Report: AT&T to require smartphone data plans

Customers buying or upgrading to a smartphone will be required subscribe to the data plan starting next month.

AT&T customers buying or upgrading to a smartphone must subscribe to a data plan starting September 6, according to reports.

Existing smartphone customers sans a data plan will be grandfathered in.

Boy Genius Report first noted the change Friday, citing internal e-mails. BusinessWeek and Information Week later confirmed the change with AT&T.

According to Information Week, here is AT&T's statement:

Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced e-mail, mobile Web, applications and more. Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective September 6, smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do.

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