Not everyone can afford to pay as much as $85 a month for a single line of unlimited wireless service, but those who can (and want) to be "elite" AT&T customers, for instance, probably expect their carrier to take care of everything
at that price.
Unfortunately, there's still no such thing as a truly unlimited and all-inclusive cellular plan stateside, although the competition between the nation's top three mobile network operators is pushing everyone to improve the value of their services, lift new barriers, and remove restrictions at least once every few months.
While you could say that AT&T needed a little more time than usual to hit back at an "Un-carrier" move unveiled close to five months ago
, it's definitely nice to see the market's number two and three players on an equal footing at last, which is likely to force the industry's red-tinted top dog to eventually make some big changes of its own.
More data, no throttling, and 4K video included
If you're wondering how an "unlimited" plan can get even more data, then you must not be aware of the "big three's" typical shenanigans. Yes, mobile hotspot data is still limited, but at least AT&T is raising that monthly allowance
from 30 to 40 gigs for Unlimited Elite subscribers at no extra cost.
Once you hit that ceiling, your phone's tethering capabilities will be downgraded to 128Kbps top speeds, which still kind of sucks.
Perhaps more importantly, data slowdown (aka throttling) is no longer a thing on Ma Bell's most expensive service tier, which means you will always be able to enjoy the operator's highest "nationwide 5G" speeds going forward.
A lot is changing about AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan
Of course, you will still need one of the best 5G phones available in the US
right now to achieve that, but at least you don't have to worry about exceeding the current 100GB "premium" data cap anymore.
And yes, we know that may not feel like a major cause of concern for many people, but with AT&T Unlimited Elite service including HBO Max access and now 4K UHD video streaming support as well, it could have easily become a problem in the future.
Once again, you won't need to spend a dime or in fact do anything at all to score these three cool upgrades, which will be automatically added to your account at some point "this week." New customers looking to get in on the Unlimited Elite
fun should know that the base $85 monthly fee goes up to $150 for two lines, $180 for three lines, $200 for four, and $225 for five.
Your move, Verizon
With this long overdue AT&T
launch matching T-Mobile's Magenta Max perks and benefits pretty much to the letter, we're left wondering when Verizon will inevitably cave and follow suit.
Not only is Big Red's Get More Unlimited plan
a little pricier, starting at $90 a month, but throttling is still very much a thing and 5G nationwide/4G LTE mobile hotspot data remains capped at a comparatively modest 30GB.
What's worse is that Verizon warns its most valued customers that their speeds could be reduced "in times of congestion" after exceeding just 50GB consumption, which means that the carrier's Get More Unlimited plan is not even as good as AT&T's old Unlimited Elite tier.
This is not good enough, Big Red
On the bright side, at least Big Red already offers 4K UHD streaming on "capable devices", which can certainly come in handy with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ access included in your $90 a month and up subscription fee.
Furthermore, your International Day Pass will be automatically available when you arrive at one of the over 210 international destinations supported starting "later this summer", making it easier than ever to get the essential service when traveling outside of the US.