AT&T reportedly planned to raise prices on some of its legacy mobile plans, an apparent effort to offset rising inflation costs which CEO John Stankey had previously warned were a growing concern.

Bloomberg reported AT&T is raising prices by $6 a month for single-line customers and up to $12 a month for families. If accurate, the increases would be the first by the operator in three years.

An AT&T representative told Mobile World Live (MWL) it is “encouraging our customers to explore our newer plans which offer many additional features, more flexibility for each line on their account and, in many cases, a lower monthly cost”.

During AT&T’s Q1 earnings call, Stankey warned it could raise consumer tariffs due to inflation, after previously hinting at such a move in an article by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) early last month.

The increases could impact millions of AT&T mobile subscribers who are also faced with rising costs due to inflation.

Boost for rivals
Recon Analytics’ founder and lead analyst Roger Entner conducted weekly surveys into the potential impact of price rises following the WSJ article, research which concurred with the figures suggested by Bloomberg.

Entner found 54 per cent of the AT&T customers he quizzed had stated they would consider switching to another operator if increases of those levels were implemented, though noted the proportion of those which actually follow through is typically around 33 per cent.

The analyst suggested rival T-Mobile may pledge not to raise prices to lure AT&T customers, and told MWL any increases could boost Verizon, which “has been struggling” and reported a loss of subscribers in Q1.

Entner noted any rises by AT&T would result in “a significant impact on people” and may “push people who were on fence about leaving AT&T into the arms of Verizon and T-Mobile”.