Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

Contributor

Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

[ Edited ]

My current family plan hovers around $240+/month for four phones, two of which have unlimited data. I understand that at&t no longer offers unlimited data plans. The two phones with unlimited data typically use between 10-15 GB/month and although it is possible for us to cut back, I assume that if I were to switch away from unlimited data I would never go back. Given this, would it make sense for us to make the switch?

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ACE - Expert
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Accepted by beckyww (Administrator)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?


greenwaycourt wrote:

My current family plan hovers around $240+/month for four phones, two of which have unlimited data. I understand that at&t no longer offers unlimited data plans. The two phones with unlimited data typically use between 10-15 GB/month and although it is possible for us to cut back, I assume that if I were to switch away from unlimited data I would never go back. Given this, would it make sense for us to make the switch?


You need to do the math and also decide whether you can cut back enough. Also make sure to include prices of phones when doing your calculations. Assuming you buy your own devices your monthly bill will be (before taxes and fees) $160 for 10GB, $190 for 15GB, $210 for 20GB. The next one up will be $285 for 30GB and so not interesting to you. If the four phones can stay under 20GB combined it might make sense for you to switch.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Mentor

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

Maybe you should prove to yourself that you can cut back the data usage for your four phones to below 10GB per month before you switch plans.  The $160 plan only includes 10GB shared between the four phones.  You can add another 5GB of shared data for $30 per month.  And once you commit, you will never be able to return to the unlimited data plans.

 

Also be aware that any phone you purchase in future should be by buying it outright or using the next plan.  If for example you were to upgrade to the 16GB iphone 5S, you would pay $199 plus a $36 activation/upgrade fee plus $25 more each month for two years.  For a total of $835 when you would pay $649 when using the either next plans.

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Contributor

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

Thanks for your responses. A couple of questions: 

 

What is the "next plan" you reference above that causes the $25 extra each month for two years? 

 

Also, these "unlimited data" plans which are not offered anymore - are they highly treasured such that no one really wants to let go of them, regardless of any new deals?

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ACE - Expert
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Accepted by beckyww (Administrator)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

If your phone line is out of contract, you get the line charge of $15 per month. If you get a subsidized phone, the line charge goes up to $40 per month. The next plan does not cause a new contract so the line charge stays at $15/month, but you pay full price for phone over 18 months.
Unlimited internet is only highly treasured if you use less than GB/month. After that you get slowed to a point that you almost can't use the internet. With the other plans, you get full speed but you pay if you go over your allotted data.
This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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ACE - Expert

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

[ Edited ]

greenwaycourt wrote:

Thanks for your responses. A couple of questions: 

 

What is the "next plan" you reference above that causes the $25 extra each month for two years? 

 

Also, these "unlimited data" plans which are not offered anymore - are they highly treasured such that no one really wants to let go of them, regardless of any new deals?


AT&T Next is basically an interest-free loan for you to buy a phone. Can be paid back over 18 or 26 months (and can be paid in full at any point in between), and allows buying a new phone prior to the full term, but then you have to return the old phone. AT&T Next does not cause the $25 extra, you still pay $15/line and also whatever 1/18 or 1/26 of the full phone price per month.

 

The unlimited data plans are throttled after 5GB/month, you don't get the same high speed as before. Also, they don't allow tethering, so that data can't be shared between devices. With Mobile Share plans you can use your phone to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices (Bluetooth & USB sharing also work).

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Explorer
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Accepted by beckyww (Administrator)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

[ Edited ]

Hello.

We will tackle the next program first this program works like an interest-free loan paid over either 20 months or 26 months while you can upgrade the device either after 12 months or after 18 months.  If you do this the per line charge would stay $15 each month.  You would also have the cost of the device divided into either 20 or 26 equal payments.



On the other han if you go with the traditional two-year contract anytime in the future the line that goes on contract the line fee would go from $15 a month to $40 a month and increase of $25 for the full two years or 24 months.  The cost of the phone does not matter.  After two years your per line fee would go back to the original $15 a month.

 

Should you or should you notswitch from unlimited data to these new shared plans ?  Considering the fact that the original unlimited data plans only really truly gave you 5 GB each you could compare the 20 GB data bucket.  However one thing that has not been mentioned here is each extra gigabyte

 

cost 15 extra. dollars..  . So if most of the time. you can get by. with 10 G. and only every so often. use 11. G. it would only cost you. $170.   Before tax and fees. as opposed to paying. 30 extra dollar. for five more gigabyte.  I'm assuming that something similar. would be true. with the 15 gigabyte plan.  So if you. use 16 G.or less. it would be less costly.   To sign up for the 15 GB plan .   An pay.  An extra $1 for an extra gigabyte of data .

 


I hope this helps. 

Message 7 of 8 (3,365 Views)
Scholar

Re: Should I switch to the $160/four phones plan if I currently have unlimited data?

As others have pointed out, your decision pretty much depends on the following:

 

1) If you find that you NEED to use close to 5 GB/month (3 GB if not using an LTE smartphone) regularly--you can see your monthly data usage history via OLAM--and you have multiple lines on your account, then your best bet is to stay on your currently plan.

 

2) If you see yourself regularly taking advantage of upgrading to a new phone under the subsidized pricing deal, you may want to stay on your current plan since you would not be "penalized" by having your per-line monthly cost get increased by $25/month had you done so under an MSV 10 GB or higher plan ($15 more if you're on an 8 GB or lower MSV plan).  Or to put it another way--under your old plan your monthly bill will not increase dramatically at all simply because you upgraded at the subsidized phone price, assuming that nothing else on your bill changes.  Under the new MSV plans, your monthly bill will go up if you elect to purchase a phone under either Next or pay subsidized phone pricing.

 

For those folks who think that Next is a ripoff, consider this--if your on a MSV plan, then Next is the better way to go vs. paying an extra $15 or $25/month for electing to pay subsidized pricing if/when you see yourself wanting to get a new phone...but Next may not absolutely be the best deal when compared to paying subsidized pricing under an non-MSV grandfathered (e.g., Family Talk) plan.  Bottom line--you have to ask yourself what features you do or don't need (fixed-price unlimited data, unlimited text/minutes, tethering), if you regularly upgrade your phone...then factor those points into your financial calculations to determine which plan costs you less per month.

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