AT&T unveils $5 cellular 'day pass' for tablets

Users are able to buy a session right from their tablets.

AT&T offers 4G LTE version of Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Samsung

AT&T is banking that its LTE network is superior to hotel Wi-Fi.

The Dallas telecommunications company on Thursday introduced a $5 "day pass" option for consumers with tablets in need of connectivity.

Users can go here and follow the steps to sign up for a session. Or they can open AT&T's All Access app (which is preloaded into AT&T tablets), click on new customer, and go through the set up to purchase the day pass.

The plan was introduced at the GigaOm Mobilize conference on Thursday.

AT&T had previously allowed customers to buy access to data. But the cheapest previous option was $14.99 for 250 megabytes of data over 30 days. The $5 provides for 250 megabytes of data for a single day, so streaming HD movies is probably out of the question.

AT&T positions this as an alternative to paid Wi-Fi hotspot areas such as hotels or airports. The access gives flexibility and a quick last-minute option for consumers, but is likely too expensive for regular use.

While the service works best in LTE, it will fall back to HSPA+ if LTE isn't available. AT&T has LTE in 437 markets in the US, second only behind Verizon Wireless.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.


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