AT&T is limiting new customers to so-called “mobile share” plans, which allow subscribers to share data allowances among multiple devices.
The decision comes into effect on 25 October, when other tariffs for new customers will be shelved.
AT&T says existing customers can keep their current plans, even when upgrading to a new device.
Although data-sharing plans are typically more expensive than tariffs for a single device, AT&T maintains it is responding to customer demand.
In an official blog, AT&T – which, along with Verizon, launched data sharing in 2012 – said Mobile Share was the most popular plan among its new customers. More than 13 million devices, says the US’ second-largest operator, are now connected via one of its data-sharing plans.
Of course, AT&T is no doubt calculating that customers hooked up to shared-data plans will also be less likely to churn off the network.
AT&T’s Mobile Share plans start at $50 a month for a basic phone, and $70 a month for a smartphone (both of which include unlimited talk and text and 300MB of data that can be shared).
For businesses, up to 15 devices are allowed for a 30GB plan, 20 for a 40GB plan, and 25 devices for a 50GB plan.
Up to 10 devices per plan are allowed for consumers and families.