AT&T Unlimited Data Plan subscribers: VZW or AT&T for the "long term"?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by barkingDog, May 31, 2011.

  1. barkingDog, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    barkingDog macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    To those not wanting to wade through this entire post, this is a summary of what I'm curious about:

    In short, where does one stand a better chance of retaining - long term - an Unlimited Data Plan: with AT&T or VZW?

    - - - - - - - -

    I realize an answer to this question is based on pure speculation, and generally I refrain from this type of query, but it seems to be crossing my mind enough, with summer approaching, to start (gasp) a thread on it.

    We don't know (or do we?) who is more likely to grandfather in unlimited data plans long term when it comes time to, for example:

    • upgrade even to just the next iPhone iteration (be it 4G/LTE capable or not). This should be taken into consideration for the mere fact that by the time "iPhone 4s/5" arrives, rumors have it that the VZW Unlimited Data Plan will be pulled from the proverbial dinner plate of options. (This assumes VZW will pull its UL Data Plan this summer.)

    Yes, I've seen the recent threads on this subject, and an email from someone who asked an AT&T rep about this. But even that reply had a hinted disclaimer of:

    "AT&T ... Please continue to check in with this information as this might change in the future, although we don't have future information regarding the grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans."

    I've never started a thread since joining the community, and I hope I don't take a beating for one of those "Not another thread that we all can't answer with any sort of concrete facts."

    But again, on mere speculation (which is littered throughout all the other threads of this nature) what say you all?

    If it's nothing more than: "We don't know, please just wait and see what plans come to fruition from the carriers", then I'll gladly "/end thread." :eek:

    Edit to say: I'm w/AT&T, and yes, I'd eat some ETF fees to jump ship. But I could make much of that up by reselling my device.
  2. nicastro78 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    As you have already stated, no one knows for sure. I always remember one thing and that is the carrier is in the business to make money! Eventually both will force you to a tiered plan and that will be on or off contract at some point in time.
  3. dontworry Suspended


    Mar 18, 2010
    I'm hanging on to my ATT until they make me mad enough to leave. I have to say that, recently I've been happy with my service in my area since they've completed the 3G rollout. I wouldn't put my faith in ATT keeping unlimited around for anybody, this is prob. why they are rebranding 3G as 4G in order to move EVERYONE off unlimited.

    If I was starting a new contract, I might go to Verizon now because they are offering an unlimited plan right now. Keep it for when the next iPhone comes out (thought the CEO said it would release at same time as GSM) and continue using unlimited plan. I think it would look bad if they lured a lot of customers in with the unlimited plan without being able to transfer to another device.
  4. chr macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2011
    I just switched to Verizon because AT&T coverage in my city is absolutely terrible. I paid the ETF, which was $106 somehow--much lower than I thought--and canceled my grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan. I did it now because I wanted to begin a Verizon contract before they canceled Unlimited Data, which will very likely be in the next month or two.

    In all likelihood, the change to 4G is going to necessitate a switch away from grandfathered unlimited plans for both AT&T and Verizon, but in the meantime it's nice to have a phone that works in more than 1/4 of the city.
  5. mattwallace24 macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2010
    Without a doubt I'm staying with AT&T. Currently have an unlimited data plan, but will stick with AT&T even if they switch me to a tiered plan in the future.

    Primary reason is I can't get a clean Verizon signal where I live.

    Also, I really do like and use the capability to use simultaneous voice and data.

    Finally, I do travel internationally on occasion and the thought of having to buy or lease a 2nd phone in place of my iPhone to use overseas seems very outdated.
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah, if memory serves up until last June, the fee was $150 minus a certain amount per month that your service has been active. Sign a contract after that (or upgrade) and it's $350 per smartphone minus a portion per month.
  7. kaifs macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    i have to stick with at&t also for voice + date at the same time... I can't even tell you how many times I had our attorney on the phone and emailing back and fourth files for review and etc... For most, it probably won't make a difference, however, for me - while on hold for some 800 number to answer, I can post on FB, check email, chat via IM+ and etc. which is NICE. As far as coverage - well, it is hit or miss around here between VZ and at&t. In my neck of the woods VZ took over Alltel and as a result towers got consolidated or so it appears, because areas where my buddy had a wonderful Alltel coverage now shows NOTHING and I, at least, have 1-2bars... I suppose same thing when at&t-Cingular merged (before current at&t) and there was decrease at first and now it is much better....
  8. YaBoiD, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    YaBoiD macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2011
    First of all I wanted to thank you for starting this thread. I had the same concerns when I had canceled with Sprint and was deciding between AT&T or VZW and I'm sure you will be helping someone who is on the fence on which carrier to go with. I decided on AT&T and and am grandfathered into the unlimited data plan. I knwo it will be extremely difficult to keep it when the LTE versions are released but I just wanted to return to GSM for a variety of conveniences. I will say this though, users who purchased the HTC Thunderbolt have been grandfathered in to unlimited LTE data and that has been verified with numerous Verizon reps. So to answer your question, I would have to say Verizon would be the company to go with if you're looking to be grandfathered into unlimited LTE data. My recommendation is to sign up this month because I doubt it will last into July.
  9. the.sheepdog macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2009
    Central FL
    VZW is horrible in central florida. So is/was T-Mobile. Sprint was great but they didn't try very hard to keep me after 5 years. ATT is a great 3G signal all over the place here and no lapses in coverage anywhere for me. Also ATT appreciates my continued business and writes me to offer new products at about 18 months into a 2 year contract.

    I get my new iphones free.
  10. TheXFactor macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    I tend to never think about these things because they are really out of our control. Yet I do think about this because we think the decision we make now will has an affect on the outcome later.

    2 lines with Verizon, 1 w/ ATT. All 3 w/ unlimited data. Knowing that soon the unlimited data is going away w/ Verizon, I want to switch over the ATT line to Verizon. Also knowing that once I do that we lose the unlimited data price w/ ATT should we decide to come back.

    Wireless carriers are doing everything in their power to give you the smallest piece of the pie for the largest dollar amount and make it look appetizing. We are looking for the largest piece, for the lowest amount.

    I'll state the obvious. Pick your poison based on coverage. In my home market ATT is very good, 3G and all. Where I travel, ATT is poor. Verizon wins.

    But there are tradeoffs. ATT 3g speeds are better. Simultaneous voice and data, phone selection, sim cards. CDMA is so old and outdated.

    But I am still staying with Verizon and will soon move my ATT line over.
  11. icstars989 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Between those 2 Im not sure it's really gonna matter. Once one cuts you off you can bet the other will be shortly behind.
  12. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    That's a good point. Only determining factor will be who you have a longer remaining contract term with.
  13. TheXFactor macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    Not so sure about that. ATT has had tiered data for how long and our line with ATT is still unlimited.
  14. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    You think they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or to provide a public service? Keep dreaming.
  15. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    I keep my unlimited data "just becase" - I very VERY rarely go over 2GB. AT&T keeps my business because I get a company discount and their service is simply better in my area.
  16. kaifs macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Verizon has SIM cards?
  17. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    The Thunderbolt does for their 4g and the incredible 2 does because its a world phone.
  18. barkingDog thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    Thanks to all those who've chimed in to a thread which is based on speculative comments (and you're welcome, YaBoiD :) )

    I'm realistic in the fact that UL data plans will not be around forever (unless the carriers all do an "about face" and revive them in a mad fury of competition. I know: dream on!)

    Having said that, many brought up an important item I failed to initially mention:

    Data Plans are useless if you can't get a good signal (d'Oh!) And between the 2 major metropolitan cities I frequent, VZW tends to (slightly) trump AT&T when it comes to "talk". But I *can* live with either, given an ultimatum.

    In any case, I just want to extend the UL Data Plan option as long as feasibly possible; hopefully into, at least, (the next generation network) iPhone device. We'll have to see about that, though, I know.

    Basically, what I'm hearing (from comments posted here) is this:

    • It would a bad business model (ala a "slap-in-the-face") move of VZW in making UL data available now, and subsequently pull it from the (relatively soon to be released) next iPhone iteration. Verizon may be my best bet should I wish to hedge my money on this wish. And since we're already seeing 4G/LTE unlimited plans from VZW, this is at least a "near future" good omen, no?

    And what I'm *NOT* hearing (from comments posted here) is this:

    • Any rumblings coming from AT&T (or folks like me who have AT&T) that they're going to definitively NOT pull it from the next-gen network iPhone (or even if the next-gen iPhone is 3G only -- which seems to be the consensus.) AT&T is quite anti-Unlimited Data, and I can't seem to fathom them ever (?) offering a 4G/LTE Unlimited Data Plan. (I'm projecting here, as I've repeatedly said.)

    I just wish I knew when VZW was going to pull the plug on their UL plan. Something tells me it will be pulled right before the next-gen iPhone launch (read: just like AT&T did with the iPhone 4 release.) Or I could be way off base.

  19. kaifs macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    I was aware of the world phones, but did not realize they were using it domestically already. Must be getting slow :), as I thought iphone with cdma+sim that they just announced would be a pioneer for US :).

    Just proves I do not know everything, thanks for setting me straight.
  20. YaBoiD macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2011
    I think I read a report on BGR quoting their CFO saying they will stop offering it before summer. I would make the switch this month to be cautious.
  21. Centient macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2009
    Yep, VZ UL is going away 'sometime' this summer. My guess is that we'll see the Samsung Galaxy 2 as one of the last phones to be released under contract before the end of UL. Sooner, rather than later, in other words. Just a hunch though.

    Everyone will be grandfathered in, and I think (maybe more hope...) that might just hold for sometime. I'd expect to see VZ and Ma Bell continue to try to entice folks to switch to a tiered plan rather than just dump UL completely and hope they stick around.
  22. TheXFactor macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    Verizon already has tiered data for the iPad.
  23. barkingDog thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    This is from a familiar CNET columnist who reviews cell phones and their plans...

    Ask Maggie - May 27, 2011

    - - - - - -

    ...bold emphasis above is mine.

    - - - - - - -

    I wonder if the above will apply to the AT&T iPhone 4G/LTE capable device, whenever it comes out, that is?

    Geez, I need a life (no smart ass responses, please) if I'm worrying this much about "Cell Phone Data Plans." Sigh.

    Anyway, more stuff to throw on the logs to keep the fire burning.
  24. barkingDog thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    Having started this thread a bit ago, I thought a bump might be in order -- while hoping not to raise the ire of too many others -- given the amount of similar threads littering the section ATM. :p

    Goal is to retain UL data as long as possible. (Carrier notwithstanding)

    Given the recent revelations of VZW's tiered data plans coming to fruition, and that my current situation is such that:

    • I'm currently with AT&T.

    • I get acceptable talk/data signal with both carriers using an iPhone.

    • I'm willing to eat some ETF fees if I switched to VZW.

    Seems that VZW is making it known that current 3G UL data plan holders can retain it going forward if they stay on 3G (for the next device, in other words.)

    AT&T seems mum on this matter -- or, more accurately, has just had no reason to make any announcements.

    Is it just a simple toss of the coin as to where one stands the best chance of retaining UL data long term?
  25. bmwhd macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2008
    As long as I'm grandfathered into my unlimited domestic AND international data plan, I'm wed to AT&T.

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