Sunday, 12 August 2012

$10 per month Unlimited Data from AT&T

This hack has been around for some time and is still going strong.  Most carriers are no longer offering unlimited data but it is still possible to get in on the deal.  The USA has a very restrictive cell phone market.  If you want a smart phone (Blackberry, iPhone, Android etc) so you can browse the web and check email you typically get locked into a 2 year contract and have to pay ~$30 per month for a limited data plan. This amounts to $720 over 24 months and doesn’t even include the price of making phone calls or texting which is another $30 to $60 per month. Compared to other countries in Asia and Europe this is extortionate.

There is an option with AT&T to get a dumb phone data plan which is designed for phones with basic email/internet functionality. The data plan is unlimited however and called medianet and costs from only $10 - $15 per month depending on if you combine a texting (sms) plan. 

The hack works by first signing up for medianet with a dumb phone.  You may need to borrow a dumb phone if you don’t have one or buy a cheap phone on ebay for ~$20.  The second part of the hack requires you to swap the SIM card you used in step 1 to a phone which is not listed in the AT&T database as a smart phone . A list of these can be found in numerous forums e.g. XDA. The current smart phone of choice is the unlocked Google Nexus (purchased direct from Google) – Congrats! – you now have an unlimited data plan for $10 per month. – Enjoy the savings!
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Tags: ..$10 per month Unlimited Data from AT&T..
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10 comments:

Jeff,  August 12, 2012 8:18 pm  

Thanks for such timely article!!
I'm still running on an old iPhone 2nd generation (I know !!) and I really don't need the data plan as I have Wifi everywhere I go; I called AT&T and they said as soon as I upgrade to another smartphone, they'll slap on the minimum $30 data plan every month.

I do have one question - You used Google Nexus as an example for smartphone that's not on the AT&T smartphone list, but from the "XDA" forum link you provided, Google Nexus is not on the list? or is Google Nexus considered same as Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is on the AT&T non-smartphone list?

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) August 12, 2012 8:36 pm  

@ Jeff: yes it's the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on the XDA forum link which is HSPA+ compatible too

Jeff,  August 13, 2012 10:19 pm  

Hi Paddy,

Tks for the feedback. I did a little further research and it does seem on the XDA forum, there's a statement from the author..
"Samsung Nexus S i9020a - SC 1.0GHz, PowerVR SGX540, 512MB RAM - Very high chance of getting smartphone plan"

Do you know anything about this? Or I've read that there's a
Nexus S i9023 that seems to be sold in Europe, but without the AmoLED screen, should I get that one instead?
Again, thanks for your post and excellent info!

Jeff

Anonymous,  August 13, 2012 10:20 pm  

I just upgraded my old iPhone to the 4G at Apple and I was grandfathered in under my old contract (unlimited data). YOu should check with Apple.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) August 13, 2012 11:03 pm  

@ Jeff: I would defer to what the XDA gurus advise - better safe than sorry and non US phones have much less chance of being bumped to the smartphone plan

Brandon,  August 14, 2012 11:09 am  

I'm a little confused by the steps. At which point do I switch back to my current smartphone and continue reaping the benefits of paying just $10/month for the Unlimited plan? I currently have a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) August 14, 2012 11:28 am  

@ Brandon: you have to use a smartphone listed on the XDA link

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) August 20, 2012 5:01 pm  

@ Anony: but that would cost you $30 per month for the data plan - not $10

Anonymous,  November 15, 2013 6:39 pm  

Hi,

Does this unlimited data work internationally without an international calling plan or would it charge me roaming data?

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) November 15, 2013 8:10 pm  

@Anony: it would charge roaming data

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