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AT&T quietly adds extra $1.23 to wireless customers' bills

The increase could rake in another $800 million in annual revenue.

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AT&T has upped the monthly administrative fees it charges customers.

Kena Betancur / AFP/Getty Images

AT&T has more than doubled its administrative fee from 76 cents to $1.99 for its 64.5 million wireless customers.

The increase, noticed by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk and first reported by Fortune, could add $800 million onto the carrier's annual revenue.

Piecyk notes that the increase only applies to monthly customers, not those with prepaid accounts.

"This is a standard administrative fee across the wireless industry, which helps cover costs we incur for items like cell site maintenance and interconnection between carriers," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement.

This isn't the first time AT&T has made such a move. CNET's Marguerite Reardon previously discussed how contracts leave customers open to such increases.

The company may be under pressure to bolster its revenue streams after its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, Fortune says. After that deal, bond rating agency Moody's Investors Service said AT&T was "weakly positioned" to support its debt levels.

However, it immediately showed off its video services by offering its WatchTV bundle with unlimited data plans and could launch another streaming service after acquiring Otter Media.

Originally published June 28 at 2:11 a.m. PT.
Updated at 5:03 a.m. PT: Added AT&T's response.

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