Last week, T-Mobile announced new unlimited data family plans would get a free subscription to Netflix. Now, their competitor AT&T is following suit. But instead of Netflix, they are offering a free HBO subscription to all its wireless customers through its unlimited plans. AT&T initiated this back in April with its premium tier wireless plan, the Unlimited Plus. However, AT&T have also made the move to offer HBO for free to those who are subscribed to the Unlimited Choice plan. Both new and existing subscribers have access to the option starting this past Friday, September 15.
The AT&T Unlimited Choice plan currently offers unlimited data, talk, and text for $60 per month. If subscribed to a group or family plan for four, each line costs under $40. An additional $10 would merit the user access to 25,000 on-demand titles as well as 60 channels for a live stream. The online video package comes with DirecTV Now’s ‘Live a Little’ video package. These features usually retail for $35 and under the AT&T offer, the offer is definitely a good deal. In addition, the customers still get a $25 credit per month toward AT&T video services, which can now be used with U-verse TV and DirecTV. This feature used to be available only for Plus customers who exclusively used DirecTV Now.
These bonus subscriptions come at a time when the wireless market is proving to be extremely competitive. There are more and more carriers competing to please each other’s customers by snagging deals on Apple’s latest phones. And because of this, it’s expected for more of these carriers to want to lure more customers over to their service. What’s also interesting is how much of an effort there is for these carriers to retrain their subscriber base as this competition grows.
The offer is truly tempting to wireless subscribers; however, there are a few things to consider before taking advantage of the promotional offer. First, the customer must spring for an Unlimited Plus plan, which is priced at $90 or more on a monthly basis. As an alternate option, AT&T is extending a bonus HBO access to Unlimited Choice subscribers on September 15. The expense for cell phone service will cost $60 but will provide the user the same streaming TV.
One catch to consider would have to be the downgrading of video quality. For the Choice plan, the streaming video is downgraded to DVD quality and only allows a maximum speed of 3 megabits per second. A freebie like this on a low-cost tier would naturally have its downside. The cap on the cellular data as well as the limitations of a maximum resolution of 480p might compromise the viewing experience.
Like I always say, I love competition. Especially when the competition is going to benefit the consumer. This deal looks pretty good, with the exception of the cap on the cellular data, as well as some video quality resolutions. But maybe it’s worth it? What this also signals is that these carriers want your business, and it looks like they’re going to jump through a lot of hoops to get it. So I’m interested (and kind of excited) to see what other perks will be offered in the next few months in order to get your business.