AT&T tweaking messaging plans, killing some upgrade discounts, raising fees and MicroCell pricing

How on Earth have Verizon and AT&T both decided to kill off their upgrade discount programs within a few days of each other? Hard to say, but we've gotten a little peek at some new policies designed to "streamline" things that are apparently coming into effect next Sunday, January 23rd -- and very few (if any) of them are going to bring a smile to your face. Here's the gist:

  • There'll be a new text package of 1,000 messages for $10 with overage at 10 cents apiece. This compares to 5 cents at the 1,500 / $15 level and 10 cents at the 200 / $5 level.

  • Speaking of those other text packages, they're going away. Both the 200 and 1,500 text plans are goners. Obviously, if you're already on them, you shouldn't be affected -- you just won't be able to select them for new plans or changes anymore.

  • Early upgrade pricing on new iPhones -- the standard subsidized price plus $200 -- will only be available six months into an existing iPhone activation.

  • $50 and $100 discounts on top of subsidized pricing for upgrading customers -- similar to Verizon's recently-killed New Every Two program -- are going away. If you're currently eligible, you'll still be eligible to take advantage through July 23rd of this year.

  • Family plan add-a-line activation is increasing $10 to $36.

  • International voice roaming prices are changing in 117 countries. That's a lot of countries! We're assuming most of those rates are going up, not down, though we don't have details at this point.

  • Calling to Canada is going from 29 cents per minute to 39 cents.

  • The 3G MicroCell is increasing in price from $149.99 to $199.99, which seems like a really bizarre move to us -- hard to say what the motivation is there. Certain "pre-selected" customers will still receive special discount offers for it in the mail, though.

Check out full details on the changes in the gallery below.

[Thanks, anonymous tipster]