Soon after the announcement of Verizon’s (VZ) unlimited plan, AT&T (T) has announced it’ll expand access to its unlimited plan starting February 17. Previously the carrier just offered bottomless plans to subscribers of its DIRECTV or U-verse TV services.
The new AT&T Unlimited Plan offers unlimited data, texting, and calls, and includes HD video (although AT&T’s Stream Saver, which reduces the data used by forcing standard definition video, is turned on by the default). The new unlimited plan starts at $99.99 for the first line, that makes it the most expensive of all the carriers. Additional lines cost $39.99 each, with the fourth line free. Like the other carriers, this new plan has a soft cap on data — 22GB in AT&T’s case, the same as the Verizon — after which customers are subject to their data being deprioritized when towers get congested.
Since Verizon is now offering a similar unlimited data plan for $79.99 a month per line, this proposition is slightly more complicated. If you really live your mobile data life alone, the Verizon offering is at least hundred dollars cheaper for a single line. If you are a lucky family plan sort of sucker and plan to use four lines, AT&T’s offering is definitely cheaper.
The plan offers unlimited texting, calling and data. It also includes unlimited calls from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada, plus unlimited texting to over 120 countries. Just like Verizon’s plan, it’ll allow users to stream HD videos. Its default resolution downgrading software Stream Saver will be active on these plans but can be turned off for no additional cost. Since Verizon’s announcement, both the Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) have added HD streaming to their unlimited packages.
Also, while, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint all offer 10GB of LTE tethering on their new unlimited plans, AT&T’s offering doesn’t include tethering at all, which is disappointing to see, especially as AT&T is charging a premium over competitors.