If you can’t beat ’em, charge ’em: Not long ago, AT&T execs criticised smartphone users as data hogs. Not anymore. With a series of new pricing plans, both AT&T and its archrival Verizon have decided that digital gluttony is good for business. Now the carriers are looking like the hogs themselves, only they’re gorging not on bandwidth but on the contents of their customers’ wallets.
A month after Verizon introduced a wireless plan that allowed users to share data across multiple devices, AT&T has followed suit. Like Verizon, AT&T designed its new prices togenerate more revenue the more people use high-bandwidth apps on their smartphones and tablets. Like Verizon, AT&T charges fees for voice and text even if they go unused. And both companies’ shared data plans charge 50% more per gigabyte in overage fees.