Verizon Moving Closer to Shared Data Plans?
Verizon and other carriers have been talking for some time about the idea of shared data plans that would allow users to draw from a single monthly allotment of cellular data for multiple mobile devices, much the same way family plans can share minutes among their phones. While European carriers have led the way in allowing users with both an iPhone and iPad to share a single bucket of data, Verizon and AT&T have indicated they are working on similar workings with Verizon indicating early last month that such plans were likely to launch in 2012.
Engadget now reports that Verizon appears to be continuing to make progress on shared data plans, with the offerings now showing up in employee training materials.
We've been told that training material for an update to the outfit's internal account management application includes screenshots (one of which you can see above) that show a new section labeled "account level data plans." The new section apparently shows an account level charge for data allowance and a 9.99 charge per line.
U.S. carriers have so far opted to offer the iPhone under traditional postpaid service arrangements with multi-year contracts locking in customers and enabling the carriers to offer subsidized pricing on the hardware. Conversely, the iPad has been sold at unsubsidized prices (with 3G models carrying a $130 premium over their Wi-Fi-only counterparts) with data service offered on an as-needed basis through contract-free data plans that carry no activation fees.