AT&T’s New Mobile Share Advantage Plan Costs Compared

| Analysis
mobileshare Advantage vs. MobileShare Value

With Mobile Share Advantage the base price goes down and the per-device fee goes up substantially.

On Sunday AT&T rolled out their new Mobile Share Advantage Plans and, along with them, their online comparison tool that shows you just what the new plans will cost you. Digging in this morning it’s pretty evident that only a handful of people currently on Mobile Share Value plans will actually save money with these new plans. Based on our math, that would be:

  • Families/groups who are routinely going over their existing data caps. The new Mobile Share Advantage plans eliminate overage charges and instead just throttle your speed when you hit the limit.
  • Families/groups of not more (or less) than two people. The base Mobile Share Advantage plans cost less, but the per device charges are more.

Don’t Change to Mobile Share Advantage Unless You Need More Data.

If you’re not in one of those categories, you’ll likely see your fees increase if you change plans. Good news, if you’re happy with what you have you can keep it for a good, long while as long as you don’t change your plan. Some of the changes:

  • Basic Plan costs tend to go down while adding data. My “old” 15GB Mobile Share Value plan has a base price of $100. The new 16GB Mobile Share Advantage plan has a base price of $90.
  • Per device fees go up by as much as 33%. My “old” plan charges me $15 per smartphone. The new plan would charge me $20. If I only had two devices, my cost would be the same if I moved to the new plan with the $10 device increase being offset by the $10 plan decrease. More than two and my cost goes up by $5 per month per additional device.
att-mobileshare-advantage-top-level-comparison

A 15% discount actually becomes less valuable because its only applied to the base plan.

There’s no harm or commitment involved in going to see exactly what your scenarios would look like. Just visit AT&T > Wireless > Change My Plan and you should get to the same screens that I’ve posted above. You can move things around and experiment with your options without any issue. Just don’t click “Select this Plan” unless you’re sure you want to change. As I indicated earlier, once you change away from your Mobile Share Value plan, you cannot go back.

As an aside, you can see from the screenshots that AT&T gives me a 15% discount on my plan. That’s because I’m a FoundersCard Member and the 15% discount is (currently) enough to offset my annual FC membership fee. If you’re an AT&T subscriber it’s worth checking out.

8 Comments Add a comment

  1. brett_x

    I was excited when I saw that the new 10Gb+ plans seem to include roaming to Canada. But on further inspection, they only include Talk and Text from Canada. They do, however, now include data roaming to Mexico… just not to Canada.
    The only way to get data in Canada (still) is to add a $40 passport option for 30 days of access. Per phone. And that 30 days has to be within one billing cycle.
    Contrast that with the GoPhone plans, the $60/month plan includes talk, text and data roaming to Canada and Mexico.
    Also, Verizon charges $2 /day per phone to use your current plan in Canada.. so you can pay for only what you need.

    I called to point this out to them as we have a trip to Canada, and they comp’d us a data plan for my wife’s and my phone. But, of course, this was through their retention department. So.. you know.. you have to spend some time on the phone.

    I’ve been with AT&T for 15 years, mostly because they’ve been competitive. But this time might be the last time we travel to Canada with AT&T phones.

  2. I actually did save money on this deal. I have 2 lines, of which had a low usage, just over 2GB per month (my phone only forwards to my work phone for now and my wife uses her phone with data).

    From this – My plan went from $88 for 5GB to $86 for 6GB OR 3GB for $70. 2GB before was too little, 3GB is just right, especially with no overages! Obviously, I chose the 3GB plan.

  3. Dave Hamilton

    @mobilewiseguy: What went up is the line charge for basic phones on the higher plans, it used to be $15 now it is $20. The Smartphones will stay at $15.

    That’s inconsistent with what AT&T’s web comparison tool indicated to me. Take a look at the first screenshot here. It clearly shows $15 on my existing Mobile Share Value plan and $20 (per smartphone) if I were to move to a Mobile Share Advantage.

  4. We have two children who will connect to our phones’ personal hotspots with various devices at times. I see the “Current Plan” (which is basically what we have) lists “Personal Hotspot”, while the other plan lists “Mobile Hotspot”.

    I’m assuming Mobile Hotspot would mean that I could no longer use the “Personal Hotspot” feature of my iPhone, but would instead need to purchase a separate mobile hotspot device, which would add an extra monthly fee… Is that correct?

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