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Shared Data Plans Coming to AT&T in August

By - Source: AT&T | B 41 comments

AT&T is now offering shared data plans too, although they won't be forced down your throat.

AT&T is officially jumping on the shared data bandwagon as of late August, allowing new and existing customers to share a single "bucket" of data across tablets, smartphones, and other compatible devices. And like Verizon's own data sharing packages, AT&T customers will also receive unlimited calling and texting. Even more, each data plan includes access to more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at no additional charge.

"Customers can select one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T’s existing individual or family plans," AT&T said on Wednesday. "Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T’s device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T’s best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers."

First customers must choose how much data they want to use each month, and then choose up to 10 devices to attach to the new plan, one of which MUST be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones, the company said.

Here's the AT&T monthly shared data breakdown:

1 GB @ $40 + $45 for each smartphone
4 GB @ $70 + $40 for each smartphone
6 GB @ $90 + $35 for each smartphone
10 GB @ $120 + $30 for each smartphone
15 GB @ $160 + $30 for each smartphone
20 GB @ $200 + $30 for each smartphone

For each basic phone, add an additional $30 per month. Laptops, LaptopConnect cards, and netbooks are $20 each per month, and tablets and gaming devices are $10 each per month. That said, a family with three smartphones ($90), a tablet ($10), a laptop ($20) and a gaming device ($10) sharing 10 GB per month ($120) will pay a base price of $250 per month.

"AT&T Mobile Share allows customers to essentially build a plan to fit their devices and usage. Customers who are more data-centric can choose a larger data bucket. Customers who typically use more voice than data can add multiple smartphones and basic phones and opt for a smaller data bucket," the company said.

AT&T said it will also help users track their data usage by keeping them informed with courtesy alerts as they near their monthly data allowance. Yet customers can also keep track of their data guzzling anytime online, through the myAT&T mobile app, or by dialing *DATA# from their phone.

"We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. "With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They’ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It’s their choice."

Stay tuned for an actual launch date.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    kawininjazx , July 18, 2012 8:22 PM
    It's like putting a ribbon on a turd.
  • 10 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 8:36 PM
    This is a rip off!

    Our current data plan = 3GB per $30 a month. With 3 phones = $90 (9GB worth of data usage)

    The new at&t rape-you plan would costs us $210 (10GB plan + 3 phones) What The Fuck!
  • 10 Hide
    burmese_dude , July 18, 2012 8:05 PM
    More like sh!t data...
Other Comments
    Display all 41 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    burmese_dude , July 18, 2012 8:05 PM
    More like sh!t data...
  • 13 Hide
    kawininjazx , July 18, 2012 8:22 PM
    It's like putting a ribbon on a turd.
  • 1 Hide
    jdog2pt0 , July 18, 2012 8:24 PM
    They'll drop their old plan options after a while, and force everyone new to use the shared plan, and pay more for everything. For the time being I'm still with Verisuckasszon, but only because I'm grandfathered in on just about everything.

    TLDR; See previous comment
  • 10 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 8:36 PM
    This is a rip off!

    Our current data plan = 3GB per $30 a month. With 3 phones = $90 (9GB worth of data usage)

    The new at&t rape-you plan would costs us $210 (10GB plan + 3 phones) What The Fuck!
  • 7 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 8:42 PM
    Sorry for dropping the F-bomb, I don't think I ever done that here (I do see it on a regular bias here). But really... what rip-off. As it is, our data usage among our 3 phones = 1.5GB / .9 / .3. So what we pay now is more than enough. (I slightly lied, 2 phones are $25 /2GB plan since the data usage isn't there. But it if we were new it would be $30/3GB).

    A shared (tethered) plan should be that - SHARED. $90 = 9/10GB, period. No matter what other device is tethered.
  • 2 Hide
    greenmachineiijh , July 18, 2012 8:43 PM
    I am also with Verizon. I looked into this shared plan and my bill will go up by forty (40) bucks a MONTH!! They have a plan price calculator and it had no qualms telling me this.
    Pay (a LOT) more, get less, no way out, remove old plans after a while... I feel a class action in the works...
  • -1 Hide
    beppomarx , July 18, 2012 8:44 PM
    Right now I have 3gb each for 4 smartphones. I can now get a plan to share 10gb but add unlimited minutes and tethering (legitimately, I root and do that anyway) on all devices for the exact same monthly fee of $240. Not that these charges aren't completely outrageous to begin with, I feel that what I have just described should rightfully be around $150 but although I lose 2gb total I have the convenience of sharing it (wife and business phone probably never exceed 1gb together) and add att's approval to tether and unlimited minutes it's worth the switch to me. I knew this was coming, it's actually not any worse than what's already out there. I guess we just wait for prices to drive down, but that's industry wide at the moment.
  • -2 Hide
    beppomarx , July 18, 2012 8:47 PM
    belardoSorry for dropping the F-bomb, I don't think I ever done that here (I do see it on a regular bias here). But really... what rip-off. As it is, our data usage among our 3 phones = 1.5GB / .9 / .3. So what we pay now is more than enough. (I slightly lied, 2 phones are $25 /2GB plan since the data usage isn't there. But it if we were new it would be $30/3GB).A shared (tethered) plan should be that - SHARED. $90 = 9/10GB, period. No matter what other device is tethered.


    These shared plans include unlimited text and minutes as well, so deduct your minute plan from the equation as well.
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , July 18, 2012 8:48 PM
    4GB for $70/month in just data? Holy crap, for real? I thought prices were supposed to go down, not up. Currently, 4G data prices are 3GB/$30, or 5GB/$50. So as a single user, you pay $40 for voice, and then $30 for 3GB data package. Voice + data is $70--which is the cost of just data for a comparable amount of data on this new scheme.

    Even for a "family" of 3 people, to have an equivalent amount of data available compared to current data plans, you'd have to go with the 15GB/$160 plan, plus $90 for all the devices (assuming only 3 phones). $250 total with this scheme vs. 3X$70 = $210 now. Even if you went with the cheaper 10GB/$120 plan, you're still paying more than current individual plans. Of course, the cost of the "shared data" plan would go down if users didn't need that much data, but one must ask oneself, if users didn't use the current data plans worth of data, why are they given it in the first place?

    You only honestly get better prices if you have like 50 devices on one account. I'd love to see a breakdown of AT&T's customer demographics--how many single-account users are there vs. family plan users. Because it seems to be a bunch of crap that this benefits the customer. As expected, it benefits no one other than AT&T. Not that that wasn't expected.
  • 0 Hide
    bb33 , July 18, 2012 8:54 PM
    This just shows that there is no competition between att and verizon as they both have jacked the price of data significantly. Competition would mean better service, more data and lower prices not crap service and data at much higher prices. This is why t-mo and sprint need to survive and compete with atterizon.
  • -2 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 8:58 PM
    beppomarxThese shared plans include unlimited text and minutes as well, so deduct your minute plan from the equation as well.
    The $30 Unlimited text and Minutes covers ALL our phones... So that means... $120 vs $210... that is a RIP-OFF!

    We need some sort of class-action law suits for jacking our rates by 100% for ZERO reason!
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 9:02 PM
    beppomarxRight now I have 3gb each for 4 smartphones. I can now get a plan to share 10gb but add unlimited minutes and tethering.
    Upgrade to the non-shared plan now. You should be paying $150 (before taxes/fees/insurance) for those 4 phones. (4=3GB + unlimited text/min)
  • -1 Hide
    donner , July 18, 2012 9:05 PM
    For those who still have a land line. The unlimited talk portion might be the final straw to ditch the land line and could make the plans look a little better.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , July 18, 2012 9:06 PM
    I am with Sprint as well. 4 lines with text, talk, and unlimited data. 4 Evo 4g phones and 1 lg 3g phone (all android) and my bill after taxes and fees is a grand total of $210 per month.

    So if I am reading correct if I went AT&T same lines and phones with 10GB cap would cost $120 + 4*$30 = $240 + taxes and fees (average $20) for a grand total of $260.

    W T F ? ? ? ?

    No way in h3ll I would ever pay $50 more a month for less. Dont give me the network or LTE argument either. I live in DFW and both LTE and WiMax are live in my market (I've been using WiMax for 2 years now).
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 18, 2012 9:09 PM
    beppomarxThese shared plans include unlimited text and minutes as well, so deduct your minute plan from the equation as well.


    Except you still have to pay per device on these new plans, in addition to the data package selected. It's not really "included" as much as they've hand-waved the specific "minutes and texts" plan titles, and just called it a "per device charge."
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2012 9:25 PM
    teh_chemExcept you still have to pay per device on these new plans, in addition to the data package selected. It's not really "included" as much as they've hand-waved the specific "minutes and texts" plan titles, and just called it a "per device charge."


    Actually, it almost levels out... *IF* they are not including the minutes plan (which isn't needed if you pay the $30 unlimited package).

    Currently, a 700min plan + unlimited (2 phones) = $100 + 1 phone ($10) + 3 data plans ($90) = $200.

    If their rate is above doesn't have a minutes-base plan ($70 for example) and it does costs $210, then its okay and *I* over-reacted. But this is not clear.

    Charging for tethering is *STUPID*... I'm using the data I paid for. What if a friend or I want to use my iPad, just 2-3 times a month for a total of 30 minutes and they'll charge me $10 for it?!
  • 1 Hide
    twelch82 , July 18, 2012 9:30 PM
    While I like the concept of being able to enable access on all devices, the pricing is just too high. The cost to add additional devices should be minimal. If it costs no more to enable hotspot on my phone than add the laptop itself - and I don't have to be on a shared plan to do it - why bother?
  • 0 Hide
    catfishtx , July 18, 2012 9:40 PM
    I have 4 smart phones with the 300MB data ($20) and one feature phone right now for a total bill of about $280 after everything is added up. The 6GB plan would give me more data for $20 less a month and the feature phone would get data now. It is still ridiculously high though. I thought AT&T raped us during the land line days. Its like they don't realize we can do some simple math and see through these plans.
  • 2 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 18, 2012 9:42 PM
    Pre-paid+no contract = my friend...
  • -1 Hide
    fb39ca4 , July 18, 2012 9:43 PM
    Why isn't anybody cancelling all their data plans outright and just finding some wifi?
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