AT&T increases data cap for tethering customers to 4GB

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In a move that is almost certainly a response to Verizon’s data plan offerings for the iPhone, AT&T announced that as of February 13th, it would begin including an extra 2GB of data allowance per month for users who pay for the optional $20 tethering plan on top of the $25 DataPro 2GB plan.

The change allows tethering plan customers to use a total of 4GB per month regardless of which device uses that data.

Previously, AT&T’s data tethering “plan” was really more of a fee to un-cripple the tethering feature most smart phones already have, as AT&T refused to offer any additional data allowance to users paying a premium for the feature.

If you’re an AT&T iPhone owner, you’ve probably noticed that the Internet Tethering area of Settings just tells you to contact AT&T if you aren’t paying for the tethering plan. Once you pay the fee, you’re able to get into that area and turn on tethering, but before February 13th any data you use while tethering still applies to the 2GB cap you paid for with the DataPro plan. After February 13th the additional $20 tethering fee will give you another 2GB of data to use anywhere.

Price per GB

Because AT&T smartphone users are required to pay for the $25 per month “DataPro 2GB” plan before they can opt for the additional $20 tethering plan, tethering users were actually paying $22.50/GB for data simply for the privilege of using it from a laptop or other device instead of the smartphone itself.

Now, AT&T smartphone users who opt to pay for both the $25 DataPro 2GB plan + $20 Tethering 2GB plan, will effectively be paying $11.25 per GB for data with a $10/GB overage rate.

Here’s how the new offerings compare to Verizon’s iPhone plans if you opt for the most expensive options on each carrier:

Verizon AT&T
Smartphone data $30 / unlimited $25 / 2GB
Tethering data +$20 / +2GB +$20 / +2GB
Total data charges $50 $45
Total data allowance Unlimited/2GB tethered 4GB
Overage charges $20/GB $10/GB

Verizon’s tethering only permits 2GB of data (though data used on-phone is unlimited for now), while AT&T’s plan permits 4GB no matter where that data is used. Of couse, if you go over the data cap while tethering, Verizon will hit your pocket book twice as hard, in fact if you were to use 4GB while tethering on Verizon, you’d be hit with $40 in additional charges due to the $20/GB overage rate. On AT&T, using 4GB while tethered would still be within your $45 total data plan charges.

For heavy tethering users, AT&T’s plan is not only cheaper overall but includes more data, while for heavy smartphone data users, Verizon is the clear winner at least until they decide to start capping their dataplan, which we do know is coming at some point.

Full press release below

AT&T Details Pricing, Launch of AT&T Mobile Hotspot App Coming February 13

Application Provides Additional 2GB of Data, Bundled with AT&T Data Pro

DALLAS, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* today announced select smartphone customers will soon be able to connect multiple devices from their smartphone – via Wi-Fi – thanks to the new AT&T Mobile Hotspot application. The feature will first be available February 13, beginning with the in-store launch of the HTC Inspire™ 4G. Bundled with the AT&T Data Pro plan, customers will benefit from a total of 4GB for $45 per month.

In addition, also on February 13th, to bring AT&T’s smartphone tethering plan in line with the AT&T Mobile Hotspot offer, AT&T will automatically add the additional 2GB of monthly data usage to smartphone customers already on a tethering plan – at no extra charge. Customers will incur the same $20 monthly fee they’re accustomed to paying, only now they’ll receive an extra 2GB of data each month.

AT&T Mobile Hotspot details include:

* Connectivity for multiple wireless devices to AT&T’s mobile broadband network
* 2 GB of data usage for $20 a month, bundled with AT&T’s Data Pro plan ($25 / 2GB)
* The combined AT&T Data Pro plus AT&T Mobile Hotspot will provide 4GB for $45 per month
* 4GB applies to collective use among all devices
* Overage fee of $10 per gigabyte

“Our customers want to connect as many devices as possible to the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, which is getting faster with 4G,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

“We want to extend the benefits of an additional 2GB to smartphone customers on our tethering plan. This delivers more value today for the price they’re already paying – and that’s what our customers want.”

Customers will receive a text message from AT&T – as soon as February 13 – once the additional 2GB has been auto-added to their plan.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. Available in limited areas. Availability increasing with ongoing backhaul deployment. Learn more at

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at and as part of an RSS feed at Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT. Find us on Facebook at to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at to discover more about our small business services.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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  • MoTo

    Jailbreak. TetherMe. Done.