AT&T is one of the major nationwide cellular carriers in the United States, and has many different plan offerings. With their vast network coverage, AT&T is commonly used a primary cellular option by full-time travelers.
AT&T postpaid direct offers unlimited call, text, and data phone plans, capped data phone plans, and data device based plans.
Unlimited Smartphone Plans
AT&T's current unlimited plan offerings include three plans (see grid below for all pricing details). As of 9/25/2020, these fall under AT&T's "Unlimited Your Way" branding, which allows mix-and-match options to customize the plan for each line on an account:
- Unlimited Starter - $65/Single Line
- Unlimited Extra - $75/Single Line
- Unlimited Elite - $85/Single Line
Unlimited Plan Specifications:
- Carrier Networks Used: AT&T
- Carrier Relationship: Direct
- Plan Types Available: Smartphone
- Device Types Permitted: Smartphone, Tablets, Connected Cars, Wearables
- Unlimited: Yes
- High-Speed Mobile Hotspot Use:
- Throttling: Full speed on device, mobile hotspot throttles noted above.
- Network Management:
- Unlimited Starter: After 22GB
- Unlimited Extra: After 50GB
- Unlimited Elite: After 100GB
- Video Streaming Resolution:
- Unlimited Starter: 480p
- Unlimited Extra: 480p
- Unlimited Elite: 480p, but can be 1080p if Stream Saver is turned off
- 5G Access:
- Unlimited Starter: Yes - no extra charge
- Unlimited Extra: Yes - no extra charge
- Unlimited Elite: Yes - no extra charge
- eSIM: Yes
- Device Purchase Required: No, but can purchase a device
- Plan Period: 30 days
- International Roaming:
- Domestic Roaming:
- Domestic data roaming limited to 400MB per month. If you exceed that, your data access may be shut down until you are back on AT&T native towers. Excessive domestic roaming can also lead to permanent termination of roaming.
- Domestic roaming may be throttled to 2G speeds at all times.
- Data Rollover: No
- Overage Charges: No
- Lines permitted per account: 10
- Unlimited Elite Plan includes HBO Max
- Data-free cellular streaming on DirecTV and Watch TV app.
- Discount on DirecTV service.
Pricing Grid Comparison
These are the options available for LTE and 5G devices:
- 15GB for $60/month
- 35GB for $85/month
There is a $10/month discount if auto payment and e-billing is selected. This plan does not use shared data - a data allotment must be purchased for each device. Once the data limit is met, additional data will be automatically added at $10/2GB.
Connected Car & RV
These plans are offered for vehicles with built-in hotspots, such as GM's OnStar, Airstreams and Ford's SYNC systems. They also offer an aftermarket OBD-II device that is eligible for in vehicle usage only. More information is available on the AT&T Connected Car website.
- Connected Car Unlimited Data: $20/month per car, for up to 3 cars
- Network Management after 22GB
- Includes roaming into Canada
- HarmanSpark (or other OBD-II devices)
- 5GB or 10GB plans
- Add to an existing Mobile Share Plan for $10/month
Wireless Internet (**Top Pick**)
AT&T Wireless internet provides a traditional telephone line and data and are only eligible on AT&T's Wireless Internet devices (which are a combo cellular embedded router with phone jack). These plans can not be activated on other hotspots or routers.
While intended as a home or business internet solution, the plans and devices are mobile-friendly.
- 100GB for $100/month
- 50GB for $60/month
Info on these plans can be found here: AT&T Wireless Internet
Tablet Unlimited Plan (**Top Pick**)
Tablets can be enabled as single lines of service at full price on AT&T's "unlimited" plans or added on to unlimited smartphone plans for just $20/month. However, when added as a line of service, they come with the features of the 'Starter' plan (480p video, no hotspot data, and always subject to network management.)
However, there's also a little known plan for just $20/month that includes unlimited data on tablets that can be purchased ala carte without other lines of service. It's assumed this plan is really there for adding on to accounts that have already reached their 10-line limit - but it still can be activated without other lines of service.
The plan has network management after 22GB of usage, and it's unconfirmed if any high-speed mobile hotspot is included.
It is listed in AT&T's system as "Unlimited For iPad" and "Unlimited for Tablet". You'll have to find a rep who knows about this plan over the phone or in a corporate store to activate it on a cellular-enabled tablet.
This is a post-paid plan for tablets only, and there is a $30 activation fee.
There are further notes in the member section below on this option.
Mobile Share Data
Mobile Share Data Plans (In-Store Only)
These plans include a shared data amount to share with up to 10 data-only devices. Smartphones are not eligible. Eligible devices include tablets, laptops, routers and hotspot devices.
There is a monthly plan charge plus a monthly device access charge for each data-only device on your account that will be using the plan. Monthly device access charges are determined by the type of data-only devices you add to the plan. Laptops, netbooks, and hotspots are $20/month, and tablets and gaming devices are $10/month.
Monthly plan charges are as follows:
AT&T Business offerings for smartphones and data-only devices that may be an option for those who have a qualifying business. These plans come with some major advantages over AT&T's consumer plans - such as 100GB of high-speed mobile hotspot off of a smartphone for the same price.
To see the current options, check out our AT&T Postpaid Business entry.
- Verizon Goes Big in C-Band Auction - Investing Billions in 5G Spectrum Posted on: March 1, 2021
- AT&T Business Try-And-Buy Program Offers 50GB of Data for 30 Days on a Moxee Hotspot for Free Posted on: February 18, 2021
- Boom! Mobile Adds New Black (AT&T) 50-750GB/month Data Plans on the BOOMFi Hotspot Device Posted on: February 10, 2021
- New Turbo Hotspot 2 by Wingtech for Cricket Wireless and AT&T Business Posted on: January 27, 2021
- Cricket Simply Data Plan Introduces Device Restrictions - Do NOT MOVE SIM CARDS from Routers! Posted on: January 24, 2021
- Coverage? App Now Includes Maps for 5G, Canadian Carriers and U.S. Cellular Posted on: December 18, 2020
- FCC's Massive C-Band Auction Begins - Shaping The Future of 5G Posted on: December 8, 2020
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
Some of our TOP PICK Cellular Data Plans to also consider:
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- AT&T - Unlimited Data Plans
- AT&T - Data Connect Plans
- AT&T - Mobile Share Plans
- AT&T - Connected Car Plan
- AT&T Wireless Home Internet Plans
Finding the right plans for your needs is no easy task - quite simply mobile travelers using cellular data as their primary way online is not how most carriers have designed their plans. Many of us want plans that provide copious amounts of data.
Understanding the different plan terms (like network management, throttling, hotspot data, video resolution) is key to determining if a plan will meet your needs or not. You also need plans that are suitable for use in the device you want to use them in - such as smartphone, mobile hotspot device or cellular embedded router.
To learn more about shopping for dataplans, check out these key guides:
Here's a video going over the 'limits' on so-called 'unlimited' data plans:
But a data plan alone will not keep you online. For more education on assembling a cellular centric mobile internet setup, head on over to our collection of guides to help with selecting gear and your signal enhancing strategy: