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Verizon may bring shared data plans and ISIS next year

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Verizon may bring shared data plans and ISIS next year
This is something we have been asking carriers to implement since the birth of the iPad: shared data plans, and now it seems that Verizon may launch it along with ISIS in 2012. We already knew that ISIS was planned to roll out next year, which may or may not have anything to do with the Galaxy Nexus not having Google Wallet, but the shared data plans have always been a dream.

At the UBS conference in New York City, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that ISIS should see a "significant rollout" by the end of 2012, but the surprise was that Verizon could launch shared data plans next year as well. It's becoming more and more likely that families will have multiple mobile devices, or even that single customers will have both a smartphone and a tablet, so shared data plans just make more sense.

Of course, we still don't know exactly how Verizon plans to price the plans. Given the carrier's history, we're expecting data tiers on the plans. McAdam also said that the company has been working on shared data "for a couple of years" (although we're not sure why it would take so long, aside from milking tethering fees for a while.)

Still, we're glad to know that shared data plans are on the way. We just hope the pricing is reasonable.

source: Fierce Wireless via BGR

18 Comments
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posted on 07 Dec 2011, 11:58 1

1. Penny (Posts: 986; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


5 lines on my account, 3 of them with data, so I would very much like to see what Verizon has to offer with a shared data plan. However, knowing Verizon, I bet they will start at something like 2GB for $30 a month, geared toward families that are just getting used to smartphones and not using much data. Tier 2 would possibly be 4GB for $50 a month. I would expect a top tier of about 10GB for $100 per month.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 16:08

15. phish4brains (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Recently, Verizon started switching all customers to "account level pricing." What this means is the base cost of the plan and included minutes and messaging are billed at the "account level" while each line is billed individually at the "line level." For example, if a two line share plan with 700 minutes and unlimited messaging is $99.99/month, your bill would show an $80 "account level" charge and 2 "line level" charges at $10/each. Before account level pricing you would have had a "primary line" billed at $90 and a "add-a-line or share line" billed at $9.99. By changing to account level pricing, I believe it was paving the way for shared services such as data pricing, etc. Outside of smartphones, could you imagine being able to add a 4g hotspot card to the account for $10/month and be able to share from the account level data pricing instead of paying $50 or $80/month which is what Verizon currently charges for mobile broad band?

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 16:33

16. Penny (Posts: 986; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Yeah I am aware of the recent transition to account level billing, and that was the first thing that popped into my mind when this article mentioned shared data as well.

I personally do not use hotspot cards so it really didn't enter my mind as part of the equation. That being said, I do agree that the shared data structure could potentially make add-ons such as a hotspot card much more tenable. Good point.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:19

2. c.hack (Posts: 487; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


I think there will be a significant discount from the standard individual capped data plans. The reason will be to give the majority a reason to abandon their unlimited plans. I have 3 phones with unlimited and will not give that up without a big incentive.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:33 4

3. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I wouldn't expect a "significant discount". I think this will be marketed as a way to simplify your bill instead of having multiple accounts or tethering fees. Verizon doesn't offer discounts unless absolutely necessary.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 13:08

6. c.hack (Posts: 487; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


It would be little benefit to Verizon for people to switch to a family plan unless it involved abandoning unlimited data. Without incentive few people will give up unlimited data.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 13:38

7. Jarahawk (Posts: 42; Member since: 04 Dec 2011)


I will not give up Unlimited Data. There is no incentive which they can offer me.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 14:05

10. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i would expect something tiered on the 5's.. "family 5 gig, family 10 gig, family 20 gig", ect. But yea, i wouldnt expect a significant discount, but it will be discounted when you are talking about a family of 4 or 5.. but probably not much of a benefit to a family of 2 or 3 compared to standard pricing. They would use that to push more family lines and more people to smart phones to "increase the value" to the family.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 14:26

12. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I agree completely. I think this is a push to get more feature phone owners to convert to smartphones. Most people are comfortable paying for one or two smartphone plans, but paying for 5 at $30/each?

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:36

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5276; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Shared data plans make sense when you have a 'bucket' (2Gb/month, 4Gb/month, etc.) of data. Although VZW's current family plan options allow for an unlimited voice (and messaging) option to be shared among all plan participants. When I was at the VZW store to swap out my original RAZR with defective LTE radio, I asked the rep about sharing data. The response was that such an option would allow the reps to make more sales of family plans with high end smartphones.

Hopefully, VZW will see the logic of allowing family plans to share the data component along with voice and messaging.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 14:32

13. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I can see why people want this option, paying $30 or even $20 a month per smartphone just isn't practical for most families. However, I do see it being a problem for some people. There are already plenty of people who are bad at managing their own individual data allowances, or who don't understand how data plans work in the first place. If no one is closely monitoring the shared allowance, the costs could add up quickly and get ugly. This is a non-issue for those who manage their account diligently, but I can see a lot billing arguments and family disputes arising over shared/family data plans.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:38

5. darkkjedii (Posts: 9255; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


So what

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 13:40

8. bossmt_2 (Posts: 421; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


COuld be a game changer if they price it properly. I worked at Verizon before unlimited texting family plans it's rare to see a family plan that has anyone under 30 in it without unlimited text anymore, I think pooled data will be the next one. 40 bucks for 2 gigs, 70 bucks for 5 gigs, 100 bucks for 10 gigs.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 13:45

9. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


knowing verizon, they will make even more money off their suckers, i mean customers. this is the most greedy, blood sucking carrier in the biz!! you can take that to the bank !

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 14:07 1

11. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i have been begging for this for years. they need to pull it off right so other carriers do the same. I remember.. um... other... carriers hinting at it a while back as possibly coming soon, but nothing official or concrete.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 15:42

14. downphoenix (Posts: 2230; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Even if they dont do this, one thing they could do is charge less for addl lines with data plans. I.e. $30 for first, $20 for second, $10 for each after.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 16:54

17. warlockz (Posts: 156; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


So now I have an umlimited data plan with vzw does this mean I can buy a tablet and use my unlimited date plan with it as a shared package nah its vzw they wouldn't allow that they prob would say you have to upgrade your plan....

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 19:30

18. Scuba_Steve (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


I think they just make new plans. Talk, Talk&Text, Talk/Text &Web.

Web will work like the text bundle did. Prices would obviously go up though.

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