AT&T to offer one unlimited text plan for $20 per month

“One of the leading wireless carriers, AT&T Inc. has planned to shelve its $10.00 text plan for 1,000 text messages. Instead, the company will introduce an unlimited text plan for $20.00 a month,” Zacks reports. “Alternatively, users will be charged 20 cents a text message.”

“More customers are moving toward bundled services with an unlimited text plan,” Zacks reports. “A recent study suggests that approximately 180 billion text messages are sent each year across the AT&T network i.e., approximately 500 million per day.”

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Zacks reports, “Tech giants like Apple and Google are launching their own free messaging services… Apple is slated to unveil its iMessage service later this year, allowing iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users to send free messages over their wireless connections… We believe technology providers like Apple, Google and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT – News) will soon begin their wireless data businesses, creating significant threats for carriers like AT&T. In such an event, the profitability of any mobile carrier will depend upon remodeling of their service offerings as per the changing market conditions as customers are increasingly drifting toward data services.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. 20¢/ea or $20/mo is a crazy amount to ask for such a lightweight, old-fashioned service.

    At that price I think eventually people will go without the plan, and instead ask their friends to buy an iPhone.

  2. Charging for texting is probably the greatest carrier rip-off in existeince. My understanding is that texting uses voice network and does NOT go over GPRS/HSPA/HSDPA/HSUPA segment. About the only excuse carrier may have for charging separately is the maintenance of SMS gateways for tracking and delivery of texts.

    I can’t possibly imagine that unilimited texting represents higher burden on carrier resources than unlimited voice (and judging by the price difference between metered and unlimited pricing, it seems so).

    1. My understanding is that your cell phone is pinged periodically by the carrier. Part of the return message includes free space (100 bytes or so) that is currently used to carry text messages. So the carrier is doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and spending ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to provide testing service. It’s the rip-off of the century.

    2. Predrag, you really need to jettison the stone-age anti-corporate bias, and use your brain more. Your logic is flawed, clouded by foolish emotion and a childish grasp on reality.

      Wireless carriers in the US lease text message services from separate companies who maintain the patents and licensing on text services. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint etc. all get reamed on the pricing, so it’s not the carriers ripping you off, they are over a barrel too, it’s those who own the texting services who are trying to maintain the pricing structure. The carriers would love to ditch the whole texting thing, but they are stuck between high licensing costs and stupid backwards users like yourself, who can’t seem to grasp other superior and cheaper protocols.


      1. Your argument holds little water, as texting seems to be most expensive in the US, on contract plans. Hell, Virgin offers unlimited text and data plans at $35 per month, so whatever part of that $35 represents any licensing for technology, it is low enough.

        Regardless, as this does not affect me in any way (I send/receive the total of about 15 texts in a year).

        By the way, very classy of you calling me stupid and backwards…

  3. OK, let me see if I understand this… While Apple, Google and others are preparing to introduce their own FREE messaging services, AT&T and Verizon are RAISING the prices on their competing services… Hmm… I’m not sure I understand their business model. Wait, I’m not sure THEY understand their business model.

    TWENTY CENTS to route a hundred BYTES of data? Are they actually serious?!?!? That’s absolute insanity!

    The funny thing is that as these phones get more and more powerful, the wireless providers are more and more relegated to providing nothing more than a dumb pipe. Soon, they’ll have nothing left to differentiate themselves other than price.

    It simply amazes me that as the wireless companies’ control over the industry erodes, they continue doing the same things that made people hate them (and want to take control away from them) in the first place.

    I’m so glad that almost everybody I know and care about exchanging text messages with are already using iOS devices (or soon will be). My days of using AT&T SMS with any regularity are numbered. Screw you, AT&T and you, too Verizon.

  4. No to put too fine a point on the lunacy of this, but if their current text plan in any indication, ATT will be charging .20 to the sender AND .20 to the recipient. ATT will gross .40/text.

  5. I read something last week that said they will grandfather anyone on older plans at lower rates. So my $10/1000 messages a month, which I never even get close to using, will still be good as long as I don’t switch carriers and come back to ATT.

    My question surrounds iMessage… will I be able to iMessage non-apple devices the way I do now with SMS? I don’t think so. This is going to present a problem for many of my friends, who are chemically dependent on smartphones with little QWERTY keyboards with bumpy buttons.

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