NEW YORK: AT&T is reducing cellphone rates for family plans with large amounts of data.
The changes represent AT&Tís latest effort to get customers to pay more overall by upgrading from lower-use plans. In some cases, families will actually pay less if they upgrade. That family of four, for instance, already pays $170 monthly for a 4 gigabyte plan and $180 for 6 gigabytes. If they upgrade, they will pay just $160. But for the most part, more data means more revenue for AT&T Inc.
David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&Tís wireless business, said the offer is designed to give families a worry-free experience as they consume more data for video and social networking.
It also could encourage people to add tablets to their accounts, as those consume even more data and would quickly use up allotments in the lower-use plans.
The new rates will also help AT&T wean people off subsidies on new phones. Instead of having people buy phones for $100 or $200 and having the true cost baked in to monthly service fees, AT&T and other carriers have been encouraging customers to pay the full price for phones outright or in installments.
Many people are already doing that, through programs such as AT&Tís Next, even though in many cases, itís actually cheaper for people to use the subsidies for high-end phones as long as they keep their phones for two years or longer. -PTI