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AT&T slashes prices for some family plans

Feb. 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM ET

AT&T is the latest to cut prices in the wireless carrier wars.

This time around, AT&T focused on family plans. The lower prices include 10 gigabytes of data per month, plus unlimited voice and texting. As before, that amount of data costs $100 a month — but now, service for each smartphone on the plan costs $15 instead of $40 (two lines for $130, three for $145, and so on). 

So a family of four, for example, will now pay $160 instead of $260 a month to share 10 gigabytes of data. AT&T said in a press release on Saturday that the new rates are the "best-ever prices" for family plans.

The cut rates — which apply only to plans with 10 or more gigabytes of data a month — are available starting Sunday to all existing AT&T customers, including those on two-year contracts. New customers are eligible under three circumstances: if they sign up for AT&T's early-upgrade program called Next (in which they pay for the cost of the phone in monthly installments), bring their own smartphones or buy a new phone at full price.

AT&T's move is the latest in a flurry of activity from the wireless carrier and its rivals. The fight started in earnest last year, when T-Mobile upended the traditional wireless model by eliminating contracts in what it calls an “uncarrier” approach.

Since then, carriers have been active in trying to entice both new and existing customers with incentives like early device upgrades and termination-fee reimbursements. 

Just last week, AT&T announced it would give a $100 credit for each new line of service that both new and existing customers activate. Earlier in January, both Verizon and AT&T shortened the timeline for customers to be eligible for a new device through their respective early-upgrade plans.

Julianne Pepitone is a senior technology writer for NBC News Digital. Previously she was a staff writer at CNNMoney, where she covered large tech companies including Apple and Google, as well as the intersection of tech and media. Follow Julianne on Twitter at @julpepitone or email her at julianne.pepitone@nbcuni.com.

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