US Cellular announces shared data pools for family plans, and they don’t look attractive at all


US Cellular, the up-and-coming carrier that seems to be doing quite well for themselves, have announced the addition of shared data pools for folks who are on family plans. Plans from 1GB up through 75GB are available, though you’ll be paying a pretty penny once you start reaching double digits. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the plan options you can choose from:

us cellular shared data


It seems quite pricey, folks. 1GB for $50? It seems like a steal… for them. According to US Cellular, they offer “the most Shared Data options of any carrier,” and also touted that they have the only shared data plans with loyalty rewards. That, however, isn’t enough to make me forget that they’re charging a lot more per GB (at least in the lower options, anyway) than any other carrier.

Most carriers offer 2GB starting at $30. I should note that the cost includes the ability to use any devices on the account as mobile hotspots, but that pricing model still doesn’t seem justified. The most expensive option is $560 for 75GB — most people will probably never need this, of course, but it’s still startling.

Texting and calling are unlimited for all users on these plans, which is the only nice caveat in this big, ugly dish. Options are good, I guess, but we’ll definitely be asking the good people of US Cellular about the option to steer well clear of these plans and stick to the plans of yesteryear. Be sure to check out the full slate of options over at their website.

[Update]: word from US Cellular says new customers can only select from the shared plans, though existing customers can stick with their current plans under grandfathered status.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. They are really trying hard to get me to switch carriers lately.

    1. This is just phase one. Wait until they wow you with phase two!

      1. no, this is phase 2. phase one was killing off my data speeds. Thinking hard of going back to the The Big (evil) Red.

        1. I was on Big Red for years. Was dropping voice and data every day on the way to and from work. Co-worker said to try T-Mobile.

          Checked the map….no coverage.

          Co_worker said try it anyway…

          So I waited until one of my lines was up on VZW and kept it, but got a One on T-Mob to try it out (14 day refund policy).

          Amazingly, no dropped data/voice…and I have LTE both at work and at home. Moving the rest of the family over from VZW as their lines come up.

          Give it a shot. Can’t lose.

          1. I’m in Wisconsin, USCC and Verizon are pretty much the only dependable players if you ever leave the main cities (which I do…more often than I would like)

  2. So two smartphones and 2GB of data is $140?
    Are they trying to make verizon look reasonable?

    1. When you are Number 5, you have to try harder.

      1. I thought Cricket was number 5.

  3. Wow…. AT&T and Verizon look like a steal now.
    Who would have thought?

  4. I have family on US Cellular and they use Verizon towers to get 3G (CDMA) when “roaming”. It is obvious from their coverage maps, since they match Verizon coverage in much of the country. They only provide 1XRTT to Verizon customers on their own towers, which is a lopsided arrangement. Are they setting themselves up to be bought by Verizon or finding a way to make big bucks to negotiate with Verizon next time the roaming contract(s) come up for renewal? I say this because Verizon is putting 4G-only towers into at least one area that US Cellular carries Verizon voice and texting, Long Beach WA.

    1. Here in Northern California, USCC and Verizon both roam 3G EVDO in-market onto each other’s network.

  5. Call me crazy but this is Verizons exact shared pricing.

    1. At least whats in the image above.

    2. It exactly is.

  6. Mean while I’ve used over 17gb last month and only paid $20 for unlimited @ T-Mobile , they’re doing it and they’re doing to right

    1. But for how long?

      1. Its forever , I pay $20 flat of unlimited 4g and yet LTE too over all its $60 w/ unlimited text +tax and your option to finance a phone,

        1. Nothing is forever… they will eventually change.

          I had unlimited on Verizon and one time, long long ago, I thought I would be grandfathered forever. That changed fairly quickly.

          1. You should have said something ! My sister was grand fathered bit decided to switch to limited for god knows what reason

        2. It won’t be forever, these companies are like lemmings and all will eventually switch to shared data. While you’ll likely always have your unlimited data grandfathered in, eventually new customers will feel the pinch.
          I still have unlimited through verizon, with the option to finance a phone but no new customer can get the same plan I have now.

  7. fail

  8. They should just change their website / hang signs in their corporate stores with a message that says, “SWITCH TO T-MOBILE!”

    1. This is their response to T-Mobile’s UnCarrier™ plans.

      They’re calling it their “Not Your Carrier”™ plan. This…is just Phase One.

    2. Then they need to put below it “Enjoy EDGE and GPRS speeds where you now get LTE with USCC, and stinky coverage”.

  9. Their pricing is based on the concept of getting the most amount of people possible on the same plan. Still sucks, but like every phone company the pricing is skewed for 1 owner and benefits dont kick in until the 4th or 5th line is added. Sucks for us single folk.

  10. The fact they are killing individual data plans is a big deal. Now you only can select from shared plans. It definitely will serve as a motivator for existing customers to stick with their current plans so they remain grandfathered.

  11. You know, these companies COULD have made fair, generous offers but they choose to be greedy and their Judgement Day has come… FREE GOOGLE VOICE CALLS OVER WIFI AND CELL DATA!!!!!! WWWWWW0000000O0O0O0O0O0O0OTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

    Google provideth.

    I can afford to eat properly each month now…

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