It’s not all bad news, though.
Mobile carriers are always changing the pricing and features for its plans, in a never-ending quest to find the perfect balance between competition and making more money. AT&T is now increasing prices on its unlimited plans, but adding more tethering data as a consolation prize.
AT&T confirmed to CNET that the company is raising prices on unlimited plans by 99 cents per line, per month. The change will take effect on March 5, and most customers have already been notified. The changes are already live on AT&T’s website, along with the updated names for each plan.
Unlimited Starter, the least expensive unlimited plan from AT&T, is now “Unlimited Starter SL” and has bumped up the 3GB hotspot data to 5GB. The price for that has increased from $65/month for one line to $65.99 for one line. The Unlimited Extra plan is now “Unlimited Extra EL” and doubles the available hotspot data from 15GB to 30GB, with pricing starting at $75.99/month for one line. Finally, AT&T Unlimited Premium is now “Unlimited Premium PL” and now has 60GB of hotspot data instead of 50GB All three plans have lower per-line prices as you add more lines—for example, four lines on AT&T Unlimited Starter SL is $35.99 per line per month.
Subscribers on AT&T’s old Unlimited Elite plan won’t have any pricing changes, but that could happen in the future. AT&T raised prices on older Unlimited and Mobile share plans back in 2022, which included rises of up to $6 per month for single-line customers and $12 per month for family plans.
It’s great that subscribers get more hotspot data, but it doesn’t change the fact that AT&T’s phone plans are incredibly expensive at this point, especially for single-line plans. If you don’t need add-ons like smartwatch plans, the Unlimited plan at AT&T’s pre-paid Cricket Wireless subsidiary starts at $55 per month without included hotspot data, or $60 per month with 15GB hotspot data and Max (formerly HBO Max) with ads included. Cricket also has plans with multi-month discounts, but those aren’t available for multi-line subscribers and don’t include tethering or Max. T-Mobile and other prepaid mobile carriers might have better offers, depending on what you need.