AT&T’s data-only 5G plan for tablets and laptops just got cheaper

AT&T’s data-only 5G plan for tablets and laptops just got cheaper

Mobile network plans that only offer cellular data, without the usual phone number and messaging services, started becoming more popular a few years ago. They’re still not incredibly common, but they can be a cheaper method of adding LTE or 5G to a tablet or PC. AT&T is one carrier that has offered data-only plans for a while, and now the company is updating them with higher data caps and lower monthly bills.

AT&T previously sold two ‘DataConnect’ post-paid plans: 15GB for $60/mo, or 35GB for $85/mo. The prices were reduced by $10 when you signed up for AutoPay and paperless billing, but you would also be charged $10 for every 2GB used over the limit. Pre-paid customers had the option of 3GB for $25/mo, 10GB for $50/mo, or 18GB for $75/mo. The pre-paid plans had no international support.

The post-paid plans have been replaced with two new tiers: 25GB for $50/mo, or 40GB for $75/mo. That’s significantly less expensive, and tethering is allowed “with compatible devices.” AT&T is also enabling 5G access on the plans, though you’ll need a hotspot or tablet that can connect to 5G (which are still not commonplace), and AT&T’s 5G network still isn’t widely available. The pre-paid data-only plans remain at the same prices.

AT&T didn’t mention why it reduced prices, though it could be the result of low customer demand for the older plans — $60 for 15GB was a tough pill to swallow, even if tethering and other functionality was available. The updated plans could also be in preparation for more 5G-connected laptops and tablets, like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Book Go. HP also released a laptop earlier this year with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chipset and 5G compatibility, and 5G is one of the selling points for Apple’s new iPad Pro.

Featured image: 2021 Apple iPad Pro

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.