Thursday, February 03, 2011

AT&T To Launch Mobile Hotspot App For Tethering, 4Gbs For $45/Mo

I've seen a few erroneous reports about the newest tethering offer from AT&T so I thought I'd try to clear a few things up.

Yesterday AT&T announced the new AT&T Mobile Hotspot application. A new app that will allow select smartphone customers to connect (tether) multiple devices from their smartphone – via Wi-Fi. The feature will launch February 13, beginning with the in-store launch of the HTC Inspire 4G. Customers will have to bundle the AT&T Data Pro plan at $25/mo for 2Gbs with an additional $20/mo AT&T Mobile Hotspot plan for a total of 4GB for $45 per month.

This is where most sites are making their errors. AT&T is not adding 2Gbs to the $25/mo plan for free! They are essentially bundling two plans for those of you that want to use the new Mobile Hotspot app.

AT&T has not specifically mentioned the iPhone in this plan, in fact most reports are suggesting that the iPhone will not initially be part of the new plan and it appears as though those users will still be limited to the $45/mo 2Gb plan they have now.

Part of the press release is a bit confusing and here is why: AT&T says they will automatically add the additional 2GB of monthly data usage to smartphone customers already on a tethering plan – at no extra charge. Then they add customers will incur the same $20 monthly fee they’re accustomed to paying. Well checking the AT&T site I see no such $20/mo tethering plan. All I see are two options for a $45/mo 2Gb plan. So I'm assuming they are adding the extra 2GB of data each month to those plans and someone at AT&T mistakenly mentioned a $20/mo plan, or perhaps this is for older 'grandfathered' plans? With AT&T you just don't know

At&t was nice enough to respond to my Facebook inquiry. So basically if I understand this correctly, they are just adding two more Gbs to their $45 plan and the other information is some kind of marketing hype? I'm not really sure since their response made about as much sense as the PR.

AT&T Hey Richard -- It's magic! No, just kidding. We appreciate your feedback and hope to help clear up your question. Adding 2GB to those already on a tethering plan is new for us, it isn't a new plan, we're just throwing in a few extra GBs at no extra charge -- that will start Feb. 13th. Think you're getting $45 as a result of a combination package -- $20 for the tethering plan plus $25 for the DataPro smartphone data plan.

Here is the break down from the press release:

AT&T Mobile Hotspot details include:
  • Connectivity for multiple wireless devices to AT&T’s mobile broadband network
  • 2 GB of data usage for $20 a month, bundled with AT&T’s Data Pro plan ($25 / 2GB)
  • The combined AT&T Data Pro plus AT&T Mobile Hotspot will provide 4GB for $45 per month
  • 4GB applies to collective use among all devices
  • Overage fee of $10 per gigabyte

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