AT&T Drops TV Subscription Requirement From Unlimited Plan

An unlimited plan on AT&T is no longer tethered to a TV subscription.

The nation’s second-largest carrier announced on Thursday that it would begin re-offering unlimited data to customers without requiring them to have AT&T’s DirecTV or U-verse television service.

As part of its own new plans, which go live on Friday, AT&T will be matching Verizon’s latest plan, offering four lines for $180 with no television subscription service required. A single line is pricier than Verizon at $100, with each additional line running $40 (AT&T does not charge for the fourth line which is how four lines can be offered for $180).

As with Verizon, AT&T will be slowing down users when they are in busy or “congested” areas if they’ve already consumed more than 22GB in a month.

The new unlimited offer will include HD video, but unlike the other carriers the company will not be allowing users to use their phones as a mobile hot spot. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint’s latest deals all include 10GB of mobile hot spot data.

Users traveling in Canada and Mexico can also add a “Roam North America” feature that lets them use their unlimited plan– calling, texting and data– in the two countries for no additional charge.

AT&T last offered unlimited data to non-TV subscribers in 2010, with some customers still holding on to those older unlimited plans. AT&T says that those users are not affected by today’s announcement, though in March they will see a previously announced $5 increase that raises the price to $45. There is also a $40 “access fee” on top of that, bringing the total price for those users to $85 per month, still $15 cheaper than a single line on AT&T’s new plan.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Eli Blumenthal