Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

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.

Natalie Weinstein Former Senior Editor / News
I spent a decade as a reporter and editor before joining the CNET News staff as a copy editor in 2000, right before the dot-com bust.
Expertise Copy editing. Curating, editing and reading newsletters of all stripes. Playing any word-related game, specifically Scrabble, Wordle and Boggle. Credentials
  • I've been a journalist for more than three decades. I was a finalist in the 2021 Digiday Media Award for Best Newsletter.
Natalie Weinstein

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.