AT&T is also offering other incentives to get people to switch, such as giving DirecTV subscribers a $300 onetime credit if they start buying AT&T's cell service, too. And, as many expected it might, AT&T is making DirecTV's programming available on mobile devices.
It's clear from AT&T's marketing what it really hopes those new sign-ups will do: Get more people using its cellular data network to watch bandwidth-intensive video. From the moment you walk out of the AT&T store with your new plan in place, the company says, you'll be able to start watching DirecTV on your phone or tablet, even before the technician arrives to install any equipment in your home.
AT&T understands that as more people come to view Internet access as a necessity, it will have to keep offering new features like exclusive video over its networks to keep things fresh (not to mention profitable). Capitalizing on content is the new big trend among Internet providers — whether it's Comcast buying NBCUniversal in 2011, Verizon buying AOL or AT&T buying DirecTV.
Expect this media convergence to produce more plans and deals like these.