlimited plans earlier this month.