AT&T revamps unlimited plans with cheaper starting prices, drops Watch TV

AT&T is once again changing up its unlimited data plans, now offering three different tiers.

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Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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AT&T is once again changing up its unlimited plans. 

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T's unlimited plans are getting a refresh. One day after showing off HBO Max, the wireless giant has announced that on Nov. 3 it will begin offering two new unlimited plans: AT&T Unlimited Starter and AT&T Unlimited Extra. 

Unlimited Starter -- which replaces the company's current Unlimited &More plan -- lowers the starting monthly price for a family of four lines to $35 per line, per month ($140 total), a savings of $20 from its previous $40 per line, per month rate ($160 total). 

The plan will keep unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data in the US, Canada and Mexico, but will lose Watch TV, AT&T's live TV service that offered 35 channels including CNN, TNT and TBS. (AT&T owns all three channels as part of its purchase of Time Warner last year.

Those looking for a mobile hotspot will need to jump to AT&T's Unlimted Extra Plan, which runs $40 per line, per month for a family of four. This plan adds 15GB of mobile hotspot per line and you won't have your data slowed until you've already used 50GB in a month and are in "congested" areas like a stadium (the Starter plan will slow down data if you're in a congested area and have passed 22GB). 

There is no HD streaming on the Extra plan or Watch TV. While the Extra plan is $5 cheaper per line than Verizon's recently updated Play More and Do More unlimited plans, AT&T still does not offer the ability to choose individual plans for each line. Instead, if you want mobile hotspot for one line all of your lines will need to have the Unlimited Extra plan. Verizon's Play More plan also includes Apple Music and HD streaming.

A third plan, called AT&T Unlimited Elite (which is more in line with the company's current Unlimited &More Premium offering), will be available in "the coming weeks." It will cost $50 per line for four lines and include HBO , 30GB of mobile hotspot per line and 100GB of data before it gets slowed. 

While there is no Watch TV here either, AT&T says it will automatically upgrade the HBO subscription to HBO Max when it launches in May next year (the company will similarly upgrade those on older plans that have HBO). 

Single lines will start at $65 a line for Unlimited Starter, $75 for AT&T Unlimited Extra and $85 for AT&T Unlimited Elite.

It is unclear how 5G will factor into the new plans. In a statement, the company said it will "share more information on 5G for consumers later this year."

Originally published at 10:03 a.m. PT. 

Update, 12:32 p.m. PT: Adds more details on the plans.