AT&T abandoned a $39 billion dollar bid to buy T-Mobile last month, but they seem to have taken to heart T-Mobile’s tagline “Get More.” In this case, they want you to “Pay More” because starting in just a few days, AT&T will be raising prices for new smartphone and tablet users.
AT&T is blaming the price hike on rising consumer usage and a migration to music and video. They estimate that data usage is increasing 40 percent every year. If everybody else uses their smartphones half as much as I do, 40 percent – and these price hikes – are just the beginning.
According to Reuters:
“From January 22, AT&T customers will pay $20 for a 300-megabyte monthly data plan, up from $15 for 200-mb currently. Users with higher requirements can also opt for $30 for 3 gigabytes — versus $25 for 2 GB previously — or $50 for 5 GB, up from $45 for 4 GB.”
AT&T was ready to assimilate T-Mobile’s network into its own, but they ran into a host of regulatory issues. Now they are turning to consumers to foot the bill for the expansion and improvement of their network.
Of course, the reality is that this is only a $5 increase, but as we all become more dependent on these wireless networks to feed our smartphone and tablet habits, we can expect other carriers to follow suit with price hikes and bandwidth restrictions. And we’ll pay for it, too. Because while we may love our money, we seem to love our phones just a little more.