AT&T just released a press release announcing availability of the iPhone 5. That certainly shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but a tid-bit within the press release certainly has grabbed our attention. AT&T has announced that it will allow those who purchased AT&T’s unlimited data plans from 2007-2010 to continue using it even when purchasing the iPhone 5 at a subsidized price. AT&T discontinued its unlimited data plan in 2010 and moved to a tiered data plan, which has since reprised and restructured, but those who originally purchased the unlimited plan were allowed to hang on to it as long as their contract remained unchanged. AT&T has been throttling those plans for different tiers in especially in high traffic areas..

Over the past year Verizon Wireless, like AT&T, has moved away from unlimited plans as users move to new LTE data plans that feature shared data. AT&T has taken a similar approach, offering its customers shared data plans that can be used across every device on a specific plan, including tablets. AT&T is also requiring users to sign-up for the expensive shared plans in order to use iOS 6′s FaceTime over 3G feature. Verizon Wireless on the other hand hasn’t revealed its plans. At the other end, Sprint is continuing its approach to touting its “sharing is not caring” unlimited data plans.

AT&T made it clear that it will provide unlimited data users with 5GB of LTE data before being throttled – unlike the 3G’s unthrottled cap of 3GB.

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AT&T* today announced it will offer iPhone 5 beginning Friday, Sept. 21. Customers will be able to pre-order iPhone 5 online beginning Friday, Sept. 14 at www.att.com/iphone. iPhone 5 will be available for a suggested retail price of $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299.99 for the 32GB model, and $399.99 for the 64GB model. Only AT&T offers the nation’s largest 4G network, along with a variety of shared and individual data plans.

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology—all while delivering even better battery life. iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: the all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography and turn-by-turn navigation; Facebook integration; Passbook organization and even more Siri features and languages.

“We are thrilled to offer iPhone 5 on the nation’s largest 4G network. We’ve worked with Apple since the original in 2007 and this is hands-down their best phone yet,” said Ralph de la Vega, president & CEO, AT&T Mobility. “We offer customers the flexibility to keep the iPhone data plans they already have or choose any of our individual or new Mobile Share plans. We’re proud that more customers choose AT&T for iPhone than any other U.S. carrier and look forward to making iPhone 5 the newest addition to our lineup.”

New and qualifying existing customers can choose a shared or individual data plan. Details on rate plan options can be found at www.att.com/iphone. AT&T’s newest Mobile Share data plans are ideal for data-centric users or families who want to share data among multiple smartphones, tablets and more. With AT&T Mobile Share, the more you share, the more you save. And all Mobile Share plans include tethering—or mobile hot spot—capability.

AT&T customers have access to the nation’s largest 4G network, covering 275 million people. Built on top of this widespread 4G network, blazing-fast 4G LTE is available in more than 60 markets today and planned in more than 100 by the end of this year.

For more information on iPhone 5, please visit: www.apple.com/iphone.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.