AT&T Stands to Make $2.5 Billion Over the Next 5 Years From New 'Administrative' Fee

The company, which now makes $65 per month on postpaid subscribers, says it needs the extra money to interconnection and operational costs.

The Verge is reporting that AT&T has sneaked another fee into the phone bills of its 70 million or so postpaid wireless customers. The fee, called a "Mobility Administrative Fee" adds another 61 cents to the bill each month.

We ran a little basic math using information from AT&T's most recent quarterly report, and found the carrier will make an extra $2.5 billion over the next five years from the new fee alone. If the carrier's postpaid subscriber rolls increase, as it hopes, it will make even more.

AT&T started charging the fee May 1, and shows the new fee breakdown on its Additional Charges page.

"Consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers, the monthly fee of 61 cents per line will help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance," an AT&T spokesperson said in an email to TechHive.

The $65 the carrier makes from each of its in-contract customers every month was apparently not enough to cover the high overhead of running a cell network.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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