Like death and taxes, the one thing inevitable about hotel WiFi is that it'll be expensive (not to mention often slow and unreliable). AT&T is aiming to keep people off the hotel network and buying piecemeal access to its LTE instead, with the launch of a $5 day data pass for its 4G service that's targeted at users who might not normally want to pay for an ongoing data package.
The deal, announced at Mobilize today by AT&T senior vice president Chris Penrose, is being positioned as a more flexible option, though regular users will still get a more cost effective connection if they commit to a monthly agreement. However, viewed in comparison to the $10-15 per day many hotels charge, it's a lot more affordable if you've already got an AT&T-compatible slate.
The new package will be offered directly from the tablet itself, and include 250MB of data for the user to get through in that single day.
"Offering all these different options for all these different use cases will really drive the market" Penrose commented. "A WiFi tablet is good, but it's really not enough."
"We'd like to see companies offer just one tablet, with WiFi and LTE rather than just WiFi," Penrose suggested. "And let customers choose which they want to use."
For those who want more ongoing data, AT&T also has a new three month plan. For a one-off charge of $25, that will offer 1GB that can be used over the course of three months.
AT&T also offers Mobile Share packages, with the ability to add a tablet to a smartphone plan for $10 per month. Penrose said the option had been very successful versus the tablet-specific data plans, which had cost from three times as much.