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

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

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
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.