Can it be a coincidence?
The same week T-Mobile castigated the “duopoly” for nickel and diming their customers, news surfaced that both AT&T and Verizon are raising costs for a handful of users.
Over at AT&T, the change impacts customers on its legacy unlimited plan, who will have to pay an extra $5 per month – or $60 per year – to keep their plan.
The change – which was first picked up by DSLReports – will go into effect in March, the carrier said.
“Our Mobile Share Advantage plans and our AT&T Unlimited Plan provide several benefits that our legacy unlimited plan doesn’t,” an AT&T spokeswoman said in a statement to Wireless Week. “If you have a legacy unlimited data plan, you can keep it; however, beginning in March 2017, it will increase by $5 per month.”
The rate hike comes on top of a previous $5 price increase in February 2016, and will raise the total cost for legacy unlimited users to $40 per month.
As in the quote, the spokeswoman noted AT&T does offer a new version of its unlimited plan for unsatisfied customers, but it’s unlikely legacy users would want to make the jump considering the new unlimited plan requires a DirecTV or U-verse subscription and costs $100 per month for the first smartphone and $40 for each additional line.
As first noted by DroidLife, Verizon is also raising prices, but it is doing so for upgraders who pay full retail price for their device. Verizon confirmed Tuesday it will now require retail price device purchasers to pay a $30 upgrade fee, while those who buy their phone via an equipment installment plan will pay only a $20 upgrade fee.
Additionally, a Verizon spokeswoman confirmed the carrier has finally officially done away with the two-year contract option for existing customers after getting rid of the option for new customers last year.
But just because the two-year contract option is off the table doesn’t mean device subsidies are a thing of the past.
On Tuesday, MoffettNathanson noted subsidies had crept back into the market over the holiday season in the form of deep device discounts. That, MoffettNathanson analysts said, certainly has an impact on carrier financials. You can read more about that here.