AT&T postpaid offers data & home phone plans paired with their Home Internet Device.
This pairing is available as a standalone plan on AT&T - you don't need to have an additional AT&T based phone plan to have this plan.
These plans appeal to some nomads thanks to decently high data buckets.
ZTE in the News: ZTE has been in the news a lot lately thanks to the sanctions the company has been negotiating with the US government. At one point, it seemed as if ZTE would be forced out of business.
In mid-July 2018 it looked like the dust has settled and ZTE would be able to continue releasing new products and supporting older devices, so we dropped our previous warning.
However, as of late 2018, the Trump administration is considering a ban on ZTE and Huawei via Executive Order.
Members, get our further analysis and follow our ongoing tracking of this story in our Special Announcements forum:
AT&T Wireless Internet Router
This is now the official companion device for the AT&T Wireless Home Phone & Internet plans.
The new device can only be activated on AT&T Wireless Home Phone & Internet plans.
- Model: MF279
- # of Connected Devices: 20 via Wi-Fi (10 per band) / More Via Ethernet
- Control Panel and Default Password:
Control Panel: http://att.wirelessinternet/ or http://192.168.0.1/
Default Password: “attadmin”
- USB Tethering Support: N/A
- Supported Networks and Bands:
LTE Bands: 2,4,5,12/17,29,30
4G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz
- LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: No
- MIMO Support: 2x2
- LTE Performance Category: Category 16
(Max Theoretical Speed: Unknown since it's unclear if all the modems features are active in this unit)
- Cellular Antenna Ports: 2 x SMA
- Other Ports: 1x Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps), 1x Analog Phone Jack
- Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 2.4GHz 802.11n and 5GHz 802.11ac
- Claimed Battery Life: (Primarily for short-term backup) 2.5 hours use, 1+ days standby
- Can Be Powered Without a Battery: Unknown
- Dimensions: 5.4 x 5.43 x 1.18"
- SIM Card Type: Nano SIM
- Retail Price: $199.99
Review & Testing Status
We reviewed the original Home Base unit, however, we do not intend to obtain this new unit for testing.
AT&T offers Wireless Home Phone & Internet plans that include large data buckets and a hard-wired phone line. Voice is part of these plans - and cannot be separated from the plans.
Pricing for currently available Home & Internet Plans is based on capped usage:
- 50GB for $40/month (+$20/voice) =$60+ taxes
- 100GB for $80/month (+$20/voice) =$100+ taxes
In early 2017, these plans were marketed as 'Rural' plans - and offered customers larger data buckets. The Rural plans are no longer available - but those on them have been grandfathered in. More info.
Details & Perks
- Carrier Networks Used: AT&T
- Carrier Relation: Direct
- Plan Types Available: Data & Voice
- Device Types Permitted: Wireless Home Router only
- Device Purchase Required: No - but must have specific Wireless Home Internet Router
- Mobile Hotspot Use: All
- Throttling: No
- Network Management:
- (Retired) Rural plans are always subject to Network Management. Being designed for 'rural users' it is expected the towers used won't be overloaded. So, you're stuck being network managed.
- Current Wireless Internet (50GB/100GB) may or may not be subject to Network Management. There is no language re: this practice on the Wireless Internet FAQ/TOS pages, and the reps we have talked to believe that the plans may not be subject to Network Management since there is no wording to designate such.
- International Roaming: No
- Domestic Roaming: 400MB/month
- Plan Period: Month
- Data Roll Over: None
- Overage Charges:
- For the 50/100GB Wireless Internet plans, if you exceed your data cap, overages are charged at $25 for 10GB, or you can elect to be automatically throttled to 128 kbps to avoid overages.
- For the (retired) 250GB/500GB Rural Wireless Internet plans, if you exceed your data cap, overages are charged at $10/10GB.
- Streaming: Unlike AT&T Mobile Share Advantage plans, these plans do not include any free video streaming on DirecTV Now.
- Stream Saver (reduction to 480p) is on by default on these plans, but can be turned off.
- Unlimited: No
While the above prices for large, completely hotspottable data buckets are worthy, in early 2017, some customers had access to even more (and cheaper) data, based on zip code - called the 'Rural Plan'.
In mid-February of 2017, AT&T began offering even more data on its Wireless Home & Internet Plan in select "rural" markets for a limited time... and by 'more', we mean A LOT more:
- 250GB for $60/month (+$20/voice) = $80+ taxes
- 500GB for $100/month (+20/voice) = $120+ taxes
The catch: the 250GB/500GB 'Rural' plans were only available for customers with billing addresses in certain areas (some zip codes in Missouri, Kansas, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Western PA, and Upstate New York).
Some RVers with other addresses had been able to activate the plan by finding the right representative, but results were mixed.
Reportedly, these 250GB/500GB plans are no longer available to anyone - and we warn folks who locked these plans in not to make any changes on them - or risk having the plan removed.
Once you had a line active, it will work anywhere that AT&T has coverage.
With all of these plans (10GB/50GB/100GB/250GB/500GB options), you are forced to pay an extra $20 in service charges for a home phone number with unlimited talk. There is not an option to drop the voice line. Unlike cellular smartphone plans, texting is not included.
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
For other popular mobile hotspots on the market - here are our featured options:
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