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AT&T Unlimited Plan: Uncapped AT&T Wireless Data for DIRECTV Subscribers

by Jack Berkins on February 3, 2016

AT&T-DirecTV Unlimited DataThe first real cross-promotional offer since AT&T’s acquisition of DIRECTV, AT&T recently announced that any wireless subscriber with either a DIRECTV or AT&T U-verse plan, now qualifies for unlimited data usage. Coined the “AT&T Unlimited Plan“, it’s a nice little bonus for current or prospective customers (AT&Ts main goal here is to introduce folks to to their newly-formed phone and TV ecosystem). A few years back, AT&T actually pulled back on the data allotments – they throttled traditional unlimited plans, with periodically-imposed monthly caps and speed limits. Fast forward a few years and, thanks to improved technology/coverage and the breadth of competition, their new data plans are much more attractive and capable of delivering very high resolution video. And with this newest AT&T Unlimited Plan offer, you’ll never have to worry about hitting a cap (keep in mind you aren’t allowed to share your phone’s internet with other devices). Read on for all the details…

Recap of AT&T’s Data Plans

First off, let’s quickly go over AT&T’s more popular data plans. There are essentially three main categories: Mobile Share (where you split the data amongst family members), Individual (just you) and Unlimited. Here’s the cost structure for each:

Mobile Share

300 MB: $20/month
1 GB: $45
2 GB: $55
4 GB: $70
10 GB: $100
20 GB: $150
50 GB: $375

Individual

2 GB: $70
5 GB: $90
10 GB: $140

Unlimited Plans

AT&T Wireless with no DIRECTV or Uverse service: $35/month (bumps up $5 in Feb. 2016)
AT&T Wireless with DIRECTV or Uverse service: free with promo

(all prices above do not include phone and/or internet access fees)

A Closer Look at Unlimited Plans

As noted above, the non-promo Unlimited data plan had been $30/month for a few years; in Feb 2016, AT&T marginally increased that to $35. As the non-bundled Unlimited plan isn’t being offered to new customers, only folks grandfathered in from the early 2010s still qualify for Unlimited at a monthly charge (count me in that group). By the way, even with the bump in price, it’s still the most cost-effective option out there for me (I tend to exclusively use WiFi at home so, ballpark, probably use about 2 GB a month of LTE data).

The only real drawbacks to the Unlimited Plan are the lack of hotspot availability (trying to jailbreak your phone and doing so WILL likely result in a call from AT&T ;)) and lack of rollover minutes. With the Mobile Share and individual plans, leftover minutes do get carried over and if you’re usage is erratic month-to-month, you’re likely to save 10-20% just due to the rollover option.

Finally, remember AT&T charges a connection fee as part of your data plan. That fee depends on the type of device and its connection potential to the internet. As of publication, here’s a quick rundown of the associated costs:

  • Unlimited talk/text
  • No hotspot function
  • Smartphones:
    • First phone: $100/month
    • Next 2 phones: $40/month
    • 4th phone is free
  • Tablet fee: $40/month
  • Watch (eg, iWatch) fee: $10/month
  • Non-smartphone fee: $25/month

Conclusion

If you have an AT&T phone or DIRECTV account… and were on the fence on getting the other, this promo might the perfect reason to give it a shot. Though it doesn’t have a public expiration date, chances are the deal won’t be around for more than a few months.

As far as the balance of the year goes, expect AT&T to continue to evolve its TV and wireless options. They’re actively adding new streamable and traditional TV content, so the crossover synergies with DIRECTV should continue to unlock a ton of entertainment value.

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