AT&T's No-Contract Phone Plans Just Got Cheaper

AT&T has just announced that its non-contract customers are finally catching a break. By tweaking its mobile share plans, the carrier is shaving a bit off of what were previously some pretty expensive plans.

The plans are a fairly confusing mix of data, phone, and line costs, but, hey, here goes. Data charges change subtly: 300MB per month costs $20, 1GB $45, 2GB $55, 10GB $100, 20GB $150, and 50GB $125. That varies from no new saving for 300MB, up to $125 off the top tier. (All of the plans include unlimited text and voice calls, by the way.)

Bigger changes come into play with charges per device. Previously, there was a sliding scale, with different charges applying to different devices included with the plan. No longer. Now, with a no-contract smartphone, the fee is $25 a month. So, a single user with a 10GB plan will pay $125 a month—$25 for the phone being on the plan and $100 for data. You can add a tablet for $1o a month.

The savings will be available to customers that pay full price for their phone, bring their own compatible handset to the party, or participate AT&T Next, its monthly installment plan. All those folks will be able to sign up as soon as Sunday—there's no automatic enrollment here.

T-Mobile and Sprint both already offer no-contract options with discounted phone plans; T-Mo kicked the party off first (and is doing very well out of it). AT&T's new discounts don't appear to be any better than the competition, but at least it's now in the race. [CNET]