AT&T took a public beating years ago with their poor network planning with the iPhone 3G roll-out not realizing how much capacity they would need. It appears they are taking their time in 2012 to launch. Most of the Eastern United States and the majority of the south have AT&T 3G coverage and 4G now reaches 2000 cities. A good portion of the west coast is covered or soon will be, but the mountain time zone shows vast areas with no coverage at all. If you live in mountains, hilly areas or areas with lots of structure or trees you might want to look closely at the map before you choose a wireless plan with AT&T. AT&T has had considerable problems with network congestions due to the popularity of the iPhone data usage but is adding capacity in many major cities to improve it. AT&T also seems to be taking a leadership positing and is heavily investing in its new Microcell technology or more commonly known in the industry as "femtocells". These are small mini cell phone towers which provide route voice traffic and 3G data through broadband landlines to improve in-building coverage.
Plans: AT&T Wireless offers several plans ranging from pre-paid, family plans, and individual plans but most people I know using the carrier are corporate customers. Blackberry and iPhone are the two reasons that most people I know are still using the carrier which seems to charge a 30% premium for voice and data that is unjustified as well. Plans come with a free basic phone that is subsidized by a contract, but you are allowed to upgrade for a price if you choose. Plans available below. Click here to review AT&T & Verizon shared data plans.
- This carrier offers unlimited calling plans.
- AT&T's "rollover" plans let you roll unused minutes over to the following month.
- GSM carrier, AT&T offers extensive international roaming.
- Starting to roll out enhanced in-building coverage with its' Microcell / femtocell product.
- AT&T has a history of picking up the hottest phones soon after their release date. It was the first carrier to offer the Motorola Razr and is the exclusive provider of the Apple iPhone.
- Every carrier claims they have the best network, and AT&T promotes that independent studies (that are unnamed) have shown that it has the fastest download speeds of any carrier.
- We recommended you monitor your text messaging usage closely and get on an unlimited plan so you don't get charged the outrageous .25 cents per message if you go over.
- 4G networks are limited to metropolitan areas of 2000 cities.