AT&T announced its new Mobile Share plans a few weeks back, which will coexist with its current data plan offering. The offerings include unlimited messages and voice minutes and a variety of data packages, including a 1GB option for $40 per month plus $45 per smartphone, a 4GB package for $70 per month plus $40 for each smartphone, a 6GB plan for $90 per month plus $35 for each smartphone and a 15GB plan for $160 plus $30 for each smartphone. The wait is over if you’ve been waiting to buy a data plan that can be shared within your family and across multiple devices; the plans are officially available from AT&T today.
AT&T’s Mobile Share has been at the heart of a great debate recently, however. The carrier said last week that it will allow Mobile Share customers to place FaceTime calls over its 3G network, which sparked a wildfire of complaints across the web. AT&T’s customers have a right to use their data as they please, but the carrier is using FaceTime over 3G as an incentive to bring new customers to its Mobile Share plans, which have the hit that FaceTime over 3G will take on its network factored in. Since its old plans still exist, customers have an option as to whether or not they want to swap or not. The Free Press and Public Knowledge have argued that AT&T’s moves violate the Federal Communication Commission’s Net Neutrality rules.
Both groups spoke out against AT&T’s decision to limit FaceTime over 3G to Mobile Share plans and had harsh words to say about the move. “AT&T knows that if it can get the FCC to condone this kind of Net Neutrality violation, then they can get away with just about anything,” Free Press said in a statement earlier this week. AT&T responded and argued that it isn’t violating any rules.
“We are broadening our customers’ ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience,” AT&T’s senior vice president, Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer Bob Quinn said.
Ultimately, the plans are a great option for anyone with several devices or a family who wants to share data among family members. Head over to AT&T’s website for more information.