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What do AT&T’s lower priced unlimited data plans mean for you?

Data has long been one of the most expensive parts of a cellphone plan. From high fees or extra charges when you go over your data allowance to spending too much money on a data plan you don’t use, figuring out just how much data you need can be a real struggle.

Thankfully, with AT&T introducing unlimited data plans at affordable prices, selecting the right cellphone plan for your budget and needs is even easier.

AT&T and the Future of Mobile Data Pricing

Not long ago, mobile providers dropped the unlimited data plan option. While data was still important at the time, most users could get away without needing high data plans for their daily use. Connectivity to Wi-Fi and minimal offline options made it easy for users to stay within their data allowance.

However, as cellphones started doing more and mobile devices changed to become larger and more important, the need for more data grew. Eventually, users were either forced with the decision to pay fees for using too much data or they needed to buy larger data plans. Luckily for them, the reintroduction of unlimited data plans has been the latest buzz in the tech industry.

At first, AT&T’s unlimited data plan was expensive. At $100 for a line, AT&T was priced much higher than competitors. Now, AT&T is offering two unlimited data plans, one at a higher price point of $90 for tethering and faster streaming and the second at $60 for slower video streaming and no ability to hotspot.

With AT&T reducing its unlimited data plan to better fit the everyday user’s budget, we can tell that price is a major contender for mobile users. With customers always looking to get the most bang for their buck, AT&T and other mobile providers will need to secure the best prices to compete with one another, improve their bottom line and prevent customers from switching.

What Does an Unlimited Mobile Plan Mean for Customers?

For many people, the availability of unlimited mobile plans is exciting news. For individuals who like to use their phone as mobile hotspots or to stream videos on the go, signing up for an unlimited data plan can save some major headaches in the long run. However, unlimited mobile plans can also have their drawbacks.

One of the biggest benefits of having an unlimited data plan is that users do not need to worry about their data cap. They can use as much data as they’d like each month without the fear of spending more on their bill. As connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) leads consumers to pair more technologies to their mobile devices, signing up for an unlimited plan can be an incredibly cost-effective decision.

However, having access to more mobile data can have potential negative consequences, too. If more consumers can afford unlimited data, what’s to stop them from connecting their phones to their wearables, home appliances or even their cars?

The more you’re connected to IoT devices, the more likely it is that you’ll experience a hack or negative privacy experience as a result of that connectivity. Enhanced connectivity features can expose design weaknesses in otherwise safe products. But implementing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities could leave you and your devices exposed to hackers.

The need for unlimited data is also a question on many customers’ minds. With years of monitoring data use, many customers now wonder how much data they may actually need to use. While AT&T and other mobile providers are offering affordable options for their unlimited data plans, smaller plans are still cheaper.

All in all, the reintroduction of unlimited data plans is fresh to customers. Until consumers decide whether or not an unlimited plan is really necessary for them and mobile service providers find the right price points, we can expect to see some slight shifts in the mobile world.


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— Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a technologically inclined writer whose work has appeared on Motherboard, MakeUseOf, Lifehacker and The Huffington Post. You can read more posts by Kayla on her blog, Productivity Bytes.


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