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Shared Data Plans Arrive Next Year Says Verizon CEO

By - Source: AllThingsD | B 16 comments

Shared data plans should arrive on Verizon Wireless next year (2012), says Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

On Wednesday Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that he expects to see some form of shared data plans being offered on Verizon Wireless by sometime next year. This is definitely good news to Verizon customers who typically shell out $30 per month for a data plan on each phone. Shared data would essentially allow family members to use one pool of data for one monthly price, mimicking Verizon's current shared minutes plans.

"I think in 2012 we’ll see it," McAdam said. "We’ve been working on this for a couple of years, frankly."

He also pointed out that some customers have four or five devices on one individual plan, and that neither the customer nor Verizon wants to keep up with individual data accounts, especially those who have switched over to 2 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB monthly plans. "It drives them crazy and it would raise our costs a lot," he added. "Getting to one bill and having account-level pricing is the right way to go."

In addition to shared data, he also talked about the possible decline in revenue stemming from a drop in SMS use. Now that consumers are relying heavily on third-party voice and data-messaging applications, they're doing less texting and picture sending. It hasn't become a major concern at this point, but he noted that a decline "has already started to happen in some European countries."

"We haven’t seen as much of it on our side, frankly, but I think it is going to come," McAdam said. "It’s kind of like long distance and the other stuff you saw fade away."

He also predicts a continual shift away from feature phones and into smartphones. High-end devices with prices higher than the $199 entry-level iPhone 4S price point will likely remain in Verizon's horizon given that they're actually selling quite well..

"To me, the issue is 'are we going to have the applications that justify it?' And if we do, then I think we will be fine," he said.

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  • 10 Hide
    rawful , December 8, 2011 6:24 PM
    They have been working on how to figure out how to add usage from multiple devices together for years? Holy crap. It doesn't seem like it is that complicated.... they are able to track the individually. I am sure they learned how to add numbers together somewhere along the way....
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    tical2399 , December 8, 2011 6:05 PM
    Hmm I think there will be lots of money made by verizon as families go well over their data usage if its all bundled in one pool
  • 3 Hide
    ThisIsMe , December 8, 2011 6:16 PM
    I'm sure they will charge at least what they charge for the "data plan with tethering" if not more.
  • 10 Hide
    rawful , December 8, 2011 6:24 PM
    They have been working on how to figure out how to add usage from multiple devices together for years? Holy crap. It doesn't seem like it is that complicated.... they are able to track the individually. I am sure they learned how to add numbers together somewhere along the way....
  • 1 Hide
    getreal , December 8, 2011 6:25 PM
    The FCC should step in here and put a stop to the thieving these telcos do on data plans.
    A user with a 2GB plan could use 400MB of data and have 1.6GB left for usage, but if another user on the family plan also has 2GB and uses 2.1GB, you get charged an overage, despite the cumulative family plan paying for 4GB, and your cumulative usage being 2.5GB. So you pay for 4, use 2.5, and get charged an overage...seems like it should be illegal.

    This happens to me every month, by the way.
  • 0 Hide
    captainnemojr , December 8, 2011 6:26 PM
    As long as I can share my grandfathered unlimited plan, then great!
  • 2 Hide
    win7guru , December 8, 2011 6:27 PM
    I'm all for this change as I have a family plan. I mainly use WiFi on my phone to get my data and don't really use much. It will be really nice for those people that get good discounts on their plans too. Verizon you may keep us sheeple satisfied for awhile longer if you go through with this.
  • 4 Hide
    EChiasson , December 8, 2011 6:40 PM
    Roll Over Data the next big thing?
  • 1 Hide
    beoza , December 8, 2011 7:01 PM
    @getreal I think I see where you're confused about the pricing. You're paying for data plans on each phone they are not added together but counted as separate data plans, therefore if one person goes over their data limit you do get an overage. What this Verizon guy is talking about is exactly what you think it should be, one total amount of data shared between all devices on your acct. You'd be paying for 4GB across all phones on your plan and not have separate data plans for each phone. Which is a good thing. This is at least what I got out of the article, you'r view point may differ from mine.
  • 0 Hide
    phishy714 , December 8, 2011 7:15 PM
    YAY!

    Double the price for 1/3 more data divided into family members.

    Way to be awesome Verizon!
  • 1 Hide
    getreal , December 8, 2011 7:39 PM
    beoza@getreal I think I see where you're confused about the pricing.


    I'm not confused at all. I am in favor of shared data plans. I know why I get charged, I just find it dumb that I can't have a single 4GB plan that covers both of my lines; they essentially just steal an extra ten bucks a month from me this way, but I didn't see this as being an issue when I signed the contract, so I can't really complain.

    When I'm out of contract in a few months, I can review my options.
  • 2 Hide
    cknobman , December 8, 2011 7:50 PM
    Cant wait!!!!!! Next year instead of $30 for 2GB it will be $50 for 3GB because its "shared" LOL

    Thieving fracking basterds!!!!

    Im gonna ride the Sprint "unlimited" wave until its gone, I can live with my WiMax unlimited for now. Sure its not 15-30Mbps but Im fine with 3-10 for now especially when I gulp down 3-5Gb per week!!!!!
  • 4 Hide
    masterasia , December 8, 2011 8:11 PM
    I hate Verizon, but damn....their coverage is better and data is faster than AT&T. Still.... I'll keep my unlocked Droid Milestone with AT&T because I only pay $10 for unlimited data and I use it to tether onto my laptop, iPad, and Xoom all the time.
  • 0 Hide
    zerapio , December 8, 2011 11:41 PM
    masterasiaI only pay $10 for unlimited data


    Can you tell me how to do that? My $15 only give me 200Mb/mo.
  • 1 Hide
    maddad , December 9, 2011 5:21 AM
    I pay $15 for 200mb a month, I probably only use about 50mb month. I primarily use wireless to connect if I need to download something. Also to Verizion, ATT, Sprint, Tmobile, "txt" is "data" , Pictures are "data" there should not be a separate charge for txting as it should be covered under our "data" plans. FCC please take note!!!
  • 0 Hide
    oxxfatelostxxo , December 9, 2011 3:29 PM
    Quote:
    As long as I can share my grandfathered unlimited plan, then great!


    Your supposed grandfathered unlimited plan is basically capped at 5gb a month, at which point they throttle your connection so much that internet usage is basically like dial up.

    Next time read the fine print. =)
  • 0 Hide
    JermsMalibu , December 9, 2011 4:47 PM
    It would be nice to share my unlimited data....if it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    And actually, they don't throttle it right when you go over 5gb.....however, their service at my house IS essentially dial-up (varies between -95 dbm to -120 dbm, regularly at -111dbm, so I get anywhere from 0kbps to 130kbps). And I only live ~1 mile from a tower. And at my work, I get a good signal (regularly -66dbm) and I still only get 600-900kbps. So I call BS on their "best coverage everywhere" marketing. And their only solution is for me to buy a cell repeater from them or a new phone with dual attenas. I live in a normal city, I shouldn't have to pay for a work-around to fix their network for them.
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