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AT&T Planning to Confuse Customers with 4G LTE Data Tiers?

AT&T tiers

With multiple carriers rolling out LTE 4G networks here in the US many of us are wondering how carriers will manage to screw them up. Verizon is already rolling out their network and so far they have been pretty reasonable. AT&T on the other hand seems to be considering BOTH speed and data tiers for their LTE 4G network when it rolls out later this year.

According to a document that BGR got their hands on AT&T is working on two different types of tiers for their upcoming network. The Data Tier will allow users to add an incremental data bucket boost to their current billing cycle though we have no idea how big the buckets will be. There will also be an odd speed boost which will allow users with lower speeds to access faster speeds for a limited amount of time.

AT&T tiers2

Personally I wish carriers just went with the utility model and charged per gigabyte. Adding multiple tiers and buckets and more just serve to confuse customers. In my ideal world you would purchase a certain number of gigabytes a month from your carrier and be able to use them on any device you choose on your plan. I doubt it would happen since carriers are fighting being “Dumb Pipes” but it is still a dream… What do you think?

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. A Mobile Phone Carrier trying to confuse customers with complicated rate tiers? I’m absolutely surprised! :)

    I’m starting to see the parallels between AT&T and Rogers here in Canada. (Rogers used to be called Rogers AT&T after all).

    Here are some scammy ideas that have been rumoured from Rogers the past few months:

    – Planning on offering customers the great service of unlocking your phone for … $50!!
    – Raising txt message price from 10 cents to 15cents.. you’re basically paying more per txt than for data.
    – a ridiculous Data Priority Service: you pay an extra fee and if their network is congested, YOU get your data first instead of all the others who didn’t pay the extra $10 per month. I’m sure that’ll go over well.
    – creating a lower priced sister company (chatR) to compete with new competitors into the market. my guess is they aim to have ChatR run the competitors out of the market, then conveniently shut down ChatR and force everyone back onto Rogers.

    Ahhh

  2. Its absolutely ridiculous, but they have to make their money some how.

  3. It would be nice to see them just charge per GB. It’s a lot simpler and puts the cost burden where it belongs – data hogs. It might also give people more of a reason to look at Blackberry phones. After all, they do a really good job at minimizing data usage.

  4. It’s pretty hard to compare an ISP to a utility because there really isn’t a comparable usage model. I’ll try to liken it to electricity usage.

    For example, if you moderately use electricity your bills generally run anywhere from $50-$200 depending on usage. Now let’s say you’re running a grow house, and you’re using like $1000s of dollars of electricity, you’re probably going to get dinged for the usage, and have a police car drive by your residence.

  5. Been a while since I last saw the words “plan to confuse” used and usually nothing good follows.

    Since BR already posted an article about the myth that carrier 4G speeds are, I think if I reached the point of having a 4G capable Blackberry and having to decide would I buy a 4G data plan, I’d probably stick with just 3G. As long as I get to keep my unlimited plan of course. I usually have access to wifi, don’t use a whole lot of 3G, so I’m not about to overpay for a 4G plan.

  6. Barrist nailed it right on the head. Anytime AT&T is brought up it feel like you are also talking about rogers. Rogers will end up coming out with something just as stupid as AT&T

  7. Profit maximization :(

  8. Not that I care really since I don’t pay for the service on either BlackBerry I carry. But I DO think they are doing their best to cause uncertainty in the market both for customers AND competitors. Then they will seek a marketing angle where they can try to show their offering as “better” regardless of if it really is or not.

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