AT&T’s latest smartphone plans offer new ways to limit ‘unlimited’ data


One thing’s guaranteed to be limited in “unlimited” smartphone plans: their lifespan on the market.

AT&T, the latest to retire old mostly-unlimited plans, did so only 20 months after the June 2018 introduction of its previous offers.

The new ones – announced days before the Federal Trade Commission fined AT&T $60 million for not disclosing speed limits on plans sold five years ago as unlimited – require factoring in the same three variables as the other nationwide carriers’ unlimited-ish deals.

First comes the threshold at which your data speeds may slow if the network gets congested – aka “deprioritization.” How much less priority? AT&T users on Reddit have reported sub-3G speeds, down to 1 Mbps. That should be the most important factor, since it directly affects your ability to do much online on your phone – as in, it limits your use of “unlimited” data.

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