In an apparent move to compete with the company it couldn’t buy, AT&T is rolling out no-annual-contract plans. T-Mobile was the first of the big four wireless carriers to push the envelope in the smartphone contract world and has seen enough success to spur competitors to consider the move.
AT&T’s new Mobile Share Value plans promise to make it easier for customers to share data and save money on the carrier’s 4G LTE network. Beginning Dec. 8, new and existing wireless consumer and business customers will have the option to choose from what the company is calling Mobile Share Value plans.
“With our new Mobile Share Value Plans, customers don’t have to compromise,” said David Christopher, chief officer for AT&T Mobility, in a not-so-subtle jab against T-Mobile’s less robust 4G LTE network.
Four Ways to Save
Here are the details of AT&T’s "No Annual Service Contract": Smartphone customers can save $15 a month on Mobile Share Value plans. Customers can receive these monthly savings under four circumstances: (1) when they get new smartphones with no down payments with AT&T Next; (2) when they bring their own smartphones; (3) when they purchase smartphones at full retail price; or (4) when their smartphones are no longer under contract and they switch to the new plans.
AT&T said all Mobile Share Value plan customers get shared data plus unlimited talk and text on their phones. Consumers can connect up to 10 devices, including tablets and other wireless devices. Business customers can connect up to 10, 15, 20 or 25 devices, depending on the plan.
In dollars and cents, that means smartphone customers can now get unlimited talk and text plus 300MB of data for $45 a month. Qualifying smartphones can be added to any Mobile Share Value plan for $25 more a month per phone. Tablets can be added for $10 more per device.
Expect Competitors to Follow
We caught up with Jeff Kagan, a telecom analyst in Atlanta, to get his take on AT&T’s new plans. He told us this is more evidence of how the wireless marketplace continues evolving.
“Increasingly customers are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce costs. We are seeing many ideas enter the marketplace,” Kagan said. “This is one of them.”
Kagan is heading to the AT&T industry analyst briefing next week. He said he’s quite sure the company will talk about this trend during the meeting.
“This Mobile Share Value is part of an ongoing effort by AT&T to provide a wider array of payment options. It separates the cost of the phone from the service plan. This is good news for the . It gives choice. Customers no longer have to play by one set of rules. There are many sets of rules that are available to every customer,” Kagan said. “This kind of thinking should be very successful and because of that should also be rolled out among a wider array of competitors.”
Posted: 2013-12-06 @ 10:32am PT
Well, now that they've already lost millions of people because they kept having to pay the contract subsidy after their contract was over, I thing the board of directors should fire the people that took so long to implement this. I dumped 5 iphones to get T mobile's pricing. It's too late guys