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AT&T refreshes its mobile contracts with extra data and free calls to Canada

And Mexico too — it's a continental free-for-all

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AT&T is rolling out a bunch of minor changes to its Mobile Share Value plans this morning, erasing some tiers of data usage and making others better value. The best deal from the shakeup is probably the new $100/month tier, which hops from 10GB of shareable data to 15GB, with AT&T also offering calls and texts to Mexico and Canada at no additional charge with this and other pricier contracts. However, the company is also widening the gap between its low-data and high-data options, presumably in the hope that customers will switch to the more expensive contracts as their smartphones eat up more data.

AT&T looks like it's trying to encourage customers to get pricier contracts

Lower down the ladder, the bottom rung of 300MB of data stays at the same price of $20, while the 1GB and 3GB plans are replaced by a new 2GB for $30 option. The 6GB/$70 contract is also gone in favor of a new 5GB/$50 option, and the 20GB plan gets a small price cut from $150 to $140. All of these Mobile Share Value contracts get rollover data from month to month as well as unlimited international texting. Those plans costing more than $100 a month also receive the new, no-additional-cost calls to Mexico and Canada.

It's worth noting that although there are some small improvements here in terms of getting more gigabytes for your buck, AT&T still penalizes people who want less data by imposing higher access fees and larger overage charges. Anyone paying for 5GB or less of data has to pay $25 for each line rental with AT&T Next, while those going for 15GB or more only have to shell out $15. It's hard out there for people who just want a trickle of data, rather than a flood.