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New leak suggests shared data coming to Verizon family plans soon

Verizon appears to be inching closer and closer to launching shared family data plan based on a leak obtained by PhoneArena. A screenshot shows a family data usage calculator, a tool that would be used to help families figure out the right bandwidth tier to go along with their mobile habits. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam first expressed the possibility of shared data coming to Verizon family plans last year, plans later confirmed by CTO Fran Shammo. According to Shammo, Verizon is looking to launch shared data by midyear. If this leak is any suggestion of how close a new family data structure is to reality, things seem right on track.

[via BGR]




  • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

    I like the idea because it would be good for my Dad, Mom, and Brother, but it would result in me losing my unlimited data and I am against that.

    • lordofthereef

       Not necessarily. If they are smart about it, they will allow each line to either have its own data package or share the family data package. Say I have five people on my line and want two lines unlimited. I pay $30 per unlimited line plus the family data package for the remaining 3. Obviously I am just theorizing here and don;t claim to have any inside info whatsoever, but if done in this manner it could work wonderfully.

      • Asmodai

         The unlimited plans are no longer offered.  The people who have them are just grandfathered in because they got them before they went away.  At some point in the future (months? years?) Verizon will stop allowing unlimited plan users to renew and force them to pick a data tier.  I have unlimited as well and I’m going to hang onto it for as long as I can but I don’t have any misconceptions about the fact the clock is ticking for them.  That being the case they aren’t going to make new plans with some lines unlimited and some not.

        Furthermore I doubt they’ll make the plans as complex as you describe.  I suspect they’ll move to make family plans ALL shared (just different data tier options) and advise you in the 5 family scenario you describe to get one single plan each for the two who still have unlimited and then put the three you want to pool into a family plan.  So you’d have 3 different plans instead of one for everyone or 5 individual ones.

        • John Wentworth

          Agreed if you want to keep unlimited data either you have to move to an individual plan or have everyone keep unlimited data, I also think that when family plans come out the savings aren’t going to be as good as people seem to expect, Verizon will make sure they don’t lose too much money from people moving to a family plan, like starting with a high data tier which is expensive and say that without a large plan they will go over.
          I wouldn’t put it past them to say 2 people require a 5gb plan, 3 requires a 10GB plan, etc. that would only be a savings of $10
          $50 for 5GB or two unlimited plans at $60 and $80 for 10GB plans which is $80 or $90 for 3 unlimited plans, as I’m writing this I realize this is most likely their plan. Not to mention they can say each user will get more data 2.5 GB for 2 users or 3.3 for 3 users, but it’s still not always going to be a better deal than $30 unlimited per user if you can hang onto it, but for already tiered users it may be a good deal.

          And for that $10 savings you wind up on a plan that you could easily have to upgrade and pay more once you have one of those data sucking 4G phones, I know I went from 2-3 gb on 3G to 4-5GB average on 4G with spikes as high as 10GB, though I admit I’m a heavy user, but I expect even average users will see their usage increase as they move to 4G.

          • Cenarl

             agreed, some people look at this shared family data stuff as a way to save money…Verizon isnt going to let that happen and if they do it’ll be revised quickly like when they released their really cheap low data plan that went away because it was too popular.

          • chuckles87

            I pay $70 for 12gb and mobile hotspot

          • John Wentworth

            I assume you got that deal during one of their double your data promotions though. I’m grandfathered in unlimited 4G data and tethering for $60, it’s always about making more money for Verizon

        • Dave Lister

          I sincerely doubt users with unlimited plans will be forced to change to a tiered plan. They have a good track record of allowing customers to keep grandfathered plans as long as the hardware is still compatible. For example, I still have the $5 Unlimited IN + 50 txt feature I got somewhere around 8 years ago which has not been offered for at least 6 years now. Hell, I think there are still customers on the original America’s Choice plans, too.

  • val

    Might be good for some but i’ll keeo my unlim data and 4G hotspot thank you

    • John Wentworth

      Agreed, if there is any savings it will be small and quickly diminish as average data usage increases. The only exception might be a couple that doesn’t use hardly any data, kids/teenages will be murder on tiered data plans

      • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

        My fiancee and I use less than 2 GB total a month as of right now, as we are mostly in Wi-Fi zones such as our house or at work.  If we could get a 2 or even 3 GB shared plan for a good discount, it would really save us quite a bit of money.  Of course, Verizon doesn’t want us saving money, only themselves, but I’d be happy finding a middle ground where we wouldn’t be paying for twice what we use.

        • InyRules

          My girlfriend and I never reached 2GB of data when we were on Sprint, so we switched over to Verizon for the better service. I’m on wi-fi all day at work as well, and she really can’t use her phone at work. If a shared data plan can save us money, we’d totally switch to it.

  • http://innovativenurse.com/ Kevin

    If it’s priced right, I think this could really compete with other bundled plans. One of the real hangups when someone is looking at this from just a dollars and cents point of view is when they start adding the texting/data onto the voice plan. 

    This in turn may prevent customers (families) jumping onto other carriers just to get the shared options, as it seems many are willing to sacrifice some service reliability with another carrier just to save a few bucks.  

  • bob

    ya… only way this could be interesting to me is if they allow me to share my unlimited data with my kids for like a $10 per line fee. Otherwise I’ll just be keeping my kids on their regular voice and text ENv’s

    • smithers85

      i was thinking this as i read through the article. it’s never going to happen, but we can hope and dream…

  • snapp76

    Looks like 5GB is the minimum plan. Direct link…

    verizonwireless.com/freedom/datacalculator.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.verizonwireless.com/freedom/datacalculator.html

  • cellularcrazy09

    I hope if they go to this tiered data plan that they will overhaul their voice and text plans! I think its ridiculous the amount of money they are making on text.  I needed to switch down to the $5 text package and guess what…they got rid of it.  They should do plans where everyone gets unlimited text and minutes for a cheaper rate IF you switch to tiered data.