On Thursday, AT&T (T) unveiled a new set of wireless data plans meant to compete with more transparent plans introduced this year by rival carriers like T-Mobile (TMUS).
The nation’s second largest wireless carrier will now separate device subsidies from monthly fees, allowing consumers to identify the charge and seek alternatives to lower their bills. Under the new Mobile Share Value plans, subscribers can avoid the subsidy fees — around $15 a month — if they pay the full price of their smartphones at the start or add existing devices to their plans, BGR notes.
By breaking out the price of the subsidy, consumers will know when their smartphone has been paid off, at which point they should see their bill fall as the monthly subsidy charge ends.
Under the Mobile Share Plans, consumers are charged a monthly fee for each device. Subsidized devices are charged $40 a month, while unsubsidized phones are charged $25 a month. Tablets are hit with a $10 monthly charge. Data service, shared between all devices on the plan, is offered at a range of fees from $20 to $375 a month, depending on usage.
All Mobile Share Plans feature unlimited texting and voice.
Shares of AT&T climbed modestly in Friday morning trading.