AT&T Announces Unlimited Data Plan: Parks Associates Analysts Respond

by Brett Sappington | Mar. 30, 2016

According to Parks Associates research, 9% of U.S. broadband households switched broadband service providers in the last 12 months; almost 1/4 of these households did so in order to obtain faster service at a comparable price.

This week, AT&T announced that it would be upgrading its U-verse home Internet plans with additional service options, including a plan with unlimited data. The upgrades will begin in May and all current U-verse home Internet customers will automatically receive an increase in monthly data allowance. The unlimited data plan will be available complimentary to customers who have U-verse home Internet and either DIRECTV or U-verse TV service, and for a monthly fee to customers who only subscribe to U-verse home Internet.

As consumers adopt high-speed services, their consumption of data also increases. They tend to connect more devices, stream more videos, and enjoy other data-driven activities. An increasing number of consumers were likely to exceed AT&T’s previous data limits of 150 or 250 GB while engaging in these activities. This new unlimited data plan is likely for the uber-data users that far exceed their data allowance each month.

Additional Parks Associates research shows:

  • 65% of U.S. broadband households engage in at least one second-screen activity on a monthly basis.
  • 68% of U.S. smartphone owners listen to streaming music daily.
  • Over 60% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to an OTT video service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video.

According to Brett Sappington, Director of Research at Parks Associates, AT&T has been aggressive in its broadband service plans, introducing its GigaPower service into several markets and offering higher speed options overall.

Managing consumer expectations is extremely important in a highly competitive marketplace. If consumers are caught by surprise with additional charges, they will be likely to switch providers out of frustration. Parks Associates research supports this—while 43% of subscribers do not know their current broadband speed, they do know about the experience that they have online, and consumers are willing to pay to ensure they do not encounter slowdowns or other performance problems.

Parks Associates analysts are available to comment on this announcement. For more information or to schedule a briefing or interview, contact Holly Sprague.

Further Reading:

Next: Key Trends Driving Broadband Adoption Worldwide
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