Is the grandfathered unlimited data from AT&T obsolete?

AppleFan360

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 26, 2008
2,197
688
At the risk of getting my ass chewed by the members here, I was thinking the other day how the grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan for the iPhone can actually be obsolete.

Here is my train of thought. AT&T has now made it cheaper in some cases NOT to have it. By removing the unlimited data plan and switching to a data share plan, monthly bills can be lowered quite a bit a AND you also get the hotspot feature and no chance of data throttling. It's not like you don't already have unlimited data. If you bust your cap you simply pay extra for that month.

Now I understand this does not apply to everyone but if you have two or more phones, all with unlimited data, the monthly bill can get pricey especially if the phones really don't use much data.

From a personal standpoint, I went to the AT&T website and ran the report of how much data my phones used over the past year and it turns out that between my wife and I, we used less then 10GB between the two of us. I switched us over to the data share plan and now we are saving almost $40 a month. Hanging on to the unlimited data plans were just not feasable anymore and we added features we didn't have before (hotspot, free international texting, unlimited talk, unlimited text).

As far as the iPad, that's a tough one. The unlimited data on the iPad is like gold simply because it can be a data hog. I admit I'm not giving that one up yet.

Again, this may not apply to everyone.
 

BJabs

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2011
25
0
Yup, currently considering dropping the two unlimited data plans we have for the Mobile Share plan. As a family, we haven't passed 2.5GB in data usage in any month, so the 10GB (which is highly discounted in relation to the <10GB plans) would be sufficient, and would save us, like, $80 or so each month.

You do have to consider that the Mobile Share plans go up by $25 each time you upgrade a phone without using Next, until every phone has been upgraded. When you switch to the Mobile Share plan, the monthly per-phone cost is discounted to $15, but it goes up to $40 (the regular smartphone monthly cost) when the phone is upgraded (waiving the discount). That's basically how they make the costs even out over time.
 
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Merkyworks

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2008
375
36
Data consumption is just going to get higher and higher as apps, sharing data options and websites become more developed/time goes by. I will be staying with my unlimited plan.
 
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mizerab1e

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
95
2
I recently dropped my 3 year old unlimited plan for 10GB shared plan. Just in case you haven't realized, they throttle you HARD after 5GB, which makes it pretty much worthless for me. I rather be able to use mobile hotspot legally and not be throttled every month and save a lot of money.
 
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potaco

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2010
152
4
Data consumption is just going to get higher and higher as apps, sharing data options and websites become more developed/time goes by. I will be staying with my unlimited plan.
The only problem with the unlimited plan is that it is throttled. With apps requiring more and more consumption at higher rates, I would assume that a lot of the benefit of having unlimited data would be lost if it's basically unusable after 5GB.
 
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nopassn

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2009
158
0
Kansas City
I think so... (and I've got a grandfathered unlimited data plan)

My logic... I use whatever data I use. Typically between 3-5 gb a month. If you hit 5gb in a month, they throttle you for the following month... the throughput is next to unusable. So, as near as I can tell, the grandfathered unlimited is really nothing more than an expensive 5gb plan. I'm waiting for the dust to settle and for my iPhone 6+ to come in, and I'm going to switch plans, I think.
 
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mizerab1e

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
95
2
The only problem with the unlimited plan is that it is throttled. With apps requiring more and more consumption at higher rates, I would assume that a lot of the benefit of having unlimited data would be lost if it's basically unusable after 5GB.
Exactly. It's a joke of universal proportion to say 'unlimited' yet it is nowhere close to being unlimited. I had verizon unlimited which wasn't throttled but they are following ATT's steps to screw customers over again.

I really hate providers.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,932
2,532
St. Louis, MO
I recently dropped my 3 year old unlimited plan for 10GB shared plan. Just in case you haven't realized, they throttle you HARD after 5GB, which makes it pretty much worthless for me. I rather be able to use mobile hotspot legally and not be throttled every month and save a lot of money.
I put my family of 4 on the 10 GB plan and between us, probably use around 3 GB a month. Paying for unlimited on my line "just in case" got old after awhile.

I figure that if there's ever a month that causes me to go over 10 GB for some reason, all the money I'm saving will cover the overages.
 
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HelloMikee

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2009
918
253
San Diego
Data consumption is just going to get higher and higher as apps, sharing data options and websites become more developed/time goes by. I will be staying with my unlimited plan.
This is not true for websites. As a web developer our goal is to make our sites as small as possible in order to load as quickly as possible. Our mobile traffic has increased to 49% of overall traffic where it was just 30% two years ago. We also ship to over 50 countries and as emerging markets grow, we definitely don't want to push them away from long load times.
 
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vitacura

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2014
135
1
I love the unlimited plan. I have gone over 5GB several times this year and never been throttled. Now, I don't use 10GB+, but it is nice not to have to worry about overages, and so far, no throttling here.
 
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iregret

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
522
117
3 unlimited data plans on our bill. I use about 10gb of data a month. My brother in law uses about 6gb, my wife 100mb.

I've done the math. Even with throttling, not cost effective for my situation.

Actually, I wish I could throttle LTE to 10mb/s or so all month to stretch out the LTE speeds. I'll go through 5 gigs in the first 10 days, then suffer the rest of the month. It's stupid.

Oh, then at random, ATT will send me warning emails/letters, and texts telling me I need to stop tethering. Except I'm not tethering. ?!?? WTF
 
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AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
If I switched my entire plan over to MSV, my monthly cost actually goes up. And to top it off, if I upgrade (using 2 year contract), the per line charge will go up from $15 to $40, making it not a value. I'm going to stick with my current plan, for as long as I possibly can.
 
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mizerab1e

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
95
2
I love the unlimited plan. I have gone over 5GB several times this year and never been throttled. Now, I don't use 10GB+, but it is nice not to have to worry about overages, and so far, no throttling here.
Not saying you're a dirty liar, but I think you are. There are thousands of us that got throttled every month due to this. So yeah.
 
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BJabs

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2011
25
0
It is funny that if we were to switch to the Mobile Share plan, I'd gain the ability to use hotspots, and thus my data usage would probably go up by a lot, perhaps beyond 10GB if I'm not careful. It's like an, uh, Gift of the Magi, sort of.
 
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bambooshots

Suspended
Jul 25, 2013
1,414
2,889
Data consumption is just going to get higher and higher as apps, sharing data options and websites become more developed/time goes by. I will be staying with my unlimited plan.
Doesn't help when they throttle you at 5GB.

I still have the unlimited plan but have considered going to the 10GB mobile share plan since it could be cheaper (with their discount) and so I can get my iPad in it. It sucks paying an additional $30/mo to get 3GB on data on the iPad.
 
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vitacura

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2014
135
1
Not saying you're a dirty liar, but I think you are. There are thousands of us that got throttled every month due to this. So yeah.
You have a right to your opinion, but I am not the only one on here that has not been throttled once we pass 5GB. I have never gone over 10GB, and go over 5GB probably 4 times a year. Love it! Don't be jealous. ;)
 
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james92se

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
818
27
Dallas, TX
I typically average 3 GB somehow even though I'm at work nearly 12 hours a day M-F on wifi the whole time and then on wifi the whole time at home after work and much of the weekend.

I'm on an unlimited data plan and have gone over 5 GB several times in the past year or two and not been throttled. I like to keep my unlimited data "just in case" I ever need to really use it in any given month.

I rarely ever talk on the phone. I routinely have months where I'll use less than 10 minutes of talk time TOTAL in the whole month. I'm on an obsolete 450 daytime minute 5000 night and weekend minute plan and an obsolete $5 200 text message plan. I refuse to pay for unlimited texts and thus inherently negate one of the principal advantages of iMessage and the like.

My TOTAL monthly bill comes out to $72 including all taxes and fees. I don't think I could come out lower than this anyway for a single line even if I did switch plans.
 
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alexxn

macrumors regular
May 14, 2009
147
1
S. Fla
Hmmm I just ran a report on the last year of my Data usage and the highest I've one is 1.8GB with an average of 1.3GB - I have unlimited -
 
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Cool Pup

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2010
720
105
Dallas, TX
Data consumption is just going to get higher and higher as apps, sharing data options and websites become more developed/time goes by. I will be staying with my unlimited plan.
Exactly. And same here. They'll have to kick me off my UDP to get me to get off of it.

Hopefully, some day, we'll get plans back to it or something close for a reasonable price (lol).
 
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EdMan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2011
583
233
Michigan
I put my family of 4 on the 10 GB plan and between us, probably use around 3 GB a month. Paying for unlimited on my line "just in case" got old after awhile.

I figure that if there's ever a month that causes me to go over 10 GB for some reason, all the money I'm saving will cover the overages.
This is me. I've had my unlimited since 07 and when my wife and I got on a family plan a couple of years ago I kept it and she has a 2gb plan. Neither of us ever go over 2gb. I never have as long as I've had it. When my new phones come in I'm switching plans.
 
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mizerab1e

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
95
2
You have a right to your opinion, but I am not the only one on here that has not been throttled once we pass 5GB. I have never gone over 10GB, and go over 5GB probably 4 times a year. Love it! Don't be jealous. ;)
Jealous?? I didn't know one can get jealous of ********ters? Wow!
 
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KaiMac

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2004
174
0
Va
I recently dropped my 3 year old unlimited plan for 10GB shared plan. Just in case you haven't realized, they throttle you HARD after 5GB, which makes it pretty much worthless for me. I rather be able to use mobile hotspot legally and not be throttled every month and save a lot of money.
I did the exact same thing. cut to a 10GB usage plan and it cut my bill down considerably. If you can predict your usage each month, then its a good call to switch. They will send you a txt mssg each month when you hit 65% of your usage and again at 90%.
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,217
Jacksonville, Florida
Exactly. It's a joke of universal proportion to say 'unlimited' yet it is nowhere close to being unlimited. I had verizon unlimited which wasn't throttled but they are following ATT's steps to screw customers over again.

I really hate providers.
Without the carriers providing limits, people would take advantage of the bandwidth and degrade everyone's experience!

Sorry you hate the providers for not giving you what you think you are "entitled" to get!
LOL!:p
 
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james92se

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
818
27
Dallas, TX
Hmmm I just ran a report on the last year of my Data usage and the highest I've one is 1.8GB with an average of 1.3GB - I have unlimited -
Where/how did you run this report? Curious what my average is without having to look up each bill individually and manually calculating
 
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