Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

20 responses to “AT&T to Adjust Pay Per Use Data Rate to $2/MB”

  1. John C. Welch

    Okay, so maybe I misread something…but:

    if the rate is currently a $.10, or a dime, for 1KB of data we get:

    dime = 1KB of data
    dollar = 10KB of data
    ten dollars = 100KB of data
    100 dollars = 1MB of data
    200 dollars = 2MB of data

    I’m thinking something has to be um…incorrect there. because at $2/MB, AT&T is DRASTICALLY dropping their pay per use data rate. At the dime/KB rate, that 1.2MB, or 1200KB download would cost you $120, whereas at $2/MB, that download would cost you $4.

    I’m thinking you may have gotten the initial rate wrong.

    also, if the rate is a constant $2/MB, that’s not exponential growth.

  2. Frank "Grayhawk" Huminski

    John would be correct in his statement that it is not exponential growth. (each successive term increases by a proportional value, ie for an single cell that divides , producing 2 cells, each of which divides creating 4 cells, then 8, 16, 32 etc.)

    This is an example of Arithmetical growth (each successive number is increased by a fixed quantity.

  3. Shawn Levasseur

    Okay… Does each data transfer transaction get billed at $2/MB ? Or does the total of the month’s transfers get billed at $2/MB.

    If its the former, yeah that’s getting screwed big time.

    If it’s the latter, quit yer bitchin. You may pay as much as $1.99 more per month due to the rounding up, but given the hundred fold rate reduction, I wouldn’t complain too loudly.

  4. Christopher Price

    Total month transfers are rounded up now to the next megabyte. Individual data sessions are not. It’s really next to impossible for a user to know what a packet data session is (and in most cases, it’s not even possible for users to tell)… no carrier would round like that.

    I think the complaints are that, while this is a reduction, it’s only matching the highest rate out there (Verizon also charges $1.99 per megabyte). T-Mobile and Sprint both charge $.01/KB.

  5. Dirty Davey

    “I think the complaints are that, while this is a reduction, it’s only matching the highest rate out there (Verizon also charges $1.99 per megabyte). T-Mobile and Sprint both charge $.01/KB.”

    Then Verizon’s rate (and AT&T’s new rate) are at the LOWER end. $0.01/KB, 1000 KB in a MB means T-Mobile/Sprint are charging $10/MB.

  6. Robert M

    “Math is hard.”


  7. Christopher Price

    Robert M. Grow up.

    The original article referenced an exponential increase, because for some customers it very much is… and, in fact, for most it might be.

    AT&T’s rounding technique will dramatically affect customers that purchase one or two ringtones per month. What was 50k to 100k per month of data usage will now get rounded up to a full megabyte.

    Dirthy, there was a typo in my comment. I was referring to Sprint and T-Mobile overage rates of $.001/KB, not $.01/KB. Though, in many cases, they can charge $.01/KB. It’s very hard for carriers to argue that anything above $.001/KB is justified, as they struggled with in recent Congressional testimony. Sprint and T-Mobile do have the lowest overage rates, depending on the plan and PPU rate, not to mention Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s unlimited data rates on prepaid, which set PPU as low as $.25/day/unlimited.

  8. rj

    ok, if they get 100k @ 10 cents per k, thats 10.00 under the old fee, only 2.00 dollars under the new fee

    looks like a drop

    btw,1mb=1024kb so 2.00/1024 = .0019 cents per kb or @ 2/10 cents

  9. Mark

    AT&T currently charges $0.01/KB (a penny) not $0.10/KB (a dime) like the article says. A MB on pay-as-you-go data right now would cost $10.24, so $2 is much cheaper. Of course those who just use a few KB of data a month will see an increase.

  10. John C. Welch

    ah, thank you Mark. A penny a KB moves the pricing into reality here, and moves the break even point on the new pricing to around 200K from 20K, which is a bit more realistic.

  11. Chris Benard

    Yeah Humberto, you’re definitely doing some Verizon math here. I don’t normally visit from RSS, but I had to come to comment on the Verizon math.

  12. att sucks

    Wow looks like 2 year contracts for switching plans. Not good.

  13. maidmarian

    Even though it is a decrease, would this be a reason to drop the contract w/o fees???

  14. Chris

    Perfect real like real life example of how relatively intelligent people get confused over basic mathematical ratios when you change the denominator (i.e., KB vs MB) and how its not so straight-froward to make a comparison. Assuming AT&T rounds up (not sure) this def adds fees from the low end of the spectrum (i.e., people who only use a few KB pay as u go (i.e., old plan 50kb would be 50 cents, now get rounded up to $2 dollars, or an effective rate of $0.04/KB). Depending on the mix of AT&T customers this could have offset the overall decrease in rate. I’d imagine though that customers who used more than a couple MB of data in the past would have already switched to an unlimited plan by now with the prior rate being effectively $10/MB ($.01/KB). I’m positive the change in denominator from KB to MB was intentional to one create a rounding advantage and two, to confuse customers so they can’t easily figure out that they were/are getting charged up the wazoo at 1 cent a KB.

  15. Chris

    FYI the break-even point is 200KB. Anyone who uses at least 200KB+ will benefit from the new rate of $2/MB anything less will suffer and effective increase data rate from rounding (if they do round which I’m not sure)

  16. D Baldwin

    I don’t use data/internet. On my last bill (after I fired AT&T) they slapped me with a $2.00 DATA PAY PER USE fee.

  17. Dawn

    I just have to say this: I am with att and sprint. att charges 1 cent per kb,2 dollars per mb, sprint charges 3 cent per kb,30.72 per mb. I know for this for a fact because I got charged this by sprint when i got my new phone because I didnt know what i was doing. I used 2715 kb of data at 3 cent per kb, just so happens that sprint has a cap at 75.00 so that was what i was charged? I FELL OUT. I WANTED TO CRY.

  18. Matt

    The thing is no matter who has the cheapest rate, by them rounding up the charges, they screw people that don’t use the data features on their phone. I’m on a family plan that has unlimited texting and no data plan. Accidental touches of the internet access button (which seems to be the biggest button on the phone) end up costing each phone $2 a month, @ 4 phones that is 8 a month and 96 dollars a year! The ridiculous part is that each phone seems to “mysteriously” have at least one data access charge in the middle of the night when none of the users are using their phone, so it is inevitable that we are going to pay 8 a month in erroneous data charges for the rest of our contract without have to call up costumer service and bitch about it. Now a solution is to either buy a data plan that nobody would use and would have to be charged to each phone (yeah right!!!!) or block the data service. By blocking the data service you also have to block picture messaging (supposedly they can’t tell the difference between a picture message and a data access, even though each is separated on the bill, I smell BS!) which is included free in the messaging package. Why should I have to pay for a messaging package, then block some of the features I’m paying for?! They either need to go back to the old rate (I won’t bitch few cents a month in accidental usage) or create the ability to block internet usage while maintaining picture message ability, preferably the second option.

  19. I

    ATT charged me 2 dollars for 3KBs of data? Where do I sign up for the class action?

  20. Kevin Greenwood

    Sign me up also!!! Yuo can’t disable the buttons either!! att said they will block for 5 bucks a phone for me