AT&T: Only one iPhone 3G data plan; speeds ‘much faster’ [updated] | iLounge News

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AT&T: Only one iPhone 3G data plan; speeds ‘much faster’ [updated]

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
News Categories: iPhone

Following reader comments and questions, iLounge contacted AT&T to clarify ambiguous details on iPhone 3G service plans, which will be offered starting on July 11. We asked AT&T to clarify its stance on text messaging, which presently is included in AT&T’s $20 EDGE data plans for first-generation iPhones, but is not listed as an included feature in its $30 3G data service plan for iPhone 3G. Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media Relations with AT&T Mobility said only that the company would “discuss details of data pricing, including text messaging, closer to launch.” When asked if iPhone 3G users, such as those living outside 3G coverage areas, would be able to sign up for the prior EDGE-only data plan instead, Siegel told iLounge that “[t]here is one price for the data component,” suggesting that the $30 a month data charge will apply to all iPhone 3G users regardless of the available service in their immediate area. When asked about Apple’s claim that performance of the 3G iPhone would be roughly 3 times current EDGE speeds—significantly slower than the 3G network’s capabilities—Siegel also told us that “depending on the situation, the [3G] download speeds can be much faster than mentioned by Apple. I think they were simply being careful in what they said and not overstating a claim.” We will continue to track reader inquiries on these topics and follow up with AT&T leading up to the iPhone 3G launch.

Update: Asked if new AT&T customers will need to go through an in-store signup process, and if existing iPhone customers will need to go through the same process, Siegel responded simply: “Activation is in-store.”

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Comments

1

So if you buy an old iPhone on eBay and try to activate on AT&T are they going to charge $30?  Like others have said 3G is not as widespread as everyone seems to think (outside of major metropolitan areas that is).  So you are paying more for data but you might not really be even getting 3G connection all the time anyway.  I always thought the unlimited data charge for the iPhone was pretty reasonable and I guess this just confirms it.  Once again a good reason to just stick with my current iPhone and take advantage of the new software update only.

Posted by TosaDeac on June 10, 2008 at 8:41 AM (PDT)

2

Perfect analysis, TosaDeac. I couldn’t agree more.

Requiring in-store activation is absurd. I know there were some issues with activating at home with the original iPhone, but mine occurred seamlessly.

July 11th is going to be downright nightmarish in AT&T stores.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 10, 2008 at 11:54 AM (PDT)

3

And what’s up with corporate discounts? Are they being revived for iPhone plans?

Posted by CydeWeyz on June 10, 2008 at 12:19 PM (PDT)

4

I agree with what TosaDeac said, but I would add one more point.

ATT priced the iPhone data plan based on the amount of data they anticipated the iPhone owners would use.  It turns out that the iPhone is so easy to use that people are consuming lots of bandwidth.  Once the 3rd party applications are out, people will be sucking even more bandwidth and the $20 plan might be a money loser for ATT.

Still, I hope I can keep my $20 plan when I transfer my old iPhone to my wife. 

As far as the data plan for my new iPhone 3g, I know that I’ll get my money’s worth.  I’ll be watching TV shows, streaming music, reading e-mail and browsing the web like crazy.  I bet I’ll use a gigabyte per month.

Posted by Neil on June 10, 2008 at 12:43 PM (PDT)

5

if activation is in store.. how is the iphone going to be sold from apple.com? or will it?

Posted by kyle on June 10, 2008 at 2:19 PM (PDT)

6

Here’s what I know.

1. To answer Kyle, no the iPhone will not be sold online, AT&T or Apple.com (for now)
2. To answer CydeWeyz, AT&T is still evaluating FAN discounts (Corporate) we’ll find out closer to launch if they will be available. (They better!)
3. Text messaging is NOT included.  This is per AT&T mobility chief Ralph De La Vega. They will charge everyone the normal AT&T rates for text messaging. Starting at $5 for 200 texts, $15 for 1500 texts and $20 for unlimited texts.

Posted by MichelleG on June 10, 2008 at 4:37 PM (PDT)

7

Any extra charge for GPS??

Posted by MaverickC17 on June 10, 2008 at 4:54 PM (PDT)

8

I talked to an AT&T representative today. She said that text messages would be included in the plan but that it was still up in the air as far as how many would be included so that’s why it doesn’t appear yet.

Posted by Surya on June 10, 2008 at 4:56 PM (PDT)

9

if i’m selling my old iPhone to a friend, how does that work?

Posted by luke Lucas on June 10, 2008 at 10:24 PM (PDT)

10

How do they discern the difference between a business plan and normal consumer?  My plan is through my company, with no discounts, but the iPhone is not supported for corporate messaging currently with my company.  I don’t want to be charged $45 for the data plan when I’m not even getting e-mail!  Will I have to switch to a regular consumer plan?  I guess if I get the discount it may offset, but I gave up my discount when I switched to the iPhone a year ago.

Posted by Jamie on June 11, 2008 at 6:19 AM (PDT)

11

instore activation has NOTHING to do with tech issues. it is all about the not so tiny detail of folks buying the phone, unlocking it and either using it in the US on an alt network or taking it out of the country. now that they have retail and service deals going up overseas they have to do what they can to protect those markets as well as protecting ATTs market here. by making you sign the contract before you get the phone (which is not so different than buying a cell phone, especially when they are going to rebate the cost to you so you get it dirt cheap or free) they can do this. or at least claim that they are actually doing something and not just going ‘oh well, **it happens”

Posted by charlituna on June 11, 2008 at 2:18 PM (PDT)

12

Right now I pay $20/mth for unlimited data transfer (email, browsing, etc.) and get 200 text messages with that, which is more than enough for me.  I have a plan that I pay about $40 for where I get 450 minutes, 5000 night and weekend, and unlimited talk to anyone else with AT&T.  It also has rollover so if I don’t use those minutes up (which I normally don’t since most people I know actually have AT&T) I get even more extra saved up for those times when I do have to make out-of-network calls.

From what I’ve read thus far, an extra $10/mth for 3G unlimited data service is not going to break the bank for me.  In addition, I get twice the speed?  Yes please!  I find that well worth the extra expenditure and personally I find my iPhone to be the single most useful device I own besides my computer!  I frequently use many of the features and that in a way pays for itself in peace of mind, the ability to know where I am and locate new places, and the sheer convenience of all of it wrapped up in a single piece of beautiful electronics to carry around with me.

I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more things included as “upgrades” but am excited about the supposedly improved audio quality and can hardly wait for the iPhone 2.0 software upgrade even though most people who’ve jailbroken their iPhones are enjoying the fantastic perks of third-party software already.  Still, the price drop was incredible and I’m hopeful that even more people will have access to this amazing piece of technology.

Posted by skadiwolf on June 12, 2008 at 4:16 PM (PDT)

13

A few notes…

Requiring in-store (Apple Store) activation, while a nuisance, isn’t unusual.  I bought a RAZR at BestBuy and they activated it.  I imagine Apple Stores will have AT&T reps inside, especially during the week of July 11th.

Next, when I upgraded to my iPhone a year ago, I *lost* my 1,000+ rollover minutes.  The fine print in AT&T’s terms says this is standard procedure.  I’ve been with AT&T since it was AT&T Wireless, then Cingular, then AT&T again.  But by being a loyal customer and renewing, I lost my rollover minutes and sure enough, went over my minutes the first month.  So beware.

Finally, re text messaging, this might be the deal breaker for me.  I can understand a price hike, but to pay 50% more each month AND GET LESS?  AT&T probably thought they could get away with it, but they will have to include 200 SMS in the $30 3G plan, and the longer they wait to announce, the worse they look.

Posted by MacToddB on June 15, 2008 at 8:15 PM (PDT)

14

AT&T currently charges 30.00 per month for unlimited data on all PDA/Smartphones. Text is additional…5.00 for 200, 15.00 for 1500 and 20.00 for unlimited. I really don’t see them making an exception for one phone now that the revenue sharing agreement between AT&T and Apple is no longer in place. AT&T can charge whatever they want for their data plan and text messaging. Im guessing there will be no difference in the monthly price if you have an Iphone or a Blackberry.

Posted by NinoBrown on June 15, 2008 at 10:56 PM (PDT)

15

the way they are slowly letting the air out of the balloon is kind of frightening.  I mean every week or so there are more ** marks.  I recently read that a data plan would be required.  What i don’t understand about that is why the data is required. It’s not required on any other phone that’s subsidized.  ATT is really trying to rake people across the coals with these plans. 

I was thinking of switching from sprint, but my unlimited everything (navigation, text, internet, tv, minutes etc) for 60-70 bucks is looking like a steal. Too bad.

Posted by toddler on June 17, 2008 at 5:57 PM (PDT)

16

I think $30 data plan with the Iphone is reasonable. I’ve been thinking of Iphone for couple of months now but did not like the total price for everything, including the date plan.  Well, I been trying a Nokia with Wifi and through my own ignorance, ended up using $70 of date piece meal in just a week. The date adds up quickly if you use it this way, and I’ve read some pretty awful horror stories.  Now I’m thinking that a $30 data plan may not be such a bad idea.

Posted by bav on July 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

17

2 month ago, I upgrade my two lines with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. I activate 3gs with $30 data/Month. and 3G no data. Next day I removed sim from 3GS and put in 2G phone and activate. Now I am paying $20 data+200sms/Month. And no data charge for second line 3G.

Posted by James Bond on September 29, 2009 at 9:59 PM (PDT)

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