In a recent statement issued by AT&T, a company spokesperson reported:
"Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced e-mail, mobile Web, applications and more," an AT&T press release stated. "Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective Sept. 6, smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do."
If you currently have an AT&T branded smartphone you will be able to continue using your phone as you always have. However, if "[you] update your device or want to make changes to your account, [you] will have to bring their accounts current, which in some cases may include subscribing to a data plan."
The requirement for a data plan isn't something new for AT&T. There are some devices that the wireless company already requires a data plan for, which includes the wildly popular Apple iPhone.
If you have been thinking about upgrading your AT&T smartphone and hoped to keep the data plan off your monthly bill, you should get yourself down to an AT&T store before September 6 when then new Terms of Service rules go into effect.