Last week when AT&T announced that new data tethering plans will roll out on February 13th , most people speculated that the news singled the public release of iOS 4.3 which would take advantage of the mobile hotspot feature. Unfortunately, an internal AT&T email, says that the mobile hotspot feature will not be available at the time, which also means that iOS 4.3 will most likely not drop on/before February 13th.
Read the internal AT&T email after the break…
As AT&T introduces HSPA+ devices to the handset portfolio, new smartphone data plan SOC codes are required for these devices. These codes are provisioned to allow our customers to take advantage of the faster data speeds. AT&T is offering these plans at the same price point as the non HSPA+ plans.
Important Note: HSPA+ devices will not support a data experience without an HSPA+ data plan. Anyone who swaps their SIM from a 3G device to an HSPA+ device, must update their smartphone data plan to an HSPA+ plan.
Tethering Plan Changes
Effective February 13, 2011, there will be new tethering plans designed to ensure customers get more usage out of their smartphone tethering plans from bucket size increases.
- New tethering plans for all smartphones (BlackBerry, WP7, iPhone, Android, etc.).
- Formerly $45.00/2GB (shared data) with $10.00/GB overage.
- Currently $45.00/4GB (share data) with $10.00/GB overage.
- Existing smartphone with tethering subscribers will be auto-migrated to the new plan by February 14, 2011.
4G Netbook/Notebook and Dongles
- Formerly $60.00/5GB with $10.00/GB overage.
- Currently $50.00/5GB with $10.00/GB overage.
- Existing 4G dongle base can migrate to the new plan; existing 3G base require 4G dongle for new pricing.
AT&T Mobile Hotspot
AT&T will introduce several devices throughout the year that feature the AT&T Mobile Hotspot. This great product allows customers to create their very own Wi-Fi Hotspot by connecting up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time, all of which share the customer’s data plan bucket. In order to utilize this great functionality, a smartphone data plan with tethering is required.
Smartphone Data Portfolio
Why do I need an HSPA+ data plan code for HSPA+ devices?
These codes are provisioned to allow our customers with HSPA+ devices within HSPA+ markets to take advantage of the faster data speeds.
Are the HSPA+ Smartphone Data Plans more expensive?
No. These plans are being offered to customers for the same great price as the non-HSPA+ plans.
What happens if a customer puts a SIM card into and HSPA+ device, but the Smartphone data plan on the account is not HSPA+?
If a SIM is placed into an HSPA+ device without an HSPA+ smartphone data plan, the customer will not be able to use data services. It is very simple for the customer to update their smartphone data plan via Manage My Account, Calling Customer Care, or visiting a local retail location.
Why is AT&T changing the current tethering plans to include 4GB of data versus 2GB?
With the launch of AT&T Mobile Hotspot, AT&T understands that customers will want/need to use more data. Therefore, to ensure the best possible experience with the service and to allow customers to get more usage out of their smartphone tethering plan, the bucket size has been doubled. It is all about lagniappe.
Do existing customers get the benefit of the increased bucket size on the tethering plans?
Yes. Existing smartphone tethering customers will automatically be migrated to the new plans the week of February 14, 2011. They will receive an SMS alert notifying them of the increased bucket size once they have been migrated.
When the new tethering plans go into effect, how will it affect customers who are in the middle of a billing period?
AT&T will re-rate any bill cycle usage to 4GB from the start of the billing period.
If my customer purchases a device that has AT&T Mobile Hotspot capabilities, how will they be billed if others use their Wi-Fi capability?
All connected devices will share the customer’s smartphone data plan bucket. Ensure your customer is aware of the many different ways to manage data usage:
- Dial *DATA# from the wireless phone.
- Log into the Online Customer Account Management (OLAM) tool.
- Log into the Data Plan Web site to learn more about managing data.
- Access the Data Calculator tool.
Will my iPhone customers have the AT&T Mobile Hotspot capability?
Not at this time.
What exactly happens if my customer exceeds their monthly data plan amount?
When a customer use more data than that included within their plan, they will continue to have access to additional usage based on their plan type, and will be billed an overage per the plan details.