updated 05:07 am EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
Light-use plans target travellers as hotel Wi-Fi alternative
AT&T wants to offer tablet owners the ability to use their devices on its network, without the need to sign up to a monthly contract. Occasional users are being targeted by the carrier for the short-term data-only plans, with the possibility that what AT&T is offering will be viewed as a suitable alternative to the occasionally unreliable and expensive hotel Wi-Fi.
Two plans were outlined by AT&T senior vice president Chris Penrose at the GigaOm Mobilize conference, reports All Things D. A $5-per-day plan will provide 250MB of LTE data in a 24-hour period, while a second version will provide customers 1GB of data that can be used over a three-month period, priced at $25. If LTE is not available, then plan will fall back onto the carrier's HSPA+ network.
Despite there being tablets on the market with mobile network connections, AT&T believes that manufacturers should do more to add cellular access to a tablet. "We really think that a Wi-Fi only tablet is good, but it is not good enough," said Penrose, advising that the cost of cellular modules for tablets has reduced in recent years. "Ultimately we'd like to see tablet manufacturers build just one tablet."