Currently, AT&T offers several postpaid plan options. This guide focuses on the AT&T business plans - of which the Elite plan and Broadband Wireless hotspot plans are Top Pick plans worth considering for those qualified for a business account with AT&T.
Business Plan Requirements
Not just anyone can get a business plan. AT&T requires that you actually have a business account with AT&T. Setting up a business account can be done at any AT&T store or by calling the business sales division at 866-429-7222. This cannot be done online.
The only documentation required to set up a business account is a valid Federal Tax ID Number for the business (aka Employer Identification Number). Once the account is set up, you'll then be able to signup for a business plan. If you have a new business or a business without credit history, AT&T may require a per line refundable deposit to activate service.
For info on all of AT&T's direct postpaid options, see our guide:
For Our Comparative Pricing Grid:
Guide to Cellular Data Plan Pricing
AT&T Unlimited Business Smartphone Plans
AT&T Business offerings *may* be an option for those who have a qualifying business. For those with a qualifying business, these new plans come with some major advantages over AT&T's consumer plans.
The Unlimited Business plan lineup comes in three tiers and is designed for small-medium sized business that need up to 10 lines per account:
- Business Unlimited Elite - $85 (**TOP PICK PLAN**)
- Business Unlimited Performance - $75
- This mid-tier plan includes 30GB of mobile hotspot data, a 50GB network management threshold, and HD (1080p) streaming. Access to AT&T's 5G networks is included.
- Business Unlimited Starter - $65
- This basic plan is always subject to network management, doesn't include any mobile hotspot data, and only supports SD (480p) video streaming. Does not include access to AT&T's 5G networks
Policies & Perks
- Carrier Networks Used: AT&T
- Carrier Relationship: Direct
- Plan Types Available: Smartphone (unlimited talk/text)
- Devices Permitted:
- Tablets, cameras, & connected cars (with built-in modems): $20/month
- Harman Spark connected vehicle device: $25/mont
- Connected wearables: $10/month
- Mobile hotspot devices cannot be added to these plans.
- Device Purchase Required: No
- On Device Data: Unlimited for all 3 plans
- Mobile Hotspot / Tethering:
- Business Unlimited Starter - None
- Business Unlimited Performance - 30GB
- Business Unlimited Elite - 100GB
- Network Management / Throttling:
- Business Unlimited Starter - Always
- Business Unlimited Performance - 50GB
- Business Unlimited Elite - 100GB
- International Roaming: Roaming in Canada & Mexico included in plans for talk, text and/or data
- Domestic Roaming: Yes - but may be at 2G speeds.
- Overage Charges: None
- Video Perks:
- business plans do not have added video service bundle perks
- Streaming Restrictions / Speeds:
- Business Unlimited Starter - 480p
- Business Unlimited Performance - 1080p (HD)
- Business Unlimited Elite - 4K
- Video Perks:
- Taxes & Fees: plan pricing does not include taxes and use fees. Up to a $1,000/line fee may apply to lines without a credit history.
- Lines per account: 10
- Other Plan Perks: Access to AT&T's expanding 5G network is included with the Performance and Elite plans
Unlimited Elite - Higher Priority
One feature that makes the Elite plan unique is a feature called "AT&T Business Fast Track" that bumps up the network priority even further compared to standard plans, but only for eligible business data. This means that business data on the Elite plan will have higher network priority than all consumer-based plans and many business plans. Higher priority means better speed and performance, especially on busy cell towers.
The downside is that only business data gets this increased priority and AT&T tightly controls what counts as business data.
However, for a business customer - especially one working remotely full-time, it can be a huge benefit to have high priority data access for business tasks. This can allow you to get out an important email or transfer a critical document to a remote server while others can't even load a webpage.
But don't expect to be able to use this enhanced priority for video streaming or "fun" applications - customers must coordinate with AT&T to set up Fast Track for their business-data and AT&T specifically prohibits streaming applications.
Additionally, this higher Fast Track priority is only available on AT&T owned cellular towers and only for LTE and AT&T's advanced LTE network, which it calls 5G Evolution (and isn't actually 5G). Fast Track also does not apply to legacy 3G/4G HSPA+ and true 5G networks.
This higher priority only applies to the first 100GB of on-device and mobile hotspot data however. Once you hit that threshold, you priority level drops to the same level as a consumer plan, and you are also subject to Network Management, meaning your speeds may be slowed if the network is busy.
Business Unlimited Wireless Broadband Plans
AT&T Business also offers wireless broadband data-only plans intended to be a primary, failover, or temporary connection for machine-to-machine business needs. They include unlimited data and are priced by rated speed and prioritization threshold.
They also come with a bucket of priority data intended for use with business-specific applications like point-of-sale terminals, inventory management software, kiosks, ATM's, etc.
The fine print buried a couple documents deep off their main sales page on these plans state they are intended for use at a "primary place of use" and must use a qualified Cat 18 or higher data-only router (AT&T has partnered with and promotes Cradlepoint routers, and the Netgear Nighthawk qualifies). They also state the plan is not for use with streaming video or audio.
The specific limitations state:
Plans may only be used for a CRU line with a qualified data-only wireless router located in a fixed location using machine-to-machine business applications needing wireless data communication between the router and Customer’s business data network. Each qualified device activated with an AT&T Wireless Broadband plan must have a primary place of use (“PPU”) within AT&T’s owned and operated 4G LTE or 5G Evolution wireless network coverage are within the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands (“Domestic Coverage Area”).
(From their Terms of Service PDF)
- 8Mbps Plan (50GB Network Management Threshold) - $80/month
- 12Mbps Plan (75GB Network Management Threshold) - $130/month
- 50Mbps Plan (120GB Network Management Threshold) - $200/month
- Requires an approved Category 18 device with the network coverage to support those speeds
- 100Mbps Plan (175GB Network Management Threshold) - $295/month
Additionally, these plans can only be activated on AT&T certified hardware and the higher throughput options for this plan (50 and 100 Mbps) require at least a Cat 18 modem and activation at a location where AT&T's network can support those speeds.
In their sales video and interactive demos, they use examples of fast food store using this for their point of sales systems internally, or for supporting a remote storefront in a spot without traditional internet connections.
As attractive as these plans would be for mobile users however - these plans do not seem intended for mobile use or general/personal mobile internet access (ie. surfing, video or homeschooling). It's unknown what actions - if any - AT&T might take if they are used outside that capacity.
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
For other featured cellular data plans ideal for RVers and Crusiers - here's some other options to consider:
Related Articles & Videos:
- 5G Industry Update: Verizon's 5G Laptop, AT&T Unleashes DSS, T-Mobile Serves Cake, And More! Posted on: June 29, 2020
- AT&T-Based MVNOs H20 Wireless and PureTalk USA Increase Data Limits on Smartphone Plans Posted on: June 4, 2020
- AT&T Prepaid Introduces New 12GB/$40 Plan - Available at Authorized Prepaid Dealers Only Posted on: June 3, 2020
- AT&T Launches HBO Max Streaming Service Posted on: May 27, 2020
- Consumer Cellular Offers New 'Unlimited' Plan With Mobile Hotspot Capability for $60 - But It's Really a 35GB Plan Posted on: May 7, 2020
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Setting up a business account can be done at any AT&T store or by calling the business sales division at 866-429-7222. This cannot be done online.
Once you have set-up a business account, you can select your desired plans, here:
Selecting the right cellular data plan for your mobile internet needs is only one part of the equation. Here's some further guides on understanding the selection process as well as the additional gear you might need.