AT&T announced that its customers can choose from two tiered data plans on the company's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network starting at $15 per month while noting existing smartphone customers do not have to make changes to their data plan. The DataPlus and DataPro plans include access to AT&T's national WiFi network of more than 29,000 hotspots, the company said.
The DataPlus plan provides 200MB of data for $15 per month, and an additional 200MB of data usage is $15. The DataPro plan provides 2GB of data for $25 per month. An additional 1GB of data is $10. Customers who want to use their device as a mobile hotspot can sign up for DataPro 4GB for $45 a month, which lets users tether or share a data connection across multiple devices.
In addition, AT&T continued to expand its 4G LTE footprint. The four markets launching Nov. 6 join Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, which were launched in September. AT&T provides 4G service using both HSPA+ and LTE. HSPA+, when combined with enhanced backhaul, provides customers with 4G speeds, meaning customers get a faster and more consistent 4G experience, even when outside of an AT&T LTE area.
Consumers are increasingly relying on AT&T WiFi to connect in more places from more devices, which the company recommends to save on data usage in their wireless data plans. Users made 301.9 million AT&T WiFi connections-more than 37 connections every second. Connections nearly tripled in the third quarter (up more than 282 percent) versus connections made in the third quarter 2010. Users now make 100 million AT&T WiFi connections per month, and WiFi connections in a single month now exceed the total connections made in all of 2009 and are five times the total connections made in 2008.
Data carried on the company's WiFi network more than doubled versus the third-quarter 2010. The number of WiFi Hot Spots at hotels has quadrupled this year alone, and hotel locations account for about 40 percent of the company's total WiFi network traffic, driven by business travelers and longer connection times during guests' stay.
"The accelerating growth in connections and usage on our WiFi network shows what we've known all along: Customers want to connect wherever they are, from any device, in a fast, reliable and convenient way," said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president of AT&T WiFi services. "Consumers and businesses understand the numerous benefits in using and offering WiFi in more places. By investing in our network and expanding our WiFi footprint, we will continue to be the leader in WiFi services."
The company also announced two new Android smartphones, the first to be 4G LTE-capable. The HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket will arrive in AT&T company-owned stores and online Nov. 6, as 4G LTE service launches in Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Athens, Ga. The company said it plans to reach 15 markets and 70 million Americans by the end of the year.