In an announcement that is sure to please their customers, Verizon Wireless has officially announced shared data plans which will help ease the burden for families who go over their data each month.
It’s a typical situation, especially in my current family plan on AT&T. Although 4 our of the 5 lines are still grandfathered into something that allows unlimited consumption, most of the data is used by one or two people per month. The other lines hardly use any at all. If our plans were capped in my situation, we’d have overage fees every month even when four out of five people barely used anything. Family plans have been able to share minutes for years, but carriers like Verizon are starting to understand that customers’ needs are changing, and people aren’t calling nearly as much as they use the internet.
Verizon’s shared data plans will be available on June 28th. Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, spoke about upcoming shared data plans back in December 2011, and customers have since been waiting to hear more about what would be possible on their network of choice in the future. That future is rapidly approaching.
Verizon customers who wish to enroll in the new data plans will have to subscribe to the new “Share Everything” plan, which includes unlimited calling and texting as well. If the plan is used with one smart phone, the plan would cost $90 per month when paired to 1GB of shared data. Adding more smart phones set the group back $40 per additional smart phone.
Although the prices are a bit steep, Verizon does plan to stop charging people for mobile hotspot if they are enrolled in the “Share Everything” plan. This means features such as tethering, which cost a ridiculous $20 per month on AT&T, will no longer cost you anything, and any member of the plan can freely use their phone as a hotspot when they want (and use more data). I recommend using this sparingly though, as going over the monthly limit will cost you $15 per additional GB. Kinda steep. Luckily, if customers do decide to add such a plan to their monthly contributions to Verizon’s digital wallet, they can then add a tablet to the same data pool for $10 per month or a USB data stick for $20.
Verizon’s final announcement shows exactly how much the calling revolution is twisting around now. While unlimited data is being shifted out for tiered plans that cost customers more money for less data, Verizon is now going to be removing all limited calling plans from their available services. The only way to get a limited calling plan, effective in the near future, will be if you do not own a smart phone. In that case, there is one limited calling plan you’ll be able to grab at the price of $40 per month.
I wonder how long it will take before their competition retaliate with their own versions of this program. Shared data is a very attractive thing for customers, and I’m sure AT&T subscribers would also welcome such a movement.