Why Is AT&T Making Changes to Its Data Plans? - Yahoo Finance AT&T raises the limits for its data plans Telecommunications (telecom) companies are increasingly venturing into the video streaming market. Some current telecom video streaming services for mobile devices include Verizon Communications’ (VZ) go90 and T-Mobile’s (TMUS) Binge On service. Early last month, AT&T (T) stated its plan to offer DIRECTV as an OTT (over-the-top) service in 4Q16. The Wall Street Journal reported that in a bid to get ready to provide this service, late last month, AT&T began increasing the data limits for its home broadband data plans and offering an unlimited data plan option. AT&T will offer unlimited data for an additional charge of $30 per month for its home Internet users. The company’s unlimited service will be free for DIRECTV’s pay-TV and U-verse’s television subscriber base. These changes to AT&T’s data plans will come into effect on May 23, 2016. According to AT&T’s data plan changes, customers with data limits of 250 GB (gigabytes) per month will have their data limits increased to 300 GB per month before facing data surcharges. AT&T has stated that a 300 GB data plan will allow a subscriber to watch 100 hours of high-definition video streaming. Why is AT&T changing the data limits for its data plans? One reason AT&T is raising the limits for its data plans could be that the company plans to attract more subscribers to its Internet service and in turn to DIRECTV when DIRECTV is offered as an OTT service. Another reason could be that AT&T is shifting its focus to non–pay-TV households in the United States with its DIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Mobile, and DIRECTV Preview services, which could be initiated in 4Q16. AT&T could be laying the groundwork for this change in focus with the change in its data plans. Raising the limits of its data plans would make it easier for its customers to stream its DIRECTV OTT services. According to a report by eMarketer, and as you can see in the above chart, non–pay-TV households in the United States are expected to rise from ~20.8 million in 2015 to ~28.1 million in 2019.