AT&T launches unlimited data on prepaid plans, but prepare to be disappointed

This whole unlimited data renaissance we're having is pretty neat, isn't it? At the beginning of the year, Sprint and T-Mobile were the only two carriers offering unlimited data, but now you can get an unlimited data plan from any of the big four. The only problem is that you (generally) need to be on a post-paid plan to get unlimited data, which means that prepaid users are being left out in the cold.

The good news is that AT&T is now offering a pair of unlimited data plans for prepaid GoPhone users. The bad news, however, is that they leave a lot to be desired. While technically unlimited in the sense that you'll never hit a hard data cap, these plans still come with a lot of restrictions.

For instance, on AT&T's new $60 per month GoPhone plan, you'll get unlimited data, but you'll be limited to 3Mbps download speeds from the start. Once you hit 22GB of data usage for the month, AT&T reserves the right to slow your speeds even more than that. HD video is also out of the question, as your streaming speeds will be limited to just 1.5Mbps, allowing for 480p streaming at best.

Things don't look much better when we jump to AT&T's $45 per month plan, which offers "unlimited" data as well. You'll get access to high speed internet for your first 6GB each month, but after you hit that limit, you'll be throttled all the way down to 128Kbps. So, while you still technically have a data connection, you'll have a difficult time doing much of anything with it.

Both plans require AutoPay sign ups, and both come with unlimited talk and text on top of their data offerings. You'll also be able to call or text Mexico and Canada without any additional charges, which is nice, but that feature isn't really intended to be the main attraction here.

So, if you're determined to never sign a commitment to a wireless carrier and need to stay prepaid as a result, these plans are likely your best option when it comes to finding a plan that resembles post-paid unlimited offers. It's just a shame that there isn't a higher tier option that doesn't come with restrictions on download speeds or soft data caps.