The added attraction on AT&T’s $60-per-month Unlimited Choice plan comes as the wireless market is likely to get a lot more competitive in the next few weeks with the carriers battling to woo each other’s customers with deals on Apple’s latest phones. AT&T’s expanded deal also follows last week’s big announcement from T-Mobile (TMUS) that it was adding free Netflix (NFLX) subscriptions to its new unlimited data plans.
Under the AT&T offer, which starts on Friday, new and existing customers on the Choice plan get free HBO and for another $10 per month can get access to AT&T’s DirecTV Now online video package of about 60 cable channels that usually retails for $35. The Choice plan downgrades streaming video to DVD quality and limits speeds to only 3 megabits per second, a fraction of the top speed of modern wireless networks.
After battling fiercely earlier this year over unlimited plans, competition had eased in the wireless market over the past few months. But competition and customer switching almost always heats up when Apple (AAPL) releases new iPhones and the carriers create new discounts and special offers. Sprint (S) offers its customers free access to the Tidal streaming music service, but Verizon (VZ) has yet to partner with a big, name brand media service for its customers.
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AT&T (T) began giving away HBO to customers on its regular unlimited plan in April. Known as Unlimited Plus, the plan costs $90 a month and includes HD video and full-speed downloads. The carrier is in the process of buying Time Warner (TWX), which owns HBO, for $109 billion including debt.
(Update: This story was updated on Sept. 12 to correct the name and price of AT&T’s premium unlimited plan.)