AT&T is eliminating most of the company's traditional voice minutes, SMS and data plans, and instead will be requiring that all customers sign up for one of the company's Mobile Share plans. Introduced in July of 2012
, AT&T's Mobile Share plans offer unlimited voice and SMS, but required that users sign up for an allotment of data and pay a per device connection fee. Verizon, who introduced their own Share Everything data plan one month earlier
, required new users sign up for the plan since introduction.
In a blog post
, AT&T insists that the "streamlining" and "simplification" of the available options is in response to consumer demand.
"Our customers have expressed an overwhelming preference for simplified options that allow them to share data across multiple devices," said the company. "New customers will have the choice of any of our Mobile Share plans, which start as low as $50 a month for a basic phone or $70 a month for a smartphone – both of which include unlimited talk and text and 300MB of data that can be shared."
AT&T proceeds to claim that "in 95 percent of the new customer scenarios, Mobile Share offers the same or better price with additional value" than their other plans. The company says there's no change for existing customers, though AT&T has been waging a rather quiet war against grandfathered unlimited data users
since even before the plans launched. The company will still offer a $40, 450 minute voice plan for feature phone users who don't need data.
The changes officially take effect October 25.