New AT&T customers will be required to pick an AT&T Mobile Share plan starting Oct. 25, the carrier announced in a blog on Friday.
The move does away with AT&T's traditional monthly calling and data plans for both individuals and families in what AT&T called a "streamlining" of its plans.
Existing customers aren't required to move to a Mobile Share plan and can upgrade or downgrade their plans or can stay with their current plan even when upgrading to a new device, AT&T said.
Mobile Share plans, which AT&T announced in August 2012, allow customers to share data across multiple devices. More than 13 million devices are connected to AT&T via Mobile Share plans, an indication of how popular they are, the carrier said.
When Mobile Share plans were launched, AT&T emphasized that the plans were voluntary and a clear distinction from Verizon Wireless, which had set up its own shared data service plans, called Share Everything, in June 2012 with the requirement that new and upgrading customers move to those plans. That requirement angered some customers.
Mobile Share plans start at $50 a month for each basic phone or $70 a month for each smartphone with a 300 MB data plan. Each tablet adds $10 a month. There are now 11 different plans for data with unlimited talk and text that range from 300 MB for $20 a month, up to $500 a month for 50 GB, according to AT&T's Web site.
Businesses can share up to 25 devices total for the largest 50 GB plan, while consumers can share a maximum of 10 devices.
AT&T is also keeping its most basic individual $40 plan that comes with 450 voice minutes a month and doesn't require texting or data.
This article, AT&T moves to Mobile Share-only plans for new customers, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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