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AT&T Uploads Unlimited Data Plan to TV Subs

AT&T said it has introduced a new unlimited wireless data plan for new and existing TV subs, including those coming way of DirecTV, the satellite TV giant AT&T acquired in July 2015.

The new plan, available starting Tuesday (Jan. 12), is available to new and existing AT&T residential wireless customers who have or add DirecTV or U-verse TV service.

The base unlimited plan, which factors in data, talk and text, costs $100 on a smartphone, and customers can add a smartphone or a tablet for $40 per month each (or a smart watch for $10/month), and a fourth smartphone can be added at no additional cost, AT&T said, noting later that the new plan “may be available for a limited time.”

Additionally, new and existing DirecTV and U-verse TV customers who are switch to AT&T wireless are in line for a $500 credit under certain conditions, and AT&T wireless customers who don’t currently get DirecTV service can add a TV package starting at $19.99 per month for a year, if they sign up for a 24-month contract.

Per the fine print, streaming is limited to five shows on five devices at once, and is subject to change at any time.

AT&T is launching the plan as it seeks new ways to bundle wireless and video services following its merger with DirecTV, and as it faces more competition from rivals such as T-Mobile, which is trying to make hay with Binge On, a controversial video streaming offering that is exempt from monthly data caps.

AT&T said the unlimited plan is the first of several “integrated video and mobility offers” it plans to announce in 2016. The carrier added that it plans to launch a wide range of new video entertainment options later this year, but did not elaborate.

“Video traffic continues to grow on our network as fast as ever because people enjoy viewing their favorite video content on their favorite devices,” Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, said in a statement.

And he also took a shot at T-Mobile’s Binge On offering, which uses a proprietary encoding system to deliver zero-rated video to smartphones at 480p: “We’ve got the content consumers want, we’re delivering it to the devices they want, and we’re making it as easy as ever for them to consume as much as they want. And, they will get a high-quality video streaming experience from the start. No compromises in video quality.”