AT&T lowered the cost of their mobile share plans — though the savings will mostly come for those already buying a significant bucket of wireless data from AT&T.
According to the AT&T announcement, users won’t pay less for data — but they will pay less per line if users are sharing 10 GB of data or more.
New-to-AT&T customers will either need to sign up for AT&T’s Next program, bring their own unlocked devices, or buy phones at the standard unsubsidized price. You can save hundreds on a shared plan, but joining AT&T Next or buying unsubsidized phones when your contract is up, may cost you more explains ArsTechnica. The closer you are to your contract’s renewal date, the less you’d stand to save by switching.
If you don’t bring your own phone, AT&T’s early-upgrade service Next, tacks on an extra fee to the carrier’s bill. It also requires you have to give up your smartphone to AT&T in order to upgrade to a new one (so you can’t sell it to a third party), which makes Next less of a value proposition. AT&T may be feeling pressure from pre-paid carriers like T-Mobile, offering “Next” in exchange for a 2 year contract.
There’s no change to pricing for Mobile Share customers who are currently sharing data allotments of 8 GB or less each month.