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- The Good
- Unlimited data plans
- BOGO deals on new devices with some restrictions
- Plans as low as $40/per line with unlimited data
- Throttling only starts after using 22GB of data in a month
- The Bad
- #2 in network coverage
- Plans require a 24-month contract
- Credit check required
AT&T Mobile has brought back unlimited data in a whole new way. Instead of small data allowances and expensive overages, you can stream without worrying about data limits. Plus, you also get unlimited talk and text, all for a single, low monthly payment. If you don’t need unlimited, you can choose a data share package and help keep your monthly payments even lower.
- Family Plan
- $30/month per line
AT&T offers two unlimited plans, Unlimited Choice ($60/month) and Unlimited Plus ($90/month). The difference between these two plans is substantial. With the Plus upgrade, you get HD streaming, instead of standard definition, included HBO and 10GB hotspot access each month. That’s a fairly big improvement over the basic Choice plan. Both plans are priced competitively, though neither includes a phone subsidy, so you will need to add on the cost of a device.
- Coverage Area
- #2 in coverage
In four out of five categories, AT&T ranked second out of all wireless networks, performing just under industry leader Verizon Wireless. Sprint just edged out AT&T for the No. 2 spot in call category but held a solid lead in reliability, speed and data, while tying for second in texting. As AT&T continues to expand its LTE service into rural areas, it may even challenge for the top spot in future years. (Here’s RootMetrics coverage map to compare for yourself.)
- High-speed network
- Unlimited data usage
- No overages, ever
- Rollover data
AT&T offers one of the most flexible approaches to data usage on the market. You can choose a plan that has unlimited and only deal with throttled speed after using more than 22GB in a month, or buy a plan with a shared data pool for everyone on the plan. When you share data, you don’t deal with overages. Instead, AT&T throttles all devices back to 128 kbps after reaching the maximum. This gives you the flexibility to use data when you need it and still have access to important functions like email, even when you’ve watched hours of video on your phone.
- Extra Fees
- Early termination fee
- Depends on plan, device and time left on contract
- Activation fees
- $25 or $45
- Upgrade fees
- $25 or $45
Many AT&T plans have no early termination fees. The only time you will be faced with an EFT is when you have a two-year contract and it has not finished when you cancel. However, all EFTs are based on the amount of time you’ve been on the plan, so you will see the cost to cancel reduce as you get closer to the end of your contract date. There may be specials that allow you to avoid activation or upgrade fees entirely, so be sure to ask about them when purchasing a new device. The cost of the device is often the bulk of an EFT.
- International Plans
- Canada and Mexico
- Included in the cost of an Unlimited plan
- International Plan
- 30 days of International service for $40
- Daily Pass
- $10 per day, use your plan's talk, text and data
AT&T mobile offers inexpensive options for using your phone all around the world. You can pay by the day to have access to all of your normal features, or just pay for the Passport and enjoy a month of international service. If you won’t be gone long, you can stick with a daily pass. For longer trips, there’s always the passport.
AT&T Wireless: User Reviews
AT&T Mobile offers one of the most reliable wireless networks in the United States. This telecom giant works with major media partners like DirecTV to give you discounted access to thousands of shows and unlimited data to stream them to your device.
You can get talk, text and wireless service on your device, all at a reasonable price point. AT&T offers a range of communications services, including wireless service. Its mobile plans are some of the most flexible on the market, though not always the lowest price. Of course, with their second-place score, they also don’t hit the top of the market in pricing. Instead, AT&T offers a comprehensive service at a middle-market price.
How Does AT&T Work?
To get started, you will need to either own or buy a compatible device. Not all phones work with all providers. If you intend to switch to AT&T service using your existing phone, be sure to ask about any issues that might prevent you from porting your device. If you need to buy a new device, be prepared for a credit check and a monthly fee for the device. AT&T plans do not offer subsidized phones.
What Makes AT&T Stand Out?
When second place comes with a substantial discount, it’s not a bad deal. With AT&T, you get the second most reliable network and one of the best data networks, all at a reasonable price tag. Plus, with AT&T, it’s all about the customer’s choice. You can sign up for unlimited data or save a few dollars and choose a shared data plan. You can also include a ton of extras. It’s all up to you.
The flexibility to put together the plan that’s right for you, combined with access to some of the newest and best phones on the market, makes AT&T a solid wireless choice for anyone looking for good service without a premium price tag. Plus, AT&T is often ideal for travelers, since it offers very reasonable rates on international usage.
Common Reviews of AT&T
Wireless service is expensive, and billing issues are fairly commonplace, regardless of the carrier. This universally poor experience with billing means that no wireless provider has great online reviews. Some of the most common complaints include early termination fees, unidentified charges, billing errors, etc. The average rating for AT&T is about one and a half stars, but don’t let that turn you off.
None of the top wireless providers make it to an average of two-stars, so remember that people are more likely to complain when something is wrong than post a positive review when everything goes right.
Can I Get Deals on AT&T Mobile’s Site?
If you’re thinking about switching to AT&T, you should always check out the website first. They sometimes offer deals on devices that you won’t find in stores. You might also see more information about plans that don’t get much mention at retail locations.
The website contains information about every plan available, not just the ones most marketed at the moment. You can take a look at all of the information before you make a decision, even if you choose to finalize the sale at a store. After all, you might need a phone today, not next week, but knowing what’s available can help you get the best deal on your plan and device.