AT&T's Plans for Shared Data Packages Firming Up

Last year, both AT&T and Verizon acknowledged that they were working on offering shared data plans, which would allow multiple devices owned by a single user or members of a family to draw data from a single monthly allotment. But while there has been evidence that Verizon is making progress on its plans, AT&T has been relatively quiet about its efforts aside from acknowledging that billing and other issues were complicating the work.

CNET now reports, however, that AT&T may be close to launching its shared data plans. The news comes from AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega, who indicates that the carrier knows what it intends to offer to its customers.

"I'm very comfortable with the plan that will be offered to our customers," de la Vega said on the sidelines of his company's home security and automation event at the CTIA Wireless trade show. [...]

He said the company knows how the plan would be structured. He, however, declined to provide any specific details on timing, and wouldn't comment on whether it would be out in the next few months or if AT&T would beat Verizon Wireless to the punch.

Shared "family plans" for voice minutes have been available for quite some time, and a similar mechanism for sharing data seems to be a natural evolution. But aside from sharing data among family members, even individuals could see a benefit from the plans, which would allow them to subscribe to a single monthly data allotment that could be used with their iPhone, iPad, and perhaps even a USB modem or mobile hotspot device.

Top Rated Comments

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108 months ago
Pricing?

I'll make this simple for everyone:

The pricing will offer less data for more money than 2 a la carte plans. But it will be cheaper than signing up for 4 separate data plans.
The 3 device sweet spot will be just a little more money than you are paying now.

Mostly you will be irritated by the fact that there isn't a plan that will save you any money.

(Yes this is a prediction, I do not have the *actual* pricing)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
All they have to do is flip a switch. They're just mulling over how much more money they can squeeze out of customers.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
If he is "comfortable" then that is not good news for us.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
I have a feeling that these shared data plans will be so expensive that it will not be worth it. "AT&T's new shared data plan! Just $60 for 3GB and use it on your iPhone and iPad!"
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
And text messages will still be extra. A complete joke.

Yes, I know about iMessage and 3rd party apps, but a lot of friends don't have smartphones.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Watch. Just watch. AT&T and Verizon will announce shared data plans within a week of each other. They could have done this long ago, but play off each other lock step as if there were "competition."
I wait to see how the math works out, but I would be shocked if a family will save more than $5-$10 for the privilege of 'sharing" data.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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