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AT&T updates its unlimited plans again, now with more data and less free TV

AT&T updates its unlimited plans again, now with more data and less free TV

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Bigger hot spots and less throttling, but less free TV and HBO offers

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

As is practically tradition for major cellphone companies, AT&T is announcing an overhaul of its unlimited plans today, replacing the two plans it previously offered (AT&T Unlimited &More and Unlimited &More Premium) with a trio of new plans that are all similar yet subtly different. Here’s what’s new and how it compares to the company’s now-defunct plans:

  • AT&T Unlimited Starter: Replacing the AT&T Unlimited &More plan as AT&T’s cheapest plan, Unlimited Starter costs just $65 per month for a single line or $35 per month for four lines. It’s AT&T’s most basic “unlimited” service. You’ll get unlimited calls, texts, and data, with the catch that AT&T can throttle you whenever it decides that the network is too congested. Unlike the other plans, there’s no guaranteed pool of data before deprioritizing starts. You’re also limited to SD-quality video, and there’s no option to share your internet by using your phone as a mobile hot spot. You do get unlimited data in Canada and Mexico, though. Unlike the old plan, there’s no longer any free AT&T WatchTV live TV service included.  
  • AT&T Unlimited Extra: At $75 per month for a single line or $40 per line for four lines, Unlimited Extra sits near the price point of the old Unlimited &More plan (which cost $70 per month for a single line and $40 per month for four lines). But its perks are more akin to AT&T’s more premium unlimited options. There’s now a 50GB pool of guaranteed high-speed data before AT&T will deprioritize your internet and up to 15GB of LTE data for mobile hot spots per line. Video is still limited to SD, and there’s no free HBO or AT&T WatchTV included.
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite: AT&T’s priciest plan, which starts at $85 per month for a single line or as low as $50 per month on a family plan of four. It’s most similar to the previous Unlimited &More Premium plan (which cost $80 for a single line or $48 per line on a family plan of four). It offers some improvements over the old plan: there’s now 30GB of mobile hot spot data per line instead of 15GB, and it has a 100GB cap before AT&T will start deprioritizing your data (compared to 22GB before). But there are a few downsides, too: instead of allowing customers to choose between a variety of entertainment options (like Spotify Premium Showtime, Starz, or Cinemax), the new Unlimited Elite plan only offers a free subscription to HBO. Like the other plans, there’s no longer a free AT&T WatchTV service.  

AT&T is also quick to note that any of its US customers who also subscribe to HBO — whether that be through a paid subscription or as a free perk of a current (or “future”) unlimited plan — will also get access to the upcoming HBO Max service (which usually costs $14.99 per month) when it launches in May 2020.

The new AT&T Unlimited Starter and AT&T Unlimited Extra plans are set to launch on November 3rd, while the AT&T Unlimited Elite is listed as “coming soon.”