AT&T Review

Nadav Shemer

In a Nutshell

AT&T offers a range of cell phone plans, all of them with unlimited minutes, texts, and data. AT&T Mobility is the largest wireless network in the United States, with 176.7 million subscriptions through AT&T or third-party mobile/internet providers that rent space on the network. AT&T’s 5G mobile coverage covers more than 225 million people in 14,000 cities and towns across the U.S., while its 5G Plus is available in various parts of 13 cities.

pros

  • 5G access included with all plans
  • Unlimited talk, text and data in U.S., Mexico and Canada
  • Advanced mobile security with premium plans

cons

  • Data speeds may temporarily slow down if network is busy
  • Expensive for individual users

AT&T Mobility AT&T Mobility Visit Site

AT&T at a Glance

Best for: Families that use lots of data
Price: $35 - $50 per month per line for 4 users
Plan: Unlimited talk, text and data
Network: AT&T Mobility
Use your own phone: Yes

What Services and Features Does AT&T Offer 

No matter which AT&T plan you choose, you’ll benefit from the following built-in features:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited talk, text and data in Mexico & Canada (with 2G data speeds)
  • 5G access included (where available)
  • Unlimited texting from U.S. to 120+ countries
  • Curbside pickup or same-day delivery – in select areas
  • Help with setting up your device – in select areas
  • Mobile security – spam and fraud call blocking for all plans, plus caller ID and identity monitoring for higher-end plans

Prices, Plans and Value for Money 

AT&T offers a choice of four plans: three with unlimited data and one with 4GB of data. 

Unlimited plans range from $65-$85/month per line for one user to $30-$45/month per line for five users. Each plan offers a capped amount of premium, high-speed data per month, after which AT&T may temporarily slow down data speeds if the network is busy. 

Here’s a full breakdown of the Unlimited plans:


Unlimited Elite
Unlimited Extra
Unlimited Starter
Premium data
100 GB
50 GB
None
Mobile security
Advanced
Advanced
Standard
Streaming
High-definition
Standard-definition
Standard-definition
Hotspot data
30 GB per line per month

15 GB per line per month

None
HBO Max
Included
N/A
N/A

The 4GB plan ranges from $50/month per line for one user to $40/month per line for three to five users. It includes unlimited talk, text and 4GB of data per line in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

The following groups qualify for discounts of up to 20% off their monthly plan: military and veterans, first responders, teachers, and nurses and physicians. AT&T Signature Program members can also save $10/month per line on the Unlimited Elite plan.

In addition to the above, you can pay extra for data-only plans for these devices:

  • Tablets - $20/month
  • Smartwatches - $10/month
  • Connected car (turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot) - $20/month
  • Harman Spark (vehicle health monitoring for your car) - $25/month

Activation Process

When you sign up to AT&T, you have a choice of bringing your own device or upgrading to a new one. To bring your own phone, it must be compatible with the AT&T Mobility network – which you can check on the AT&T website when you subscribe. 

The setup process itself is fairly straightforward. Your SIM card will arrive with instructions, and you can also find these instructions on the support section of the AT&T website. AT&T currently offers dedicated support in select areas of the United States.

Selection of Phones Available 

AT&T offers 30-month installment plans for new iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices. After you pay your device in full, you can hold on to it or upgrade. It costs an extra $5 per month to purchase the AT&T Next Up option to trade in and upgrade your device early. 

Current deals for iPhones range from $13.34/month for an iPhone SE to $26.67/month for an iPhone 12. Samsung Galaxy devices range from $23.34/month for a new S20 to $40.00/month for a new S21. 

You can get up to $800 off an eligible smartphone when you add a new line or upgrade an existing line.

AT&T Call and Text Performance 

AT&T Mobility offers coverage to 99% of Americans. Based on a study of the IHS Markit RootMetrics map of the AT&T network and reviews from AT&T customers, call performance is good across the vast majority of locations in the United States, with fair or poor performance in only a handful of rural areas.

AT&T Data Speeds 

AT&T has rolled out 5G coverage to about two-thirds of Americans, with the remaining one-third having to stick with 4G or – in very rare cases – 3G. While the 5G rollout continues apace, AT&T does trail behind rivals T-Mobile and Verizon in terms of 5G coverage.

For the vast majority of AT&T subscribers, the coverage is fast enough to comfortably stream audio and video. However, watch out for the caps on premium data. Subscribers to the Starter package are subject to data throttling at any time, while Extra and Elite subscribers may experience slowdowns after exceeding their respective 50 GB and 100 GB monthly premium data caps.

AT&T Customer Service

Most of the big telecommunications companies have poor reputations for customer service, and unfortunately this includes AT&T. How bad is AT&T’s customer support? Well, 91% of 3,100+ customer reviews about AT&T on Trustpilot rate it “bad”. Problems include long waiting times, billing errors, and a whole range of other issues. With that said, the situation isn’t much better at AT&T’s main rivals.

The best way to find an answer to a question is to check out the AT&T support page. If you do have to contact customer support, then you can do so by calling 800-331-0500 or 611 from an AT&T mobile device. Don’t forget to take a deep breath and prepare yourself mentally for delays!

AT&T Mobility AT&T Mobility Visit Site

FAQ

Q. What is the difference between AT&T and AT&T Mobility?

A. AT&T Inc. is the world’s largest telecommunications company and the world’s largest provider of mobile telephone services. AT&T Mobility is the name of AT&T’s wireless carrier, which provides mobile and internet services to 176.7 million subscribers to AT&T and certain third-party mobile/wireless companies.

Q. Does AT&T throttle or limit data after high usage?

A. Yes. If you hit your monthly premium data limit, AT&T may slow down your data speeds at busy times. 

Q. Does AT&T have no-contract plans?

A. Yes. If you prefer not to be locked into a contract, check out AT&T’s prepaid plans. However, note that these cost more and offer less data usage than unlimited plans.

Bottom Line

Subscribing to AT&T is worthwhile for families, but less so for individuals. That’s because the plans are quite expensive on a per-user basis for one or two users, but decently priced if you’re paying for four or five lines. AT&T offers faster speeds than third-party operators that use its infrastructure, making it a good option for families that use a lot of mobile data.

Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.

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