Data Usage Information & FAQs from AT&T
Info for smartphone customers with legacy unlimited data plans

Do you have an unlimited data plan? If so, we have information to help you manage your account.


To provide the best possible user experience for all of our customers, AT&T has established certain network management practices.

In line with common industry standards, our network management practices assure that our network resources are used for the benefit of all our mobile broadband customers especially during periods when network demand exceeds available network resources (also known as "congestion").

As you would expect, these network management practices have continued to evolve over time to benefit our customers and take advantage of the billions we have spent to expand and augment our networks. As a result of this evolution, we recently revised our practices such that Unlimited Data Plan smartphone customers can now use 22GB of high-speed data during a billing period before becoming subject to network management practices that might result in reduced data speeds and increased latency.

As always, Unlimited Data Plan smartphone customers will still have the comfort of knowing that, no matter how much data they use in a billing cycle, they will continue to pay a single monthly flat rate. That is the essential promise of the Unlimited Data Plan, and we are pleased to continue honoring that promise. Further, speed reductions will occur only when the customer is using his or her device at times and in areas where there is network congestion and only for the remainder of the current billing cycle after the customer has exceeded the 22GB data usage threshold.

We will notify customers during each billing cycle when their data usage reaches 16.5GB (75% of 22GB) so they can adjust their usage to avoid network management practices that may result in slower data speeds.

Reduced speeds and increased latency may cause websites to load more slowly or affect the performance of data-heavy activities such as video streaming or interactive gaming. The degree of reduced speeds and increased latency will vary depending on the amount of congestion. Congestion can start and stop over a very short time period (often measured in fractions of a second), further minimizing customer impact.

Because the amount of congestion at a cell site can vary significantly, the performance impact for affected unlimited data plan customers may also vary significantly. Standard speeds and latency will resume once the cell cite is no longer congested, or the customer's data session moves to an uncongested cell site. In addition, speeds and latency will return to normal at the start of the customer's next billing cycle.

Customers on tiered data or Mobile Share plans are not subject to these network management practices. Likewise, when customers are using Wi-Fi, they are not subject to these network management practices. Wi-Fi usage does not count against the customer's 22GB data usage threshold.

Learn more about unlimited data plans and reduced speeds

Managing your data usage is easy. Check your data usage anytime by dialing *data# from your smartphone.

If you have one of our Mobile Share® plans or our tiered data plans, this information does not affect you.

Learn more about our Mobile Share Value plans with Unlimited Talk and Text.

What you need to know...


If you have a smartphone with an unlimited data plan:


  • You'll still have the comfort of knowing that, no matter how much data you use in a billing cycle, you will pay a single monthly flat rate.
  • Your data usage threshold is 22GB per billing cycle. You'll receive a text message during each billing cycle when your data usage reaches 16.5GB (75% of 22GB) so you have enough time to adjust your usage to avoid network management practices that may result in slower data speeds.
  • Each time you exceed 22GB in a billing cycle, your data speeds may be reduced at times and in areas experiencing network congestion for the rest of that billing cycle.
  • Your data usage threshold will return to 22GB at the start of your next billing cycle.

You'll still have the comfort of knowing that, no matter how much data you use in a billing cycle, you will continue to pay a single monthly flat rate. That won't change. That is the essential promise of the Unlimited Data Plan, and we are pleased to continue honoring that promise.

Learn more about unlimited data plans and reduced speeds

What can you do with a GB?


You can do all of this with your data... 1GB 4GB 10GB
Emails sent / received with attachments 1,000 3,600 10,400
Hours of surfing the web 29 114 286
Hours of streaming video 1 5 11
Hours of streaming music 9 34 86
Social media posts with images 140 540 1,360
Apps / games / songs downloaded 10 40 100

One Hour of Data Consumption

Streaming HD Movies
306MB
306MB
Streaming Video Clips
120MB
120MB
Streaming Audio
30MB
30MB
Email
5MB
5MB
Social Media
5MB
5MB

Explore Your Options


Use Wi-Fi

Your speeds are not reduced if you are connected via Wi-Fi. Data activity over Wi-Fi doesn't count toward the threshold at which your data speeds will be reduced.


Switch to a Mobile Share® Value Plan

With Mobile Share Value plans, your speeds are not reduced. You can switch anytime without having to sign a new two-year term agreement.


Do nothing

You will continue to have the comfort of knowing that, no matter how much data you use in a billing cycle, you will pay a single monthly flat rate; however, your speeds may be reduced at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion if you exceed 22GB of data usage in a billing cycle.


You can also:

  • Estimate your usage with the data calculator.
  • Check usage this month by dialing *data# on your mobile phone.
  • Log in to myAT&T to check historical usage.
Our AT and T mobile phone adoption has grown 30000 percent from 7 million in 2006 to 53 million in 2014.

AT&T Smartphone Adoption


Experts agree that our country continues to face a serious wireless spectrum crunch. While access to more spectrum is critical, we are continuing to invest aggressively to meet customer demand:


Over the past six years (2009-2014) we have invested nearly $140 billion in our wireless and wireline networks, including acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations.


AT&T Smart Wi-Fi App

Locate and connect to Wi-Fi hotspots. Manage connections and data usage.


Get it on Android Market