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AT&T Requiring New Subscribers To Opt For Mobile Share Plans

Dallas — All new AT&T cellphone subscribers starting Oct. 25 will have to subscribe to one of the carrier’s Mobile Share plans, the carrier announced in a blog post.

When the carrier instituted Mobile Share plans in August 2012, it gave new subscribers a choice of choosing Mobile Share plans or one of its traditional plans. With the policy change, AT&T is joining Verizon Wireless in requiring new subscribers who buy a smartphone to get a shared-data plan, which requires users to pay for unlimited talk and text and enables them to share a bucket of data with other smartphone and tablet users on the same account.

Like before, existing AT&T subscribers on traditional plans can keep their existing plans, the carrier said. Current subscribers “can choose to switch to Mobile Share, or they can continue to enjoy, upgrade or downgrade their existing plan,” the company stated. Existing subscribers will be able to keep their traditional plans even if they upgrade to a new subsidized device, the company added.

AT&T said it is making the change because it wants to streamline the number of plans its offers to new customers. “In 95 percent of the new customer scenarios, Mobile Share offers the same or better price with additional value,” the carrier claimed.