AT&T hopes surprise-free bills will entice more people to sign up for DirecTV.
The telecom giant said Monday it will guarantee the price of a new DirecTV subscription for two years when combined with a new or existing AT&T service like wireless or home Internet.
As part of the new plan, customers will pay the standard $50 a month for DirecTV. Customers who choose to bundle it with home Internet can get speeds up to 6 megabits per second for an additional $30 a month.
The plans, available starting Thursday, lock in pricing for two years. Monthly equipment fees -- up to four TV receivers and a Wi-Fi gateway if you're adding home Internet -- are built into the cost of the plan. AT&T also said customers will get unlimited home Internet if they pay for both services on a single bill, a jump from the 250GB per month for most individual home Internet plans.
The move is an attempt by the nation's second-largest wireless carrier to get more people on its TV service. AT&T spent $49 billion to buy DirecTV last year so it could serve up bundles of wireless, home broadband, video and home phone services. It comes at a time when consumers are dropping their pay-TV service or never signing up for it in the first place.
AT&T also has to reckon with bundles from rivals including wireless provider Verizon, which can tie in the Fios Internet offering, and cable provider Comcast, which also offers Internet calling.
As part of its strategy, AT&T in January revived its unlimited wireless data plan for customers who also subscribe to its DirecTV or U-Verse TV service. These new plans will not affect that offer, said a company spokesman.
AT&T also said it was dropping the price of home voice service to $10 per month, for two years, when bundled with two other services. It said customers can save more than 40 percent when bundling three services, known in the business as a triple play.
"We listen to our customers. They want easy-to-understand pricing and guaranteed savings, and we're delivering," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T Entertainment Group, in a statement. "We're committed to making sure our products are better together."