AT&T announced a new equipment protection plan today that bundles insurance, support, and phone location services for $9.99 per month. Most of the carrier's current handsets (PDF) will be compatible with the AT&T Mobile Protection Pack, though iPhone and iPad users will have to resort to other solutions like Apple's MobileMe and Find My iPhone/iPad.
Customers who sign up for the service will get:
Mobile Insurance (formerly called Wireless Phone Insurance) will replace handsets that disappear through loss or theft, become inoperable through accidental or liquid damage, or suffer from mechanical and electrical failure after the manufacturer's warranty expires. Of course, this includes "approved claims" and you'll be subject to a deductible of $50 or $125 depending on your device.
Enhanced Support will go beyond normal customer service to offer setup advice and troubleshooting over the phone or online. And if they choose to do so, customers can give customer service reps remote access to select devices.
- Mobile Locate will give customers the option to locate a lost phone in real time, find the last five locations of the handset, and get directions to each place. They also can make the phone sound an alarm every 3 minutes even if it's in silent mode and remotely lock the device with a PIN. Of course, to use these features the phone will need to be turned on and in an AT&T service area.
Though the insurance is nothing new and you'd think that the Enhanced Support could come for free, the Mobile Locate features are welcome and the monthly price seems right. We wish, however, that AT&T could join Sprint and RIM in offering remote wipe as well.