Screenshot shows Verizon shared data plans are on the way

Screenshot shows Verizon shared data plans are on the way
We’ve been reporting for months now that Verizon and AT&T will move to shared data plans some time in mid-2012. A screen cap shared with us suggests that Verizon, at least, is moving ahead with the back-end upgrading that will be necessary to implement a shared data plan. While we can't vouch for the images beyond what is seen below, it appears to be an online calculator available for families to use to figure out whether a shared data plan is right for them.

Of course we aren’t under any illusion – we don’t expect any of the networks to significantly reduce our monthly bills, but at least it seems that Verizon will provide the means for an average family to figure out whether a shared data plan will be right for them. Also, the major networks may be willing to provide mildly discounted monthly data rates to families if it can accomplish two goals that are important to the networks:

1)    Sell more hardware (like LTE iPads) that they could make some additional profit on to offset the monthly bill reduction, as well as increase use of services they offer (e.g. V CAST).
2)    Move more people off of the legacy unlimited data plans onto tiered pricing (like the shared data plans will be). Unlimited customers can be capped at times, but the carriers have no real way to increase the pricing on unlimited customers, so a near-term discount in some monthly bills might be an investment in getting more people to a pricing structure that is easier to increase revenue from.

Alas, no prices are tipped, but the screen shot does confirm that Verizon is at a fairly advanced stage of development. At this point there may be little left to wait for except proper employee training, and whatever timing Verizon (or AT&T) feel is appropriate to introduce the new price plans.

Hopefully we won’t have long to wait.


source: Thanks anonymous!

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26 Comments

1. rshackindian

Posts: 21; Member since: Apr 11, 2009

Woah; this is heavy man.....

2. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

this would be great for my family of four with data plans if this wasn't tiered. -.-

11. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

It's going to be tiered for sure

17. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeeup, so we'll probably stick with our Unlimited.

3. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Pricing is gonna be be key. If it's reasonably priced everyone will have a smart phone. Adoption rate for VZW will be sick on consumer family accounts

4. Penny

Posts: 1848; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Agreed. Could be huge for smartphone adoption, but it all depends on pricing. In my opinion, this is one of the most likely circumstances that could make this program fail: The shared data plans turn out to be roughly equivalent in price to all individual lines getting their own data plans. For instance, with 5 lines on my account, if Verizon offered 10 GB shared data for $120-$150 per month, that would not be enough to convince my parents to get smartphones with data. (Currently 3 of our lines have data, so we're paying $90 per month on that. If we could pay $10 or even $20 more per month to get smartphones on the two lines that don't currently have data, we would definitely do so.)

5. Corpsemaker

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 10, 2010

Agreed. We have 3 smartphone lines. (2 with unlimited)=$90. If we could get a fourth line for $90-$100 (and dropping unlimited) this would be ideal.

13. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Wow!! you guys surely love making the rich, richer. More power to you guys. To pay $90 - 110 just for data. Is no wonder they keep increasing prices. I would, too. My cheap a@s.

26. Corpsemaker

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 10, 2010

Do you also get s**tty coverage? We don't live in a big city. We also get decent phone choices. Unlike T-Mobile and Sprint.

6. android1234

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 09, 2010

They would have to offer some great pricing otherwise i hve no intentions of dropping my unlimited plan. I use.netflix alot and it consumes alot of data

14. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

I'm with you on that one. I'm keeping a death grip on my unlimited data till they "force" me off of it. By force, I mean if they pull an AT&T stunt, which I doubt they'll do, or give me a deal I'd be stupid to pass on. While I don't use heavy data all the time I do have moments where I use a bunch and that's where having unlimited pays off.

7. firelightx

Posts: 71; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

I have pretty high hopes for this. Right now $80 will give you 10 gigs on a single line. What if family data wound up based on that number?

8. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

My fingers are crossed. This could really help families effectively manage the expense of different profiles of data users.

9. joey18

Posts: 666; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

This only money for verizon so i pay 90 data is too much all my phones are unlimited data verizon wans to drop my unlimited they need to offer me 80 for 10 gs the will be great idea so i dont think rhis plan has future

10. phishfood

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

This is great in theory, but what about those of us with unlimited data? My sister and I both have unlimited data and between streaming audio and video we are both using on average 3-4 gigs of data per month each. I have peaked at 10 gb of data in one month. I was planning to get my parents smart phones, but i feel there is no way the family share would be beneficial to me.

15. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

In your situation I'd keep the unlimited data if I were you. You're obviously an above average data user. Keeping unlimited will more likely benefit you best. But that's just my 2 cents.

12. phish4brains

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Forget the smartphones for a moment, everyone and their mother seems to have one or is thinking about getting one already. The big impact of tiered pricing will be with mobile broadband and tablets. The last year or so, people have been very enamoured with all the different tablets. The customers want subsidized pricing on tablets, they want mobile internet for their different devices. What they don't want is another 2 yr service agreement for yet another data plan. Tablets and mobile broadband is what will drive the growth for the forseeable future. The phone market is pretty saturated at this point, everyone has one and the only real growth is coming from keeping customer churn low while capturing customers leaving a different carriers. If I could simply add a line into a sharegroup to get that tablet or MiFi card, the growth opportunity is sky high....

16. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

Wow if this deal is a good one I'm gonna regret buying the sgs2 for the wife on valentines day, she's had a death grip on that thing ever since.

18. jstoned

Posts: 36; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

I work for Verizon, the introduction of capped data was a heart breaker to me. I prided my self and company being better than the rest, only to have it stoop the the same level as the rest. When they told us USAGE BASED PRICING was coming I felt sick for all my new and future upgrading customers. How do you launch an unlimited program and run with it for years and then shut it down at the peak of its success. 2 gigs a month is garbage. people that have smart phones really shouldnt be limited on data, its bad enough you guys worry about minutes, but internet time too? I just want to say thank you to all the vzw consumers for being customers. Just know that there are those of us out there at the sales and management levels that feel the same way you guys do about all these corporate money hording limiting tactics too.

21. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I am not sure....you just do not sound like an employee, when I read your statement out loud :-)

19. Sparhawk

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

You guys might be totally misreading this. Verizon is starting to offer home-based 4G broadband, called Home Fusion (http://www.verizonwireless.com/homefusion ) that will allow up to 24 simultaneous connections (4 Ethernet, 20 Wi-Fi). Currently limited to a few test markets (Dallas, NAshville, Birmingham), they are planning to expand it. This service is "home-based" because it involves installing a roof-top antenna. This "Family Data Usage Calculator" could just be for that service. FYI: If you click the image to view it larger, having a Sprint ad bragging about unlimited data next to a Verizon Wireless data calculator is rather funny ad placement.

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

nice....

22. delagarza

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

I am not saying that it is not coming, but this is available today on the AT&T web site. Throw the word Family on it and create some buzz. Check it out: http://www.att.com/standalone/data-calculator/index.html This is also used to estimate how much data you will need if you subscribe to an LTE plan since you will max it out by downloading everything under the sun because it is possible due to speeds. Looks a little too similar so don't think it is here tomorrow.

24. Sparhawk

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

That's a nice link to the AT&T sitemap, but does not contain a data calculator.

23. bioappberry

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

This would be sweet. The only thing I question is just that, that image is our data calculator that we use for anyone. Specifically that one would be used for Mobile Hotspot Devices to see if it would fit for their household needs such as video/music streaming. Hopefully they do move to data plans that can account for the entire family being that it would bring a lot more customers our way and it would make things less expensive for customers.

25. sunzhine337

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 27, 2012

There is a good chance these Family Data Plans will not have anything to do with Smartphones. I've spoken with a few Verizon Reps who mentioned something about a more stable and higher capped home internet device. This screenshot could be for the calculator for the shared data on these kind of devices. Not to say a Family Share Data Package wouldn't be fricken awesome on Verizon. My biggerst issue is the price of 2Gb of data PER LINE. 3 smartphones cost $90 just for data. No thanks.

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