AT&T eliminates $20 wireless plan, cuts data in half on $30 plan

(credit: Mike Mozart)

AT&T's entry-level smartphone data plan that offers 300MB for $20 a month will no longer be available to new customers beginning August 21. Additionally, the current 2GB plan that costs $30 will be replaced by a $30 plan offering only 1GB. A new $40 plan will offer 3GB, while $60 will provide 6GB, replacing today's $50 5GB plan.

On the plus side for customers who buy the lowest-cost data plans, AT&T is changing its phone access charge to $20 a month per device. You need to add the data and device access charges together to get the monthly cost before miscellaneous fees. Currently, AT&T imposes a $25-per-month access charge on plans with 5GB or less and $15 on bigger plans. Going forward, the $20 charge will apply regardless of size, with some exceptions—two-year contracts will still have access charges of $40 a month.

These changes are part of a revamp of AT&T's Mobile Share Value plans. In some cases, the new data prices offer better value. For example, it will cost $90 to get 16GB, while today it costs $100 for 15GB. The dollar-per-gigabyte value gets better from there. While today you'd pay $175 for 25GB and $225 for 30GB, next week it will cost $110 for 25GB and $135 for 30GB. The plans come with mobile hotspot capability, rollover data, and unlimited talk and text.

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