AT&T tweaked its unlimited wireless data plans over the weekend, including adding a video bundle for both traditional pay-TV and OTT offers. The new AT&T unlimited wireless plans now have two categories, Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice.
Starting at $90/month for a single line, or $145/month for multi-line, AT&T’s Unlimited Plus plan includes a $25 monthly credit towards either traditional DIRECTV service, U-verse TV, or their new OTT service, DIRECTV NOW. With this promotion, a DIRECTV NOW subscriber who also subscribes to this unlimited plan can get an unlimited wireless and OTT pay-TV bundle for $100.
AT&T Unlimited Wireless Plans
The new AT&T unlimited wireless plans create two tiers of service, premium and basic unlimited plans. The basic plan, or Unlimited Choice, is priced at $60/month. It includes unlimited data, talk, and text, but limits the maximum broadband speed to 3 Mbps and will only support standard definition video. It also does not include the video bundling described above.
The premium tier, Unlimited Plus, priced at $90/month has no broadband speed limitations, includes HD video streaming, and 10 GB per month for hotspot tethering. It also includes the video bundling promotion.
As is the case with these unlimited plans from most wireless carriers, AT&T included, throttling of speed may kick in when an account surpasses 22 GB of data in a billing cycle. These new plans are scheduled to launch on March 2nd.
Unique Position for AT&T
AT&T had previously offered an unlimited plan for wireless subscribers who also subscribed to DIRECTV. They’ve upped the differentiation ante with this plan by adding a $25 monthly credit. AT&T has a considerable market to tap for its video ambitions, considering they have roughly 75 million (give or take a few million) postpaid wireless subscribers. That’s always been a part of their DIRECTV strategy – leverage their wireless footprint – and it now obviously includes DIRECTV NOW.
Probably even more so for DIRECTV NOW since it’s positioned as a mobile friendly OTT video service, comparable to traditional pay-TV, in that it offers a live linear channel line-up. AT&T has a unique position in the industry as a top three provider of both video and wireless in the U.S., a position no competitor matches (the closest being Verizon, with far few video subs).
“We’re excited to bring our customers the unlimited premium entertainment they want, across all of their screens – at home and on the go,” said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Entertainment Group in a press release. “With our incredible new unlimited plans and great entertainment options for everyone, we’re able to give customers what they’ve been asking for, on their terms.”
This position may not last forever, with cable companies like Comcast and Charter sniffing around the wireless business, including plans to launch an MVNO this year. DISH is also sitting on considerable spectrum assets and talks a good game regarding their own wireless ambitions. And even though they don’t have a pay-TV component, T-Mobile already bundles OTT video services with their wireless plans.