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AT&T to Officially Mandate Data Plans for All Smartphones

Article Comments  100+  

Aug 21, 2009, 12:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Aug 21, 2009, 1:10 PM

AT&T has officially confirmed that starting on September 6, any customer using a smartphone will need to subscribe to a data plan. AT&T said in a statement, "Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced e-mail, mobile Web, applications and more. Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective Sept. 6, smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do." This change will apply to new lines and any renewed contracts after September 6. Existing customers who already have smartphones without data plans will be able to stay with their current plan. The data plan costs $30 per month and applies to iPhone, BlackBerries, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Palm devices.

from AT&T
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InstantClassic

Aug 21, 2009, 3:37 PM

People are just ignorant sometimes...

Look... if you went with verizon or sprint and got a pda/smartphone, you will automatically get the data. it is required!! There is no way around it. This is mainly with the CDMA carriers. I think AT&T is following the CDMA carriers as of doing this. Even U.S. cellular, if you got a pda you have to get data. I get really annoyed about people complaining and threatend to switch carriers and all that BS. " I'm going with verizon" go head! they are going to make you get the data also!! AT&T wont start this till the 6th, so upgrade now, or get a new phone and dont get data.

But why would you get a data phone with no data. it's pointless. It's like buying a porshe, but your not going to push it to 6th gear, or get an XBOX 360... but have no ha...
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If one has an older PDA (TREO, CENTRO, 6800, 6700, excepting blackberries) a data plan is not required. All advanced devices which have been released since November 08 require data plans.
...
I must be Ignorant. Seriously. I mean... Let me explain a little. I am a T-Mobile Dealer. AT&T is not the only company doing this, T-Mobile is also now. That however is besides the point. AT&T went as far as announcing it.

Forget all that, I am Ign...
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InstantClassic said:
It's like buying a porshe, but your not going to push it to 6th gear, or get an XBOX 360... but have no hard drive.


Your examples are flawed; If I get a Porsche, I don't have to pay an extra mon...
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InstantClassic said:
I think AT&T is following the CDMA carriers as of doing this.

Yup. While irritating for smartphone owners who don't want the data plan, it's AT&T's right.

But why would you get a
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They sell X-Box 360's that are intended for use with no hard drive... it's called the Arcade. OWNED!!!!!11(one)@#$
bp3dots1

Aug 25, 2009, 11:51 AM

More than fair:

I agree that people buying unlocked phones from outside sources should have the choice. With the stipulations:

-All data has to be blocked, or if PPU is chosen, the customer has no availability for disputing the incurred PPU charges.

-No subsidized pricing on handsets bought from carrier stores/3rd party sellers.

Of course, the outcry would be just as bad when the "I don't use data" crowd found out they had to pay full price for their handset, and then a month later, realized that they were screwed by all those nifty applications they wanted to try cost them hundreds of dollars. (Obviously wouldn't be everyone, but there would be a lot of people that did this.)

There's good reason for locking data plans. For example - I had a ne...
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bp3dots1 said:
I agree that people buying unlocked phones from outside sources should have the choice. With the stipulations:

-All data has to be blocked, or if PPU is chosen, the customer has no availability for disputing the i
...
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gjh1978

Aug 25, 2009, 11:06 AM

to all the wi-fi abusers out there....

P.S.

You do know that on all the newer wi-fi capable smartphones, that at&t has crippled the wi-fi to only work if you have a data plan...it's something verizon has been doing for some time, and I wouldn't be suprised to see GPS crippled in the near future unless you subscribe to the navigator plan...hahaha

If you want the features, pay the money...if you want to sync your contacts and calendar, buy a RAZR and moto mobile phone tools....
incorrect

i got wifi on my tilt a few months ago and i had no data plan
...
Verizon doesn't cripple wifi on their phones, they just never requested it. The phones with Wifi on them have wifi on them out of the box. You can even use it without activating the phone, let alone adding data (unless it is a newer device that requ...
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gjh1978 said:
I wouldn't be suprised to see GPS crippled in the near future unless you subscribe to the navigator plan...hahaha


Yup, it's locked out in many AT&T phones.

What irks me, is that a cell data-based GP...
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asLeepLessman

Sep 1, 2009, 1:34 PM

1st September 6th and Now the 13th

As of Sep. 13th, T-Mobile is Requiring Data on all phones except Phone-First Devices.

lol! I knew this would happen. Expect everyone else to follow suit and make this the new policy. For all those who said "You dont like it, go somewhere else", you will soon have nowhere to go. Thanks for speaking up. Peace!
matonater

Aug 22, 2009, 4:55 PM

what is worse

you have to buy a new car with tires on it

smart phones dont work with out data plans

im glad they are doing this because im sick of every gansta buying one to look cool when he knows he has no use for a blackberry or treo
so your tellin me "ganstas" dont have the right o buy what they want because they want to look cool or feel cool. you wanna take that right away? why cause your annoyed with ganstas? or because they dont deserve to buy what white rich white boys purch...
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matonater said:
you have to buy a new car with tires on it

smart phones dont work with out data plans

im glad they are doing this because im sick of every gansta buying one to look cool when he knows he has no use for a blac
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matonater said:
smart phones dont work with out data plans

Actually, they work just fine. Even better in many cases.
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Kryger

Aug 24, 2009, 11:12 AM

without being mean

ill say this 1 more time.

IF U DONT WANT DATA OR WANT TO PAY FOR IT, GET A DIFFERENT PHONE OTHER THAN A SMARTPHONE!

this isnt about choice. u have the choice on what phones to get but u dont control what terms and conditions u have to follow to get that phone. if the $30 is too much for u or if u think its not needed then u dont need that phone.

at&t has plenty of other phones that r just txt and call based for u to get instead and they r probly cheaper too.

if u try to say this is racist youre an idiot.
if u try to say this is unethical youre also an idiot. if u say this is at&t forcing data on u because u bought a phone designed for data youre an idiot.

sprint VZW and tmobile all do this so stfu and deal with it if u wa...
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why do you not like black people?
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That's great who are you the KGB? Last time I checked this is the USA where we as Americans can and should be able to express different views and engage in debate without intimidation or childish name calling. These tactics look all too familiar. Are ...
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There are several reasons why a person would have a pda with no data plan.

1. They want the status of having a glitzy expensive phone but do not feel the 30$ for data is worth it.
2. They want the ability to sync there calander and there address b...
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wow.... that one of the stupist things ive heard in a while
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matonater

Aug 27, 2009, 6:10 PM

even better

I just bought a blu ray player for my black and white console tv...it is awesome
ALL2020

Aug 23, 2009, 7:07 AM

Question?

I haven't purchased a phone directly from AT&T in about 2 years, my contract actually ends on 9/6/09 (yeah funny). I have a Blackberry 8320 now I got from Ebay with no data (WiFi Smile ). I plan on doing the same thing when this one goes bad, getting one from Ebay. I notice the article says its for "new lines and renewed contracts". I do not plan on renewing my contract but going Month to Month.

Will I still have to get data?
Nope....just swap SIS. You're old plan gets grandfatherd in.
DiamondPro

Aug 22, 2009, 2:45 PM

This is complety bogus!

To charge all smartphones on there network a data plan service even if you dont use it. Sounds like a rip off. Not only that its 30 bucks a month.

Seems like this is just a ploy to get more money out of its already expensive plans. Also to pay 4 the amount of data the iphone users will be using once they turn on the mms feature they are getting sued about.

It seems like att is trying to subsidies the iphone and lawsuits by putting the cost directly to the customers.
You realize Verizon has been doing this EXACT SAME THING for a year now...right?
asLeepLessman

Aug 22, 2009, 11:41 AM

The Official You SHOULDNT Thread!

You shouldnt Buy a Burger without Cheese.

You shouldnt Buy a TV without a DVD player.

You shouldnt Buy a Car without Leather seats.

You shouldnt Buy a smartphone without Data.

You shouldnt Buy a Laptop without a Air Card.

You shouldnt Watch a Moive without Popcorn.

You shouldnt Carry a Wallet without Money.

You shouldnt Drink Coffee without Milk.

You shouldnt Read these forums without Posting.

You shouldnt . . .. ..... . . ... .. ... ..

Please add your own thoughts and continue.
Everyone thinks you Shouldnt own a smartphone without Data, so im curious, what Else do YOU! Think I (ME) or WE shouldnt do?

You shouldnt . . .. ..... . . ... .. ... ..
you know what, i think we have posted as many different senarios and examples for these people, but they still dont get it. you nkow why these people dont get it... cause they are in their shoes and they want data plans on their phones. so they are ju...
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I'm sorry to drag politics into this but I'm sure that all of the folks that are going along happily (like lemmings) with this decision are the one's that want Obama's healthcare to pass. They are in favor of government control and being told what to ...
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hey you know what i miss... the 70s. when people would get signs and make a crowd outside and protest. get their voices heard. make sure they dont loose the ability to CHOOSE. use their freedom. if we still had the spirit and ambition like those hippi...
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You shouldn't post political opinions in a tech thread

You shouldn't post opinions if you can't spell

You shouldn't eat pancakes at IHOP without subscribing to IHOP's "Pancake Weekly" publication, at the low, low price of only $10 a month!
You shouldn't wear shoes without socks

You shouldn't wear sandles with socks (pet peave but not law Smile )
You shouldnt Type "LOL" if your Only Smiling.

You shouldnt Protest things you can Not Change.

You shouldnt Complain unless Everyone Agrees.

You shouldnt Care unless others express Care.

You shouldnt Be On T-Mobile without MyFave's.

You ...
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flip mode

Aug 21, 2009, 1:11 PM

Show your greed guys....

keep showing your greed and I'm sure it will generate more business. These idiots think that by forcing people to buy a data plan will make them stick around or will make people want them anymore. READ MY TEXT CARRIERS THAT DO THIS GREEDY PRACTICE: NOT EVERYONE CAN AFFORD OR WANTS AN OVERPRICED DAMN DATA PLAN! Oh and for the corporate tools who have some snide remark for me, stick a roll of toilet paper in your mouths. ;)
I agree.

This will cost a lot of customer to migrate other places. alot of older people that dont care about price but care about service and freedom will pay the ETF and choose another carrier just to prove a point. sucks for AT&T.
...
As a former AT&T customer service rep I am glad to be out of this business.

@flipmode: On the other side of things... why own a smartphone if you have no intentions of using the full web browser? Just get a regular damn phone and save yourself the ...
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This is why I don't buy my phones from ATT. ATT doesn't need to know what phone I have nor do they need to be telling me what needs to be on MY acct! Recently I have had both a Blackjack & BB Curve with the same $10 internet that I use on my Nokia N95...
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Verizon already does this and actually I sign more people up for blackberry's with this requirement than what i did before it was mandated. If you CANT afford the damn data package then get a regular dumb phone that doesn't require one! It's that simp...
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This is crap and not crap at the same time.

Obviously there are too many kids with Iphones and fancy grown up phones and this is a great opportunity to generate revenue for AT&T.

I also understand that some adults want a smartphone or a blackbe...
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I am not a corporate tool and you can keep your tp to wipe your bum with. There are many phones being sold by ATT, VZ, Sprint, and TMobile devoid of this option. If the policy is not to your liking, then try MetroPCS, Boost, or Cricket. These compa...
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I think it's over-all a good idea. People get smartphones with no data plan, yet they still want to use data. They get their bill and when it's hundreds or thousands of dollars they call or go into the store throwing a fit. Then the company has to ...
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if you can't afford a data plan don't buy a data phone
...
http://www.phonescoop.com/news/discuss.php?fm=m&ff=4 ... »

Thats no different then McDonalds creating a new policy.... NOBODY Can Buy A Burger With Cheese WITHOUT French Fries as of Sept 6th. If you DO NOT want French Fries you will have to...
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geminices

Aug 23, 2009, 12:00 AM

Here's the real deal.

Surprised #1. Att is not the first major wireless carrier to make that switch. they were the LAST.

Sprint's required it for a while, Verizon for about a year or so, and T-Mobile started a couple months back.

Surprised #2. What in the hell would you want a damn data phone for, unless to go on the internet. If you're one of the stupid sheep out there, that buys a phone for it's sole fact of "everyone else has one I want one too" you should be required to shoot a .12 gauge with your foot, through your brain.

Surprised #3. Data Phones, are VERY VERY expensive at retail costs. EVERY consumer wants data phones CHEAP. do you think the wireless carriers really pay NOTHING for the blackberry you got for free yesterday? NO. how do they recouperate costs for t...
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i agree
answer me this then Mr #s. you go to HEB to buy some milk. before you leave the store they tell you that you have to buy a bag of oranges. but you dont want any. you dont like oranges. you just wanted milk.

but they tell you, "well you came in our...
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geminices said:
Surprised #2. What in the hell would you want a damn data phone for, unless to go on the internet.


I't a tool, not a toy. It's got as many uses as I want, from reading e-books to running the software that...
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Sprint doesn't require a data plan for smart phones. Only feature phones (palm pre, and samsung instinct.) So don't get it twisted. Most of those smart phones have wi-fi so there really is no need for a data plan. All this is gonna do is ruin my sales...
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bp3dots1

Aug 26, 2009, 8:08 AM

stop comparing this to cars and xbox'es

The difference is that if joe customer buys a car or an xbox, no matter if they use it, light it on fire, or stare at it at home...

It will not cost the company that sold it to them one dime.

Once it's sold, its the buyers property and is not using a service from the retailer. This is a HUGE difference. ATT (and the other carriers that have this requirement) Frequently has to eat large amounts of residual cost from these smartphones without data plans. The requirement of the plans helps to reduce that cost to the company. (And yea, puts some extra in their pocket)

Id bet you would see some changes if Porsche had to field hundreds of customer service calls a month, and credit hundreds of dollars to people just because they weren't ...
(continues)
If a company needs to raise prices, or change their product line, they will - as is their right.

The rest is marketing talk, justifications, and trying to sweeten the pill, to make it seem like the change is somehow in the interests of the consumer...
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If Xbox released a new Policy, ALL NEW Xbox 360s and all customers upgrading from a Xbox to a XBox 360 (as well as customers upgrading from a 360 to a xbox Elite) are REQUIRED to have 2 Years of Xbox Live.... Would I be able to compare it then?

If ...
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TrueLink

Aug 27, 2009, 1:04 AM

Smartphones arn't just for data

Although data is a major part of smartphones, remember that it's not the only thing there. I've had a Tilt for two years and while I have data now, I didn't always. You might think, why by a smartphone without data? I bought it for the calender and all the other features of Windows Mobile.
I started a side business and I don't have a very good memory so a calender and detailed contacts were important to me. At the time there wasn't a phone out there, that wasn't a smartphone, with had a good calender. Still today I'm looking for a new phone and can't find one that fits my way of life more than my Windows Mobile phone. Yes, I have data now, but if I didn't I would still want a smartphone.
stephen5688

Aug 22, 2009, 12:00 PM

If you agree with this..............

You should just die. enough said. Twisted Evil
haha a little harsh.... but you have a good point. then we wouldnt have all the ignorant people around letting companies control us....
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Pocket_Girl

Aug 25, 2009, 8:56 PM

uh hum

so you are telling me that now cellphone companies are going to make their customers add pic messaging to their plan because it has a camera?? or add text messaging to the plan because it has a keyboard?? just because the phone can do it or has it the customer HAS to pay for it though they dont want it??
not only is this stupid but they are giving their customers ultimatums that are a loose loose situation.

wow the world has some pretty greedy people living on it. and some pretty dumb people as well that agree with AT&T's actions. ahhh i guess the world cant be perfect..... Confused
This issue of requiring data for Smartphones has been fueled by issues AT&T is trying to address with a constant customer missuse of data programs. It in turn costs the customers wasted time & money as well as for AT&T. the solution? require Data for ...
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Pocket_Girl

Aug 22, 2009, 9:03 AM

a little thing called CHOICE

the reason why so many people are upset about this is because it all goes back to good ol' rights. people want to be able to make their own choices and not be told what to do. especially by government or some rich greedy company. they are controlling us like puppets telling us we can do, what we can use on our phones, what we have to pay for our plans, what we have to have on our plans. CHOICE. we do not want our choices taken away or made for us. its ridiculous.
some of you say well why buy a smartphone and not use it to its full potential. ok people, i believe someone used a car as an example. i shall do it the other way around. then why do people buy expensive ass cars and just store them all in a garage and never drive them? why dont th...
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I agree. AT&T to Officially Mandate Data Plans for All Smartphones tells you how greedy they are, and they're charging consumers for 3G, when in most markets calls are being dropped like dead flies, call failures are significant, and trying to listen...
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Newsflash, you are talking a private corporation here. You have no rights when it comes to their service except what they give you when you sign a contract.

They made the decision because they are taking a massive hit by selling smartphones belo...
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People want $100 smartphones, yet they don't want to pay for the data plan, nor use more then 25% of the phone capabilities. If a company has a $600 phone they sell for $300, that's a HUGE DISCOUNT. There's no way for a company to justify that sort of...
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This may be the dumbest thread I've read on this site in a while. I love how you preach choice, then completely ignore ALL of the choices and choose to fixate on the "lack of choice".

If you're not using data on a smartphone and still want to pay ...
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Yup. Choice. Intelligent choice.

Pocket_Girl said:
some of you say well why buy a smartphone and not use it to its full potential.


The "full potential" of every device that I own is to do what its owner needs. ...
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Being an insider for a cellular company I can say this. Part of the reason why at&t is implementing the data packages is for a couple reasons. For starters a number of calls are flooded through customer service asking why their bill is so high, well t...
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marufio

Aug 23, 2009, 1:28 AM

Wheres the FCC?

Just wait till the FCC hears about this new mandate. Saw whats happening to Apple, ATT better watch out on how it treats its customers.
FCC is too busy making AT&T and VZW play nice to worry about plans
Other carriers mandate data plans on smartphones.

As long as they continue to offer Dumphones with a wide variety of features (that list increasing every quarter) there is no reason the FCC should care.
Where's the FCC? Sitting on their hands like good bureacrats. What ATT is doiong isn't illegal and doesn't violate any rights. They already do it with their iPhone and other companies force it on select devices. ATT is just covering their butts and re...
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enin

Aug 24, 2009, 1:13 AM

I think you've all forgotten something.....

AT&T is a privately owned company that reports to stockholders.

If you owned stock in AT&T, would you want the company to provide all the choices in the world to its consumers even though you would lose the money you invested into this company?

They're going to do what they can to make money. Verizon and Sprint have done this for months before now, yet you're calling AT&T the devil because it decided to follow suit?

If AT&T listened to some of you who think it is wrong for them to enforce unpopular policies at times, they would soon go out of business. And then you would just go and complain about something else that isn't "fair".

It's called CAPITALISM!!!! Eh?
thank you for making sense unlike the rest of the idiots thinking we r racist or forcing them to get data phones.
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giantangrysquid

Aug 24, 2009, 4:55 PM

I'd rather use Wi-Fi

We have a BlackBerry with no data plan. We use Wi-Fi.

And yes, this does make sense for our situation. The main thing we need a BlackBerry for is a medical app that stores its data locally. It can update via Wi-Fi as needed.

Note to AT&T: you're not the only Internet provider. And no, you don't have to subsidize my phone. I'm happy to buy it up front. Just let me buy the plan I want.
Also, this is a great quote:

"Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective Sept. 6, smartphone customers will n...
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