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RIM Welcomes AT&T’s Tiered Data Pricing – Do You?

New plan old plan AT&T AT&T has just made good on their promise to move to usage based pricing for data usage. We have come full circle since carriers used to charge by the megabyte, then went unlimited, and now are going back to charging by the megabyte. I may not like the idea but it seems that is the way the market is going and AT&T is being pretty competitive in terms of pricing.

AT&T’s new announced plans come in at $15/month for 200MB on a DataPlus plan and $25/month for 2GB on a DataPro plan. Both plans start on June 7th and overages for DataPlus are $15 per additional 200MB and $10 for each additional gigabyte on DataPro. They will also throw in tethering for an additional $20 a month and unlimited messaging for a ridiculous $20 a month. AT&T claims that 65% of their users currently use less than 200MB and 98% use less than 2GB.

RIM let us know that they are welcoming this new change since they say it will translate into savings for BlackBerry users. I have not yet seen anything here that says if BlackBerry users will also be able to use these new plans since traditionally AT&T charged $29.99 for personal BlackBerry plans and $44.99 for Enterprise BES compatible plans unlike the regular smartphone plans that were $20-$30.

I am a heavy BlackBerry user and I don’t even come close to 500MB a month even on high months. RIM claims that BlackBerry users on average use about 54MB of compressed/optimized bandwidth which could mean that many BlackBerry AT&T users will be able to cut their plans in half! For me that would cut my bill from $44.99 a month to $25 a month!

Jim Balsillie, RIM’s Co-CEO had the following to say about AT&T’s change:

“AT&T’s strategic pricing move is great news for BlackBerry smartphone customers,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “We envision a day when all mobile phones are smartphones and we believe AT&T’s new service plans, together with RIM’s leading portfolio of BlackBerry products and services, will help attract a much broader range of consumers.”

So anybody else excited about these new plans? I just hope AT&T does not have any hidden gotchas that don’t let BES users take advantage of these new plans.

12 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Oh no, with my tethering I am in that 2% tier that goes over 2 GB…way over 2 GB by 20+GB that is.
    I hope I can keep my plan the way it is right now.

  2. This is the end my friends. As soon as one company drops unlimited data, they all will. The progress of the last 5 years is being undone.

  3. It seems cheaper for overages (which most people don’t have anyways because they don’t exceed 5gb anyways), but yeah this is just a stepping stone for these plans ending up being more expensive for data use overall…

  4. I really need to know what will happen with AT&T’s BlackBerry data pricing, ASAP. I also need to know when/if BlackBerry will have a Slider phone, and the specs on that. I have to make a decision on what new phone to get, since I broke a few keys on my BlackBerry Bold, a week ago, rendering it unusable, and am currently using…wait for it…my wife’s old [slow] 1G iPhone (she has an iPhone 3GS now; the phone was idle).

    My choices will be the BlackBerry Slider, possibly going to Verizon for the Droid Incredible, possibly going to Sprint for the 4G Evo. I would prefer the BlackBerry Slider, but when will the veil of secrecy be lifted? I need to know, now!

  5. Nobody can tell you that Michael.

    Personally I think these new plans are bad news for consumers. We know more and more services are moving to data (voip, tv, music, etc). Carriers can’t wait to be able to charge us more and more.

  6. I have no idea about you guys…. but i listen to pandora and sirisxm radio plus do several high bandwidth things. Last month, I used over 1GB. Part of that though is when i am at home, i use the wifi. So it is probably higher.

  7. It’s a horrible sign of things to come. If this becomes an industry-wide practice, I hope RIM comes up with some way to throttle data usage in the OS. I have IM+, Twitter, and a few other apps that run continuously in the background and I certainly would like to know, over the course of a month, when I am going over my plan.

    Interesting way AT&T has structured their plan– on the Pro data plan, it looks like if you even go 1 mb over the 2gb, they are going to round up to 1 gb and hit you with the $10 surcharge!

    I feel bad for iPhone users, their apps are chatty, even their games with the whole OpenFeint and Facebook integration points. =)

  8. Welcome to Europe! Now all you need to add is exorbitant roaming charges when travelling between states (normal charges x20, with 0 ‘included’ by default should do the trick) and you have a perfect mirror image of the expensiveness that is smartphone use over here.

  9. Although us “older” users will be grandfathered in, bet you will pay full price for a new phone or agree to their data usage plans.

    • for the time being at least, if you upgrade and you have a grandfathered plan you will still keep the grandfathered pla. Only if you switch to one of the newer plans will you not be able to go back to the unlimited. So, if you have the unlimited, do not switch it. If you dont use Pandora or Slacker or SiriusXM or any app that streams save yourself some money. Us blackberry users are lucky that our phones are excellent at conserving data. Unfortunately iPhone, Windows and Android users wont be so lucky

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