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6/2/2010
11:35 AM
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AT&T Unveils Metered Data Plans

Two data plans are slated to debut Monday, but existing AT&T subscribers may keep and renew their unlimited plans.

Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos
(click image to view gallery)
Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos

With AT&T's wireless network bursting at the seams in parts of the country and Apple poised to add to the congestion with new iPhones next week, AT&T has introduced new data plans aimed at easing the crunch on its network. Whether consumers will like the plans is another story.

Two new AT&T data plans are slated to debut Monday -- a $25 monthly DataPro plan with 2 gigabytes a month and a $15 monthly DataPlus plan with 200 megabytes per month.

"We're breaking free from the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' pricing model and making the mobile Internet more affordable to a greater number of people," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's Mobility and Consumer Markets in a statement.

AT&T noted that the plans do not include Wi-Fi usage and do not incur additional charges at AT&T's 20,000-plus Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

iPhone and other smartphone customers who want to use their handset as a modem will be able to add tethering for an additional $20 a month. AT&T confirmed that iPhone tethering will be available when Apple releases its iPhone OS 4 this summer.

With a spectrum crisis looming due to the rapid growth of smartphones and the increasing use of streaming video, there are fears there won't be enough spectrum to go around. Already many AT&T iPhone users are plagued by dropped calls and AT&T has noted its network usage has grown 5,000 times in recent months.

Consumer complaints about the iPhone, many of them involving AT&T, are abundantly documented by both the FCC and the FTC.

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