AT&T: iPhone 5 Upgraders Can Keep their Current Data Plan [Updated]

With the introduction of Apple's new iPhone 5, AT&T customers were left wondering whether or not they could keep their current data plans when upgrading to the new model. The carrier has an answer now, and that's "yes."

AT&T says iPhone 5 upgraders can keep their current data plan"We offer customers the flexibility to keep the iPhone data plans they already have or choose any of our individual or new Mobile Share plans," AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said.

That's good news for current iPhone owners that aren't interested in dropping the data plans they already have, although they will face some limitations. AT&T is allowing FaceTime video conferencing over wireless data connections only for subscribers with Mobile Share plans, and the speed reductions they already experience when hitting data thresholds is still in place, although there's a higher limit for LTE users.

"Unlimited subscriptions are slowed after they reach 5 GB with LTE devices (higher than the same limit for non-LTE devices)," AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom told The Mac Observer. "This is the same policy that's been in place for a while."

The iPhone 5 includes support for LTE fast wireless data networks in areas that offer the service. LTE can, at least in some cases, offer data speeds that rival traditional wired broadband Internet connections.

Apple also increased the Retina Display screen size to 4-inches, replaced the 30-pin dock connector with the just introduced Lightning connector, improved the 8 megapixel camera, improved WiFi compatibility and performance, and more.

The new iPhone model will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 14, and will store shelves on September 21.

[This article has been updated with additional information about AT&T's unlimited data plan policy.]