DALLAS (AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Thursday that it is offering a new monthly billing option for tablets, allowing users to decide between the wireless carriers' current prepaid service and a new postpaid service that will be tacked on to their monthly AT&T bill.
The announcement comes a day after Apple Inc. introduced its new iPad tablet computer, versions of which will work on AT&T's or Verizon Wireless' networks if users pay additional data fees.
The first iPad, which was released last year, has been available with data service from AT&T. Verizon has been selling Apple's Wi-Fi version of the device with the option of bundling it with a "MiFi" gadget for about $130. MiFi, a Post-It-pad sized, battery-powered device, connects to Verizon's 3G network and relays the data to the iPad via Wi-Fi. The Mi-Fi also requires a monthly data fee.
AT&T said the new postpaid plan will cost $15 for 250 megabytes of data or $25 for 2 gigabytes of data per month. Customers with the costlier plan who use more than 2 GB of data in a month will be charged $10 for each additional 1 GB of data usage, and the charges will show up on your monthly statement, AT&T said. Postpaid plans are usually associated with two-year contracts, but this service doesn't require a contract and can be canceled at any time.
Under the existing prepaid plan, customers pay $15 for 250 MB of data or $25 for 2 GB. If you have the 2 GB pre-paid plan and use more than that amount of data in a month, you can buy 2 GB more for $25 and the charges will show up on your credit card statement. This plan does not require a contract, either, and can be discontinued at any time.
AT&T shares fell 9 cents to $28.08 in afternoon trading.