No more unlimited data-use plans for new AT&T customers

Just in time for the release of a new iPhone, AT&T will stop letting new customers sign up for its unlimited internet data plan for smart phones and iPads and charge more for customers who use the most bandwidth, reports the Associated Press. AT&T hopes to ease congestion on its network, which has drawn complaints, particularly in big cities. But the approach could confuse customers unfamiliar with how much data it takes to watch a YouTube video or fire up a favorite application. Current subscribers will be able to keep their $30-per-month unlimited plans, even if they renew their contracts. But starting June 7, new customers will have to choose one of two new data plans for all smart phones using AT&T’s network, including iPhones and BlackBerrys. Subscribers who use little data—like those who get dozens of eMails a day, but don’t watch much video—will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with higher bills. The move takes effect in time for the expected unveiling of Apple’s new iPhone next week. Analysts expect other phone companies to follow; with no caps on consumption, they say, data use could swamp wireless networks while revenue for the operators remains flat…

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