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Wireless Wars Heat Up as AT&T Joins the Unlimited Data Fray

Wireless Wars Heat Up as AT&T Joins the Unlimited Data Fray

AT&T appears to be the last domino to fall in the war for unlimited data plans that broke out among cell phone service providers recently. The company is following competitors Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint in allowing customers to sign up for such plans.

Technically, this is not the first unlimited plan AT&T has offered. Previously, customers who were also subscribers to either its DirecTV or U-Verse had the option of signing up for unlimited data. Now that requirement is effectively being waved for all customers. But the offer is far from a slam dunk for cell phone users, particularly when so many options are now available.

Important Caveats

AT&T’s new unlimited plan is priced at $100 a month for a single line and an extra $40 per month for each additional line, with maximum of four. For customers with four lines, AT&T charges $180, including a $40 credit that takes effect after two months, meaning that users will pay $220 for the first two months. Business customers will also be able to sign up, and take advantage of a deeper corporate discount.

The plan includes unlimited calls between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and unlimited texts to more than 120 countries. Customers will also be able to add AT&T’s Roam North America feature for no additional charge, allowing them to use voice, text and data while in Canada and Mexico.

But there are some important caveats. For example, AT&T said that it has the right to throttle down network speeds after the first 22 GB of data are consumed. The plan also does not include hotspot data, something that is included in each of its competitors’ plans.

The plan also comes with something called AT&T Stream Saver activated by default. The setting limits video resolution to below HD, so many users…

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