Light Reading
New Mobile Share plans let its customers share data across up to 10 mobile devices

AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool

Sarah Reedy
LR Mobile News Analysis
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor
7/18/2012
50%
50%

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is adding options to its wireless plans that will let users share a bucket of data across up to 10 devices, including smartphones and tablets.

The carrier has been talking about making this move for a while now and plans to launch the new "Mobile Share" plans at the end of August, just two months after Verizon Wireless introduced its "Share Everything" buckets. (See Verizon: One Data Bucket to Rule Them All.)

The optional plans include unlimited voice and text, and they must include at least one smartphone. On top of the basic per month charge that ranges from $40 for the 1GB plan to $200 for the 20GB plan, AT&T is charging US$45 per smartphone added to the bucket on its lowest (1GB) plan, but that additional charge decreases to $35 or $30 depending on which monthly plan the user has chosen.

After smartphones are added, AT&T charges an additional $30 per month for each basic and quick messaging phone added, $20 per laptop, laptop connect card and netbook added, and $10 per month for each additional tablet or gaming device. AT&T also charges $15 per additional gigabyte of data.

Verizon charges the same to add devices on its Share Everything plans, except that smartphone additions are always $40, meaning that AT&T's plans are more economical at 1GB, the same at 4GB, and Verizon wins at 6GB and 10GB:

Table 1: AT&T & Verizon's Data-Sharing Options

Shared Data Plans (Up to 10 Devices) Monthly Cost on AT&T Monthly Cost on Verizon
1GB $40 $50
2GB N/A $60
4GB $70 $70
6GB $90 $80
8GB N/A $90
10GB $120 $100
15GB $160 N/A
20GB $200 N/A
Sources: AT&T, Verizon Wireless.




AT&T isn't requiring its customers to make the move to Mobile Share, nor is it charging a fee to do so. Verizon, on the other hand, is phasing out its old unlimited plans for the buckets. AT&T breaks down the new plans, here.

Why this matters
While not unexpected, the move to shared data is a big change for operators, albeit one that makes sense from the wireless providers' standpoint given the number of devices they're encouraging users to buy. The plans on both operators may lessen costs for some families and businesses, but they can make mobile data usage more expensive for individuals in certain cases. With increased access costs and tack-on charges for additional devices, customers may find themselves paying more for a data bucket than they did when their bills were separate.

For more
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:27:41 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


I'm pleasantly surprised to see that AT&T isn't forcing customers into this the way Verizon is. I'm sure a lot will opt to do it - families and businesses mainly - but the choice is nice and gives AT&T a leg up.

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:36 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


Does anyone want to join me in saying that the next logical step is for consumers to just pay by the bit?


I'd rather just pay for what I use vs. guess how much I might use and prepay on that amount. In my giant, cavernous head, that equates to me giving AT&T an interest-free loan for most of the month.

SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:27:35 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


I like that idea and if their data alerts and tracking apps are good, you shouldn't be in for sticker shock.

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:35 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


Yes, that's really the key. Consumer apps should be really easy to use and completely accurate at helping estimate and track billing.

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


Like gas, too, we know the price per gallon but we hand the cashier at the 7-Eleven our alloted spend -- $35 on pump #3, please -- and we let the pump and the register do the math for us. 


Surely with all the great minds running around our nation's telcos we can come up with a system that texts consumers as they approach certain budget thresholds and asks what to do next.


 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


One of the problems is, nobody at the telcos seems to be thinking with the consumer in mind. Everything is done to benefit them first, and that erodes trust. I mean -- imagine the gas station saying, "um, sir, that is a different car than you filled up last week, so I need to charge you a $30 activation fee for this second car to use our gas." It would be great to eliminate the bogosity and the BS around wireless marketing and pricing. The "plans" are the biggest part of the problem right now.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


One of the problems is, nobody at the telcos seems to be thinking with the consumer in mind. Everything is done to benefit them first, and that erodes trust. I mean -- imagine the gas station saying, "um, sir, that is a different car than you filled up last week, so I need to charge you a $30 activation fee for this second car to use our gas." It would be great to eliminate the bogosity and the BS around wireless marketing and pricing. The "plans" are the biggest part of the problem right now.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


The whole guess-how-much you're going to use thing shows a carrier-centric view of the world. Wonder which carrier might try Phil's idea, which I think could radically spur greater adoption.


I mean -- it's not like they need to worry whether people are going to use mobile broadband, right? Instead of trying to fob off "data calculation meters" and other ridiculous things as something that makes sense, why not pay for what you use... simple... works with milk and other commodities.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool


The whole guess-how-much you're going to use thing shows a carrier-centric view of the world. Wonder which carrier might try Phil's idea, which I think could radically spur greater adoption.


I mean -- it's not like they need to worry whether people are going to use mobile broadband, right? Instead of trying to fob off "data calculation meters" and other ridiculous things as something that makes sense, why not pay for what you use... simple... works with milk and other commodities.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive