AT&T has had its eye on bundle packages since its acquisition of DirecTV, as executives honed in on integration of the carrier’s video and wireless assets as a key strategy. The carrier first packaged traditional DirecTV service with wireless back in the summer of 2015, and followed up with an offer of unlimited wireless for DirecTV customers only in January 2016. But AT&T’s latest bundle takes entertainment fully mobile with an offer that ties together unlimited wireless service and DirecTV Now for just $70 per month.
Starting Thursday, AT&T customers on the carrier’s $60 per month (with AutoPay and paperless billing) Unlimited Choice plan will be able to add a DirecTV Now “Live a Little” package for just $10 per month. The latter video package normally runs $35 per month on its own, but the carrier is offering a $25 per month bill credit to customers who pick up the promotion.
The Live a Little package reportedly includes more than 60 popular TV channels and 10,000-plus on-demand shows and movies. DirecTV Now can be streamed on both smartphones and tablets, and, as of Tuesday, viewed on a TV using a compatible devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast.
“Customers shouldn’t settle for plain-old unlimited plans. With us, they can stream at least 60 live channels, as well as on-demand, premium channels, popular shows, and hit movies through DirecTV Now,” AT&T Entertainment Group’s CMO David Christopher commented. “We’re giving customers entertainment where, when, and how they want it.”
Higher-tier customers on AT&T’s $90 per month Unlimited Plus plan will have the option to use their $25 bill credit toward either DirecTV Now, DirecTV, or U-verse TV. Unlimited Plus customers will still have HBO thrown in for good measure and will also get 10 GB of high-speed data per line when they tether from their smartphone. AT&T first added HBO as a perk for its Unlimited Plus customers back in April. The Unlimited Plus plan at the time already included the $25 monthly video credit for any AT&T video service.
The bundle offers aren’t surprising given the surge in video traffic on the carrier’s network. AT&T indicated video traffic surged 75 percent between 2015 and 2016, and now accounts for more than half the mobile traffic on its network. And AT&T is looking for a way to differentiate itself in what has been a highly competitive wireless market now saturated with unlimited offers.
But as with all unlimited plans, AT&T’s offer does come with boundaries. The carrier said Unlimited Choice customers will have access to a max data speed of 3 Mbps and 480p definition video streaming on its LTE network. And – as before – that “unlimited” data may be subject to slower speeds after 22 GB of usage in a month.