AT&T recently announced its shift towards shared data plans, which is scheduled to take place in late August. The move was inevitable following Verizonís move to shared data plans just last month, The companyís new system offers a similar setup to that of Verizonís, with all plans including unlimited talk, text, and monthly service pricing being based on the total data cap chosen and number of devices being used.
AT&T stated the following:
With AT&T Mobile Share plans, customers start by choosing how much data they want each month, then choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones. The larger the data bucket you choose, the less you pay per gigabyte and the less you pay for each smartphone added to the shared plan.
At the simplest level, AT&T undercuts Verizon with a single smartphone on a 1GB data plan costing $85 per month ($40 data + $45 device), compared to Verizonís $90 ($50 data + $40 device). Adding additional smartphones to the 1GB data plan is more expensive on AT&T though ($45 versus $40). At the 4GB level, both AT&T and Verizon pricing is identical but after this point, AT&T takes the lead on the higher-level plans with more data and devices. A quick example here would be an account which takes five smartphones sharing 10GB of data. On AT&T this would cost $120 + 5 x $30 per device, totaling to $270 compared to Verizonís $100 data + 5 x $40 per device, totaling to $300.
The plans launch in ďlate AugustĒ and current customers wonít be required to switch to shared data, although they will have the option to do so without extending the length of their contracts. New customers will be given the option of choosing from the new shared data plans or the carrierís existing individual or family plans.
Despite the plans being appealing, some users are still not content with AT&Tís ploy of squeezing money out of its customers. The mixed feelings come from what was recently revealed in iOS 6 beta 3 where it seems that 3G FaceTime fees might come to fruition for AT&T users.