As promised AT&T rolled out its new Mobile Share data plans on Thursday. The new plans are designed to help new and existing subscribers share data on up to 10 devices. Existing customers do not have to switch to a Mobile Share plan, but can do so without a contract extension if they choose to.
The Mobile Plans start at $40 for 1GB of data with unlimited talk and text. You can add an additional smartphone for $45, basic phones cost an additional $30, additional laptops and mobile hotspot devices cost $20, and tablets and gaming devices are $10 each per month. At least one smartphone is required to be part of an AT&T Mobile Share group. You will of course need more data for each device you add, so plans range from 1GB to 20GB of data. The price of an adding an additional smartphone does decrease until you hit the 10GB tier.
Old iPhone lovers, your vintage smartphone circa 2007 will be limited to Wi-Fi only in less than five years. AT&T Mobility plans to take the 2G (EDGE) data network offline by January 1, 2017 which will leave original iPhone users without a cellular data connection.
Currently 12 percent of AT&T customers with data contracts have devices limited to EDGE, which amounts to 8.4 million subscribers. Before panic sets in, AT&T has explained they will help customers transition to more modern devices ahead of the switch. The company needs as much spectrum as possible to support newer, faster networks including 3G and LTE.
AT&T has announced that its new Mobile Share plans will be available starting Thursday, Aug. 23. The carrier has also launched a Mobile Share planner to help families prepare for the upcoming changes if they choose to switch.
The new plans are designed to help new and existing subscribers share data on up to 10 devices. Users who sign up for the Mobile Share plan will also enjoy unlimited voice minutes, text messages and free mobile hotspot capabilities. Existing members are not required to switch to a new plan, but they can do so without a contract extension. At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group.
WeeTrackData may have a scary sounding name, but it's the perfect app for people with limited data volumes. The jailbreak app allows you to set up a monthly data limit and keep track of your usage in the Notification Center. The data is broken down by monthly usage, weekly usage and daily usage. You can view the different stats by simply swiping left to right.
Once setup in the Notifications panel via the Settings app, the widget will keep track of your usage in realtime. You can then enter your billing cycle and monthly data threshold using the widget's settings. After everything is complete your Notification Center will display your download and upload stats, signal strength and percentage.
Sometimes MobileMe will have problems syncing your data across multiple devices. Ideally, the service will keep ten items (Bookmarks, Calendars, Contacts, Dashboard Widgets, Dock Items, Keychains, Mail Accounts, Mail Rules, Signatures/Smart Mailboxes, Notes/Preferences) synced between your computers, iPhone and other devices. When and if this process stops working properly you can try the following steps to reset your sync.
When using FaceTime on a Wi-Fi connection your data plan is not used. Similarly, no cellular calling minutes are used during the video portion of a FaceTime call.
FaceTime calling can be used over a 3G cellular data connection with a jailbroken iPhone 4 and the My3G package. Using FaceTime over a 3G connection will use your data plan.
Five minutes of 3G FaceTime video calling uses up to 15 MB of data.
AT&T is now patching a software bug on Alcatel Lucent 3G network equipment that was slowing upload speeds on the iPhone 4. The device is the only smart phone on AT&T's cellular data network that uses HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access). Only HSUPA is affected by the problem, meaning download speeds do not suffer.
Laptop Connect cards also use HSUPA, so they are having the same upload speed problems as the iPhone 4. Previous models of the iPhone were not equipped to take advantage of superior HSUPA upload speeds. The AT&T upload speed problem was first reported by iPhone 4 users three weeks ago.
That being said, it is possible to use your iPhone 4 data plan on an iPad 3G without jailbreaking. Follow these steps at your own risk:
1. Make sure 3G cellular data is off on the iPad. To turn this off go to Settings -> Cellular Data -> Cellular Data -> OFF
2. Remove the SIM card trays from each device using a SIM removal tool or a paper clip. The micro-SIM cards and trays are small so handle with care.
Ever wondered if you could swap out the micro-SIM card in your iPhone 4 to get free data from AT&T on the iPad 3G? Well stop wondering. Turns out a simple change to APN settings on the iPad makes it possible to use the iPhone 4 data plan on Apple's tablet. No jailbreaking or SIM card modifications required.
As the helpful folks over at TUAW explain, the procedure is quite simple but does involve many small parts. Carefully use a SIM removal tool or paper clip to open the SIM trays on your iPhone 4 and iPad 3G. Don't mix up the trays and keep track of which card came from which device! When the iPhone 4 micro-SIM is safely inside the iPad 3G, all you need to do is make a change to the APN settings on the iPad.
Early reviewers were impressed with the improved upload speeds on the iPhone 4 after launch day. Everything has changed starting this weekend, with users around the country complaining that uploads are now having trouble keeping at 100 kilobits per second. Previous reports clocked the new HSUPA chipset uploading at over 15 times this speed.
Sending photos and posting videos becomes difficult with such a slow connection. AT&T has been accused of capping upstream bandwidth without notifying customers, however new information points to a possible software problem. AppleInsider reports that AT&T is working on a fix.