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Verizon Shared Data Plans Coming Soon?

By - Source: Engadget | B 20 comments

Verizon's promised shared data plan may arrive soon, possibly in time for World Mobile Congress next month?

Back in December 2011, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that 2012 will likely bring a shared data plan to Verizon Wireless so that customers with multiple lines won't have to juggle multiple data packages. Like shared minutes, a shared data plan would provide a bulk amount of data per month for one set fee for family members to share.

"I think in 2012 we will see it," McAdam said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. "We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal."

The news arrived after Verizon killed the unlimited data plans for new customers. Those who previously signed up with Verizon prior to the data plan change are able to keep their existing unlimited streams of audio, video and app downloads. However those signing up with Verizon after the new plans came into effect must pay $30 for 2 GB a month, $50 for 5 GB, and $80 for 10 GB -- overage costs $10 per 1 GB.

However on Monday a screenshot supplied to Engadget from an anonymous source indicates that the family data plan may arrive sooner than expected. According to the source, training material for an update to Verizon's internal account management application includes several screenshots, one of which shows the general Account Level Plan at the top, and the account's subscribed devices broken down per line in the lower Line Level Plan section (as seen below).

It's here where speculation begins to fly, as the bottom portion now sports a check-box labeled "All Lines on Data Share." By clicking this, it's assumed that all lines listed will share the same data package. Other reports claim that each line will be hit with a $9.99 data charge as the screen depicts, but that just doesn't make sense or follows McAdam's one-plan-one-charge promise. Normally family plans charge a built-in monthly fee for a bulk number minutes for all lines to share, and any overages are applied to the overall account, not a specific line.

So far monthly pricing and data allowance are unknown as well as an actual launch, so stay tuned. Verizon did not respond to an inquiry.


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  • 6 Hide
    classzero , January 30, 2012 9:37 PM
    Still ripping us off
  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , January 30, 2012 9:49 PM
    ClasszeroStill ripping us off


    Then go somewhere else.... I love my grandfathered unlimited data plans.
  • -2 Hide
    skittle , January 30, 2012 10:43 PM
    otacon72Then go somewhere else.... I love my grandfathered unlimited data plans.


    Until you upgrade your phone...
  • 3 Hide
    WTFO , January 30, 2012 11:03 PM
    Wife just updated hers…still gets the unlimited data guess she's special
  • 1 Hide
    jecho , January 30, 2012 11:04 PM
    If you think prices are too high switch to T-Mobile or Sprint...yeah yeah yeah not as good of service, but you would be forcing Verizon and At&t to become competitive rather than letting them charge what they please. Worst case scenario you throw a bit of cash flow to Sprint and T-Mobile and allow them to build there network. You people who have Verizon for your personal image are the ones who will allow them to never have to compete.
  • 1 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , January 30, 2012 11:50 PM
    @All above

    Of course, this is still a rip-off.
    And all the carriers do it; in reality, 10 GB of data costs (being very generous) 80 CENTS to provide, not 80 DOLLARS.

    The "need to ease network congestion by throttling access after X GB" is also still a blatant lie (most providers do that if they offer an "unlimited" plan).

    Verizon's just found a way to make it easier to go over that limit.

    Unfortunately... nobody sues for price-fixing.
  • 6 Hide
    teknomedic , January 31, 2012 12:04 AM
    skittleUntil you upgrade your phone...


    Only if you had a "dumb" phone previous and had to "upgrade" to smart phone... if you had a smart phone unlimited plan previous and buy a new smart phone you keep your unlimited.
  • 2 Hide
    raven2510 , January 31, 2012 12:08 AM
    teknomedicOnly if you had a "dumb" phone previous and had to "upgrade" to smart phone... if you had a smart phone unlimited plan previous and buy a new smart phone you keep your unlimited.

    This exactly. I plan on keeping my unlimited for a long time.
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , January 31, 2012 1:58 AM
    Unless you were an Alltel customer that got forced to Verizon.... When I tried to "upgrade" by Alltel Blackberry after the buyout, I was told I had to "cancel" my Alltel contract first.....which had unlimited data. Cancelling my Alltel contract took care of the "unlimited data" plan....
  • 0 Hide
    jdwii , January 31, 2012 2:30 AM
    All i can say is sprint is the best
  • 2 Hide
    neon871 , January 31, 2012 9:46 AM
    raven2510This exactly. I plan on keeping my unlimited for a long time.

    we will get screwed out of it sooner or later. That's what the new family data plan is all about, those dumb enough to take it. After that Verizon will find a new way to hump us!
  • 1 Hide
    cknobman , January 31, 2012 12:46 PM
    Guaranteed once they intro the "shared" data plan they will eliminate grandfathering unlimited plans.

    Its only a matter of time (a very short one at that).
  • 1 Hide
    jaxeran , January 31, 2012 12:50 PM
    You're missing out on the point, it will be 1 data plan for all the phones on the account, so if you, your wife, son and daughter all have smart phones (like we do) it will save me a ton of $$, even if its limited. I use around 7gb/month with my 4g Lte on average, and my wife uses less than 500mb, my kids use around 2gb each, so thats right at 10gb total, even if we doubled it theres no way that would equal the same $120 Im paying monthly now.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , January 31, 2012 1:04 PM
    jaxeranYou're missing out on the point, it will be 1 data plan for all the phones on the account, so if you, your wife, son and daughter all have smart phones (like we do) it will save me a ton of $$, even if its limited. I use around 7gb/month with my 4g Lte on average, and my wife uses less than 500mb, my kids use around 2gb each, so thats right at 10gb total, even if we doubled it theres no way that would equal the same $120 Im paying monthly now.


    Well if you go buy current pricing standars ~1/gb your looking at $100 for 10/gb shared per month. Then judging by the screenshot and leaks they will charge $9.99 per line to access the data which I would assume would happen to all lines but primary.

    That would be $100 + $30 for your 3 other "shared" line which would put you close to the same if not slightly more.

    Dont think for a second Verizon is going to start giving customers a better value.
  • 1 Hide
    jaxeran , January 31, 2012 1:09 PM
    The 10gb plan is $80, and it's a shared plan, not per line, so if they do it the same way they do all the other shared things is you pay for a pool that people draw from, not a data plan + a shared plan. It's likely it will be 50-80 for the plan, but they have to make it attracting or people will stay with thier current individual plans. They are going to do this to bring out the first real shared plan (of the major networks), I am confident that it will be expensive, but it cant cost more than it does now or people wont take it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 31, 2012 2:30 PM
    You have always had to pay for the extra lines in a shared plan. Even when it was shared voice, you paid for the pool of minutes, then you had to pay $10 per line you added to the family plan...
  • 0 Hide
    DaddyW123 , January 31, 2012 3:34 PM
    dlsincYou have always had to pay for the extra lines in a shared plan. Even when it was shared voice, you paid for the pool of minutes, then you had to pay $10 per line you added to the family plan...

    Exactly. I don't understand why people don't understand this. Verizon is going to charge you $10 per extra voice line THEN share the minutes as usual, AND change you $10 per extra data line THEN share the minutes... you have to PAY for the privilege of using the data you are already paying for. It's just like having to pay the $10 or $20 it is to enable wifi hotspot on your phone, even though you are ALREADY paying for the data you use.

    I'm surprised phone companies haven't figured out a way to charge you for the privilege of your phone actually ringing when a call comes in. "I'm sorry, in order to make it ring, you have a pay a $10/line/month 'caller notification' charge"
  • 0 Hide
    DaddyW123 , January 31, 2012 3:39 PM
    *edit - THEN share the data

    Also, having that been said, I do see how this can possibly be overall cheaper. My mother is a very generous woman who pays for her phone, my dad's phone, my sisters phone and my sisters husbands phone, and she's been trying to get my wife to agree to add her phone to their account as well (my company pays for my phone). My sister is the one one with data now, but my mom wants her next phone to me smart, and my wife might go for a smart phone if she were able to share data rather than paying a ton for it... especially since she rarely even uses her phone... but there have been times when she's needed me to look stuff up for her because she doesn't have access to the internet while out on the job site.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 31, 2012 6:29 PM
    It is a shame that older 3g customers are still charged 60.00/month for 5 gigs a month. I am in a rural area and don't know when or ever we will see 4g so why upgrade to save 10.00 a month for the 5 gigs. My overage is still .25 cents a megabyte. I never get near the 5 gigs so nothing to worry about on that. Verizon lower your rates for customers like me so you wont look like such big crooks.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2012 12:17 PM
    What about those that DON'T use tons of data? I have 3 phones right now and we as a group only use less than 1 GB per month. I want a plan that works for me!
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