Verizon's Shared Data Plan Has a Usage Calculator

Verizon Wireless is slated to launch family data plans sometime this year, allowing households to subscribe to one data package rather than one package per family line. This way, customers can keep up with data usage on a whole rather than having to monitor three or four lines separately. Needless to say, as a parent, a single data plan would be much easier to manage, and possibly cheaper.

A leaked screenshot posted on Tuesday indicates that Verizon may be finalizing its new service. As seen below, the screen depicts an online Family Data Usage Calculator which asks the primary account owner to determine how many e-mails the family sends each month, how many web pages they surf, how much time they play online games and so on. The number of minutes per day is then calculated into MBs which is in turn added to a Total Monthly Data Usage pool in increments of 5 GB.

So far Verizon hasn't coughed up any details regarding the family data packages. Customers who still have the unlimited plans from the days before Verizon went into tiered-pricing mode will likely not need to switch. But those stuck with capped data plans may or may not see a benefit in a family plan switch other than added simplicity. Currently Verizon charges $30.00 for a 2 GB monthly data allowance per qualified line -- $50.00 for 5 GB and $80.00 for 10 GB.

Back in January, an unnamed source claimed that training material for an update to Verizon's internal account management application included several screenshots, one of which showed 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. The bottom portion revealed a new check-box labeled "All Lines on Data Share." By clicking this, it was assumed that all lines listed would share the same data package. Adding an additional line would cost $9.99 per month as usual, and would leech from the same pool if checked.

Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed back in December 2011 that a shared data plan structure was on the way, saying that 2012 would likely be the year Verizon would launch the service. "We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal," he said.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • wiyosaya
    If the price comes down for 10+GB, I might consider using this for my home ISP. I'd be happy to replace Thugs Warner.
  • burnley14
    Hopefully AT&T follows suit. There are three of us on separate data plans, and none of us ever approach our limit, so a shared plan would be perfect.
  • bloodymaze
    wiyosayaIf the price comes down for 10+GB, I might consider using this for my home ISP. I'd be happy to replace Thugs Warner.
    TW - Super pricks, just saying.
  • kawininjazx
    I hope they do this, I use mostly WIFI so I only need 2-3GB between two lines.
  • igot1forya
    dave65792132my friend's mother-in-law makes $68 an hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her paycheck was $19325 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more/citation]She sounds nice and all... but the math does not work out... $19,325 divided by $68/h equals 284h at that rate - that is roughly seven solid 5-day 8-hour work weeks. A few hours? Seriously? Come on now!
  • win7guru
    This will be awesome. Need unlimited data plans though.
  • eddieroolz
    A calculator would be nice for all telecoms.
  • jellico
    They really need to get moving on this. They barely have any non-smartphones for sale anymore, so obviously most people are on smartphones. We've got 5 phones on our plan, so a shared data plan would actually allow us all to have smartphones instead of 3 only having a half-dozen phones to choose from.
  • rumandcoke
    broadband (not wireless) costs providers practically nothing ~3-4 pennies per gigabyte.

    yet they charge up the @ss for it and make us all feel as if the costs are somehow justified... do a little duckduckgo-ing and see for yourself:

  • livebriand
    If they don't charge up the ass for this, I'll consider it. As it is, my dad and I wouldn't mind having smartphones, but refuse to because of the data plans ($30/month for a mere 2GB of data? Are you freaking kidding me?).