AT&T Ditches Cheaper Texting Rates In Favor Of Unlimited Plan

Written by Rob Soto on Aug. 19, 2011

After AT&T dropped a few of its texting plans earlier this year, the company is going even further by forcing its reported 106 million subscribers to pay for unlimited texting. In January of this year, they dropped the $5 rate for 200 messages, as well as the $15 rate for 1500 messages. Starting Sunday, if new customers want to join the carrier, they will have to sign up for the $20 unlimited plan by default.

In the cell phone industry, texting has become a cash cow for the nations top carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and AT&T considering that messages are sent for free via a control channel that is reserved for operation of wireless networks. Because of that and because AT&T removed its $10 rate to send up to 1000 messages, many critics are calling the carrier “greedy” for the changes they are making.

Many younger subscribers, however, overwhelmingly choose the unlimited option anyway because of the number of texts that are sent, but those that are less frequent texters are not happy with the lesser option being removed.

However, for current subscribers, there is good news. Those that are with the company before Aug. 21 are going to be what they call “grandfathered in” and they will still be eligible for the rate they are currently at, but new subscribers will be forced to choose the unlimited option — unless they want to pay $0.20 each per text or $0.30 per MMS.

Mobile leader Verizon is currently offering a texting plan as low as $5 for 250 messages, which is actually more bang for your buck compared to the previous AT&T plan that was discontinued earlier this year. If you want 250 more messages per month from Verizon, you can also throw in $5 more.