AT&T Mobility announces $5/day iPad cellular passes

“While consumers are clearly buying tablets in droves, getting them to fork over to connect them to cellular networks has been another story,” Ina Fried reports for AllThingsD.

“Buyers have overwhelmingly chosen Wi-Fi-only models, and, even when buying cellular-capable devices, they aren’t always connecting them to the network,” Fried reports. “AT&T is hoping that a new $5-per-day option will convince more customers to try out cellular, perhaps going with that option over hotel Wi-Fi when traveling. ”

Fried reports, “Another plan aimed at less-frequent users allows customers to pay $25 for 1 gigabyte of data that can be used any time in a three-month period.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Remember the type of people AT&T has on their pay procedures board. People like Leo Mullins who took 40 million from Delta when he left for cutting their pilots pay 30% then using company money to set his own severance package while Delta was going into bankruptcy. Five dollars per day is insane when you can have 15$ per month. Sounds like Leo Mullins to me.

      1. $5 a day is a good value. The $15 per month plan is for the same 250mb. If you use it for three days during the month, you could have paid the same $5 and had up to 750mb. I applaud the additional choices. Especially the 1gb over 3 months.

      2. Yes agreed…sounds like a ripoff to me as well. AT&T and other members of “data cartel” will continue milking the cash cow for as long as possible until a better and disruptive model comes along. There is going to be a huge proliferation of mobile devices in the coming years that will need real-time, mobile data connections. Paying for each and every one is ridiculous, won’t scale, and won’t garner mass adoption.

        The key will be some sort of subsidized model with advertisers perhaps to offset the costs. At some point down the road we’ll be able to just buy a live, hot device without worrying about signing a contract or paying for data in many cases.

    2. $1.99/day would be my price point as well. I’ve never used the 3G on my iPad, and now that I have an iPhone, I may never do so. On the rare occasions that I might have activated it for a month, I always backed off and decided I didn’t need web access as much as I thought, not for the $25-$30/mo that they were asking; but $1.99, well, if I needed it on a bigger screen than my phone, I might just do it for that. $5 is still too much if I have my phone with me, though.

  1. Users won’t flock to these ala carte services until the ridiculous charges for data use become more reasonable. If you sell if for a reasonable price, users will come. If not, well, you have the current situation. I use my iPad almost exclusively on WiFi.

    1. You use your iPad on WiFi only, so you are not a customer for this. We travel in our motorhome often. The WiFi at most RV parks is very weak and slow. On our AT&T iPhones with LTE in many locations we have much faster access than RV park WiFi. Many hotels have slow WiFi as well. Will likely use both the $5 a day and the $25 gig over 3 months. Up to now we have been reluctant to spent $30 for perhaps 2 or 3 day trip, but these new options look much better for us.

      1. I due use my iPad on cellular, I travel a lot, but I use WiFi whenever it is available, sometimes postponing use until I can get a WiFi signal. I know this plan will be helpful for some people, but I still think it’s too expensive. If you have an iPhone, you might look into whether using it as a Personal Hotspot would be better for you.

  2. Still too expensive when you can get free Wi-Fi just about anywhere you go. The bandwidth cartel that the carriers have going is just ridiculous and it’s keeping the industry from expanding. If they could just ease up on their prices for bandwidth we could see cable cutting just go through the roof. Hoping someone will come up with a bandwidth solution that doesn’t cost $300 for 50 gigs of decent anywhere pipe

    1. You’d be surprised at how many places you can go that do not have any WiFi at all. You have to bring your own (hotspot). I agree with your opinion concerning the data cartel. We need to treat internet access like all other infrastructure, Government designed, tax funded and ubiquitous, with private contractors building the hardware and services. Just like paved roads.

  3. Halle-frickin-luja! I’ve been saying this for years! I have no problem with $5/day. In fact, I’d rather pay $5 a day for 5 days in a month than I would $25 for a whole month. I know it sounds short-sighted, but I don’t want to pay for stuff I don’t need or use! Sometimes I travel a lot, but most of the time I don’t. That, and I HATE being forced into monthly subscriptions!

    Now, if they’d just wise up and do this with tethering! I’d pay $10/day to be able to tether my MacBook to my iPhone. When I’m traveling, I NEED internet. The other 95% of the time, I don’t. They’d get probably $150/year out of me for 15 days of tethering, yet today they get ZERO dollars from me because the service is ridiculously overpriced.

    1. I’m not sure where you’ve been, but the current plans for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all include tethering. At no additional cost.

      If tethering is important to you, make sure your phone is on one of these plans. Tethering couldn’t be easier, but it does use up a lot of battery on the iPhone.

      1. I have two iPhones on an AT&T plan that’s costing me nearly $160/mo. The only way to get tethering is to either pay $50/mo additional for that service, or switch to another plan that includes it. Those plans are about $40 more per month than what we pay now, so it’s not exactly “no additional cost” now, is it?

        1. How much data do you normally use in a month? That’s the big question. For most people the “unlimited” data plan is purely psychological. Back when I had “unlimited” data I discovered we only used about 500MB per iPhone, so we switched to the family share plan. (Data limit is known, but has more features.)

          If you share 1GB of data, it would be $130/mo (before taxes/fees). If you share 4GB of data, it would be $150/mo (before taxes/fees). Etc …

          Maybe you use more cellular data than we do. But it sounds like you don’t travel a lot each month, so it might be worth it for you.

      2. Oh, and that $160/mo that I pay? That’s the original iPhone ‘unlimited’ plan, and it’s a corporate promotional rate, so about $20 less than most would be paying. So, if you know some way to add tethering that won’t cost me another $500/year, I’m all ears.

  4. The biggest data hogs always want more bits for less bite.

    For the rest of us that travel infrequently and may only need access a few times a month, this may make sense.

    But then there is tethering to an iPhone, so is a cheap plan for infrequent use less than tethering cost.

  5. I would do $5 for one day. But that depends on how much data is allocated. It would for maps. But I could see it getting old real fast. $25 for 1GB over 3 months. Is ridiculous. It should be at minimum, 3GB and should be 5GB.

    Here’s the thing. AT&T complains that they don’t have enough bandwidth to server iPad/iPhone customers, hence the reason we don’t have hotspot for free. However they want your $$$… So, which is it? AT&T, stop being so stingy. There’s no, “Our bits are better than their bits” issue you can use. It’s just data.

    No end to AT&T pissing me off. Only problem I have to move to Europe to get anything better.

  6. That $25, 1GB, for 90 days is sweet!
    Compared to current plan of $15, 250MB, 30 days…
    That $20 LESS for 250MB MORE over 90 days.
    AND not auto-renew. Several times I missed the email telling me it was about to renew and ended up buying a data pack I didn’t want. I’d much rather it just turn off and I go buy another so I don’t get bit by a GOTCHA bug.

    Double sweet!

  7. “$25 for 1 gigabyte of data that can be used any time in a three-month period.”

    Change that to $19.95 and take out “three-month period” and you will have a winner.

  8. They should just charge a reasonable rate per MB. Alternatively, if they insist on tiers, they should have rollover data.

    I’d prefer to keep unlimited plans for all my devices with tethering so I can use the cell radio in the device with the largest battery (the iPad).

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