AT&T really doesn’t want customers with the grandfathered unlimited data plan that came with the first iPhone to hold on to that deal. The plan was bumped up to US$35 a month about a year ago, and come March 2017 it’ll jump up to $40 a month.
AT&T started notifying subscribers of the rate increase this month, and the company confirmed with DSLReports that the change is on the way.
AT&T offered unlimited data with iPhones from 2007 until 2010, and then started aggressively pushing capped data plans with other features like smartphone tethering. The carrier made it clear it wants subscribers to give up their unlimited plans saying,
Our Mobile Share Advantage plans and our AT&T Unlimited Plan provide several benefits that our legacy unlimited plan doesn’t. If you have a legacy unlimited data plan, you can keep it; however, beginning in March 2017, it will increase by $5 per month.
AT&T was aggressively throttling usage for unlimited plan subscribers, but scaled back on that some after taking heat from the FCC and FTC. Since the company can’t take away those unlimited data plans, it has to find incentives to push customers into willingly giving them up. Cutting wireless data speeds was one way, and raising monthly rates is another.
If you’re still using a legacy unlimited data plan this pending rate increase probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, nor will the rate hikes that are sure to follow it. The bottom line is AT&T really wants you to ditch that unlimited data plan.