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AT&T's new pricing: more data for more money

January 18, 2012 |  6:22 pm
AT&T changes pricing structure for data plansAT&T is raising the prices and the allotments of its data plans for smartphones and tablets -- more money and more data for new customers.

If you already have AT&T service, your contract and bill will be unaffected.

The new plans roll out Sunday, the Dallas-based company said Wednesday.

AT&T's current smartphone data plans come in three flavors: 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month, two gigabytes for $25, or four gigabytes for $45. As of Sunday, those plans will be scrapped in favor of a new trio: 300 megabytes of data for $20 a month, three gigabytes for $30 or five gigabytes for $50.

In the new pricing structure for tablets, the nation's second-largest mobile carrier will increase the price on only the top two tiers of data. So the 250-megabytes-for-$15 plan will remain in tact for tablet owners, and the new options will be three gigabytes of data for $30 a month and five gigabytes for $50.

Although the plans are more expensive, the adjustment offers more gigs for the money -- essentially tacking on an extra gigabyte of data for $5 a month in the top two plans.

So what's with the rate change? Is this a consequence of the failed attempt to purchase T-Mobile USA or a move to fuel AT&T's new, expanding 4G LTE network?

"Customers are using more data than ever before," David Christopher, AT&T's chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: AT&T logo. Credit: Lisa Poole / Associated Press

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