AT&T increasing cellular data costs

January 19, 2012 10:32:41 AM PST
Get ready for a rate hike if you plan on becoming a new AT&T customer.

AT&T rates on its smartphone and tablet data plans. The new rates will go into effect on Sunday, but only new customers will be affected.

If you're already under contract you'll keep your current rate.

As mobile data usage increases and carriers run out of spectrum to cram data into they are raising rates and limiting usage on their networks.

Verizon followed AT&T in July by ending its unlimited offering, and T-Mobile similarly cancelled its unlimited data plan in April. Sprint remains the lone national carrier that provides unlimited data for its customers.

But all of them have raised prices, ended perks, or stiffened penalties within the last year. Sprint, for instance, raised its early termination fee in December. Verizon cancelled its New Every Two bonus discounts a year ago, and T-Mobile began throttling customers' speeds when they exceeded their data limits.