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AT&T to join Verizon in offering shared data plans beginning August 23

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
AT&T said Monday that it will join rival Verizon Wireless later this month in offering shared data plans to its subscribers, allowing them to spread their monthly data plans across multiple devices for an additional fee.

The previously announced plans, dubbed "Mobile Share," include unlimited text, talk and a pre-set data plan for a single device at a fixed price. Additional devices can then be added to share the data plan for between $10 and $30, depending on the type of device.

For instance, a 4GB iPhone data plan ($40) with Unlimited Talk & Text ($70) and an additional iPad ($10) will run $120 per month, while a 10GB iPhone data plan ($30) with Unlimited Talk & Text ($70) ($120) and an additional MacBook Pro ($20) will fetch $210 per month.

And since it can be confusing to figure out just which plan may work best, the carrier has launched a Mobile Share Planner tool as a simple way to estimate your current usage on each device.



The planner calculates your total estimated usage and recommends the right Mobile Share plan, from 1 GB to 20 GB. The tool also shows you the estimated costs for that plan.

AT&T says that subscribers can adopt the new plan without modifying their contract but says subscribers must tie the plan to an active smartphone subscription, meaning the shared data plans won't be available for purchase without voice and text.



Unlike Verizon, however, the carrier says it plans to continue offering its existing mobile plans to customers.
post #2 of 45

Publishers take note. If you want to get away with Collusion, follow AT&T and Verizon's example.

post #3 of 45
... with per-device fees which make them largely immaterial for swaths of users.
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post #4 of 45

The planner tool isn't at the link in the article, you have to search for it. It's also a very simple tool and would benefit a lot of current AT&T users if it were able to take current equipment and usage then show a comparison between our current plan and mobile share. Once this is done, we could modify or add equipment types to see what works best. I created a series of spreadsheets and found the cost/device doesn't necessarily drop when you add more data, it all depends on the type of equipment being added. As long as you have a non-smartphone, it appears you're going to pay more for mobile share than AT&T's traditional plans. (Yes, there are family plan users who still use "dumb" phones.)

post #5 of 45
So I pay $50 for 2Gb iPhone plan and $30 for 3gb iPad plan. Comes to $80 for 5gb.
If i switch to shared price model, it is going to be $120 for 4gb or $135 for 6gb.

FU AT&T!
post #6 of 45

Can't imagine how fast my teenage son would burn through a shared data plan.

 

AT&T, we need account-holder configurable quotas per device!

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post #7 of 45
How can one add a MBP when they don't come equipped with Cellular WWAN?
post #8 of 45

This old AI article:

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/151354/at-t-shared-data-plans-launch-late-august-start-at-45-per-smartphone

 

says that tethering is included. Now it is not mentioned. Can somebody clarify, please?

post #9 of 45
Are these plans attractive to anyone? It seems like you need a fairly high number of devices and a certain type of usage pattern for this to be beneficial.

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post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Are these plans attractive to anyone? It seems like you need a fairly high number of devices and a certain type of usage pattern for this to be beneficial.

yep

 

carriers are trying to push tablets but no one wants another monthly payment

 

this way they can sneak in android tabs at the same or lower retail price as the ipad

 

its also to charge the mobile workers and small business owners more money. any business with business/consumer customers you always find a way to charge the business customers more


Edited by al_bundy - 8/6/12 at 10:22am
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lekhtuz View Post

This old AI article:

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/151354/at-t-shared-data-plans-launch-late-august-start-at-45-per-smartphone

 

says that tethering is included. Now it is not mentioned. Can somebody clarify, please?

 

From the web page:
 
AT&T Mobile Share plans include a monthly data charge plus a monthly charge for each device you add up to a total of 10 devices. At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group. Includes Unlimited Talk & Text for all phones, FREE Mobile Hotspot for capable smartphones, and no roaming or long distance charges nationwide!
 
 
 
I'm actually cautiously optimistic.  we have 5 phones, 3 of which are smart phones and quick math without taxes (etc) says I'm actually going to save money.  However as this is AT&T, I'm sure I'm wrong about that somehow.
 
post #12 of 45
For a big-ish family they may work.

As a single user with iPhone + iPad, no way.

I already had paid too much to AT&T for my minimal usage (WiFi at home and work mean I have low usage) so I am way better off now.
post #13 of 45
Yes, these plans really are good for some people. For example if tethering is in fact included, my family will turn off two iPads, (both for work) and tether them to the iPhones always near them. We will also upgrade my son from a dumb phone to an iPhone, and get a 6gig package, and actually save $80 a month. It depends on your usage.

Which is why I am confused by all the hostility from some people. It isn't like they are going to force you to this plan, they are simply adding it. If it is better, yay! If not, stay where you are. Why the hatered?
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post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnash View Post

 

From the web page:
 
AT&T Mobile Share plans include a monthly data charge plus a monthly charge for each device you add up to a total of 10 devices. At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group. Includes Unlimited Talk & Text for all phones, FREE Mobile Hotspot for capable smartphones, and no roaming or long distance charges nationwide!
 
 
 
I'm actually cautiously optimistic.  we have 5 phones, 3 of which are smart phones and quick math without taxes (etc) says I'm actually going to save money.  However as this is AT&T, I'm sure I'm wrong about that somehow.
 

 

Thank you.

 

I am not that lucky. Shared plan is more expensive for me mostly because of 2 dumb phones that I have on the account. But whoever has 1 smartphone and several 3G tablets will probably win.

 

Also I wonder why dumb phones that uses pretty much no data cost 3 times more than tablets which can burn through several gigs easily. Funny marketing?

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

How can one add a MBP when they don't come equipped with Cellular WWAN?

 

USB Connect:

 

1000

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

Yes, these plans really are good for some people. For example if tethering is in fact included, my family will turn off two iPads, (both for work) and tether them to the iPhones always near them. We will also upgrade my son from a dumb phone to an iPhone, and get a 6gig package, and actually save $80 a month. It depends on your usage.
Which is why I am confused by all the hostility from some people. It isn't like they are going to force you to this plan, they are simply adding it. If it is better, yay! If not, stay where you are. Why the hatered?

 

Are you willing to bet that old plans will not be discontinued shortly thereafter?

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

Yes, these plans really are good for some people. For example if tethering is in fact included, my family will turn off two iPads, (both for work) and tether them to the iPhones always near them. We will also upgrade my son from a dumb phone to an iPhone, and get a 6gig package, and actually save $80 a month. It depends on your usage.
Which is why I am confused by all the hostility from some people. It isn't like they are going to force you to this plan, they are simply adding it. If it is better, yay! If not, stay where you are. Why the hatered?

Hostility?

Perhaps my experience is unique... I have 4 iPhones on an ATT plan - all with grandfathered "unlimited" and 3 iPhones and 1 dumb phone on Verizon (some of my family) one of the iPhones is also unlimited, the second was registered too late and is on the lowest data plan. When I went to add the third iPhone - i was told i should change to the shared - but it was much more expensive. When I declined - OI was told, in fact I didn't have a choice!!!! Only the 'helpful manager agreed, and suggested it was their computer system was wrong ?????

post #18 of 45

I don't get it.

 

Right now I have two smart phones with 200 MB each, a 4G iPad with 3 GB data for a total of $130 for 3.4 GB data.

 

The new plan is $40 + $45 + $45 + $10 = $140 for 1 GB data.  

 

Now why do I want to do the new plan?  Both Verizon and AT&T should just call it "price increase" for what it really is.

 

Maybe I should move to Sprint.

post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Are these plans attractive to anyone? It seems like you need a fairly high number of devices and a certain type of usage pattern for this to be beneficial.

 

modestly at 5phones/10GB as well as at 2/6.

 

I've got 4s smartphones on my plan and one dumb phone (and a wifi ipad), with about 5.4GB of monthly data (I've got an unlimited plan, and I get throttled at 3GB, and my 2 200MB plans occasionally incurr a $15 charge) over the 4 phones plus family text.   At  700 minutes (and a lot of old roll-over) I'm at  $243.

 

A new plan would put me at $260.  BUT... for just $10 more, I get 10GB.  I can only imagine my consumption if I had LTE bandwidth, and no upcharge to upgrade the last phone to an iPhone

 

So, I think if you're in the 4+ phone range with at least a 4GB consumption, and are looking at LTE, I think it's a good fit.

 

Now that said, my kids are all graduating from their grad schools next year (time to cut the cord, so to speak), so I'm likely going down to 2 phones.

 

At 6B at 2phones... 160 is $10 less than under the current plan if I were able to drop the kids for no charge.

post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

I don't get it.

 

Right now I have two smart phones with 200 MB each, a 4G iPad with 3 GB data for a total of $130 for 3.4 GB data.

 

The new plan is $40 + $45 + $45 + $10 = $140 for 1 GB data.  

 

Now why do I want to do the new plan?  Both Verizon and AT&T should just call it "price increase" for what it really is.

 

Maybe I should move to Sprint.

 

 

Current: $80 (1400/min family) + 4x$10 (additional lines, 2 smart + 2 feature) + $20 (shared texting, got $10 discount from retentions) + $30 (unlimited data) + 2x$25 (2GB data plan) = $220
 
New VZ for comparison: 3x$40 (3 smartphones) + 2x$30 (2 feature phones, not actually consuming any data) + $70 (4GB shared data) = $250 (tethering NOT included)
 
New AT&T: 3x$40 (3 smartphones) + 2*$30 (2 feature phones, not actually consuming any data) + $70 (4GB shared data) = $250 (tethering included)
 
I can get extra 2G of data (total of 6G) for only $5 because of per smartphone price drop.
post #21 of 45

The big benefits to this plan which many pass over:

 

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited Text

Free Tethering

 

If you want to compare it on an equal level to your current plan, take into account the cost to add those features to your current plan as well. This new pricing option is for those in which the three major features above are something they are willing to pay a little more to get.

post #22 of 45

Larger families/family plans with varying usage will make out the most. Also don't forget that unlike a regular family plan that caps off at 5 users this goes to 10 devices on AT&T.

 

I currently have my parents on my plan. However since there is 6 of us we are on 1 family of 5 and a separate plan of 1. I can merge the two get 15 gigs or even 20 gigs of data, give my son an iphone and still come out ahead $$ wise over what I currently have.  

post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnash View Post

 

From the web page:
 
AT&T Mobile Share plans include a monthly data charge plus a monthly charge for each device you add up to a total of 10 devices. At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group. Includes Unlimited Talk & Text for all phones, FREE Mobile Hotspot for capable smartphones, and no roaming or long distance charges nationwide!
 
 
 
I'm actually cautiously optimistic.  we have 5 phones, 3 of which are smart phones and quick math without taxes (etc) says I'm actually going to save money.  However as this is AT&T, I'm sure I'm wrong about that somehow.
 

Thank you for pointing this out. I was wondering the same thing.

post #24 of 45

I think people are overlooking the voice and text. 

 

Currently I have:

 

550 min shared family plan - $50 primary iPhone, $10 for 2nd iPhone

1000 text messages for 2nd iPhone: $10

No text plan for 1st iPhone: $0

2GB Data first iPhone: $25 (Don't need this much data, but next lowest plan of 300MB makes no sense)

2GB Data 2nd iPhone: $25 (Don't need this much data, but next lowest plan of 300MB makes no sense)

 

No Tethering

No Unlimited Voice

No Unlimited Text, and on one phone no texting or mms or nada!!

 

TOTAL: $120 + Tax

 

Under this new plan:

 

1GB Data Plan: $40

1st iPhone: $45

2nd iPhone: $45

 

TOTAL: $130 + Tax

 

Now with UNLIMITED VOICE AND TEXT!! AND TETHERING!!

 

So this is a huge saving for me because if I wanted more voice and more text under my current plan, I would easily pass $130. Even if I jumped to 4GB, and a new total of $160, its still a savings because of the unlimited voice, text, and tethering.

 

I think this is a no brainer for our situation. Can't wait!


Edited by deesee - 8/6/12 at 11:58am
post #25 of 45

This will save me $30 a month on my phone plan.  I know it doesn't work for everyone.. but I'm thankful for it.  $30 is $30..

 

On another note, AT&T just sent me a email telling me I can get an early upgrade on my iPhone with a new 2 year commitment.  Interesting.. they must want to dump their iPhones prior to the new release. 

post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

For a big-ish family they may work.
As a single user with iPhone + iPad, no way.
 

Yep, I agree. Chris Breen of MacWorld said he bought a Cellular capable iPad and has only used the cell connection twice in about a year. I had a WiFi only iPad 2 and sold it....waiting for the iPad 7". It will be WiFi only. I'll use my iPhone 4s for when I can't get wifi. Last thing I want to do is give the cell companies higher monthly payments!

 

I want to simplify my digital life and have Sprint not reaching into my pocket every time I turn around...gave ATT the boot a few months ago.

 

iP5 + iPad 7" plus the new AppleTV Television and I'm good to go. 

post #27 of 45

It's a no brainer for me as well. I used between 6-10GB per month. Plus it allows me to put my little brother on my plan for cheap. 

post #28 of 45

How does a MacBook connect to AT&T network?

post #29 of 45

After sticking with them for five years, I'm pretty sure I'm done.

 

The next iPhone will have LTE. My area is flooded with Verizon LTE. The closest AT&T LTE is two hours away from me.

post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

After sticking with them for five years, I'm pretty sure I'm done.

The next iPhone will have LTE. My area is flooded with Verizon LTE. The closest AT&T LTE is two hours away from me.

I have AT&T LTE well covered in my area. I've also noticed that my iPad (3) will not have any coverage in some areas while my AT&T iPhone 4 has full bars. That said, I'll likely be moving to Verizon, too. They'll have simultaneous voice and data when on LTE which was one of the biggest issues for me with CDMA-based networks.

Remember the people that kept saying that EV-DO Rev. B was just a SW update and that Verizon and Sprint would that feature soon enough? I sure do, and it never happened.

I expect to pay more on Verizon than I do on AT&T but that isn't my primary concern.

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post #31 of 45

A few considerations...

 

  • People on low minute plans now get unlimited
  • Limited text plans now unlimited for all devices.
  • Save $15/month for tethering capability.
  • Turn off cellular for tablets and save by tethering to phone.
  • Add phones 6-10.

 

Take those into consideration when comparing your apples and oranges....

 

Everyone needs to look at what they want from the plan and is it worth it for them to change.  If not, you get to keep what you have.

post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

A few considerations...

 

  • People on low minute plans now get unlimited
  • Limited text plans now unlimited for all devices.
  • Save $15/month for tethering capability.
  • Turn off cellular for tablets and save by tethering to phone.
  • Add phones 6-10.

 

Take those into consideration when comparing your apples and oranges....

 

Everyone needs to look at what they want from the plan and is it worth it for them to change.  If not, you get to keep what you have.

so those of us who don't care about tethering or unlimited minutes now have to pay for it?

post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

so those of us who don't care about tethering or unlimited minutes now have to pay for it?

 

Then most likely the shared plan is not for you...that is why I said "Everyone needs to look at what they want from the plan and is it worth it for them to change.  If not, you get to keep what you have."

post #34 of 45

Currently, the unlimited minutes would cost you $70 for the first line and $50 for each additional line.  On a family plan, you can pay $30 a month for unlimited text with mobile to any mobile calling.  Doing some math, what we see is that AT&T is basically waiving that $50 per line charge on the unlimited talk and charging you $10 / GB for your data in predetermined increments.  I don't necessarily have a problem with them charging for additional devices on the network (call it the overhead for the device being registered on the network), I just wish they didn't make it so complicated by splitting it into 3 tiers.  What would make everything just stupid simple is for AT&T to do something like this:

 

$100 / month for an account with Unlimited Talk + Text (up to 10 devices)

$10 / month / device for non-phone devices that use AT&T's cellular network (MiFi, tablets w/ 3G, etc...)

$10 / GB data for shared data between all devices ... billed for what you use and not paying for more than you need.

 

Annnnnnnd ... that's it. No need to subject people to that table of numbers that they threw out there.

 

They're essentially doing what I proposed now, just pinning people down into a certain number of GB.  Also, since the per smartphone charge is the same once you hit 10+ GB, they're REALLY giving you GB 11-20 at a rate of $8 / GB.

 

It's not a TERRIBLE plan, AT&T just sucks balls at explaining what they are doing.

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post #35 of 45

Looks like a break even for us. 550 family plan + 2 tethered 5GB data plans = ~$200. 2 iPhones on the shared plan w/ 10GB ~$200. Lets me eat more data as my wife just sips for the most part...and she eats the lion's share of voice (went over the last 2 months to keep in touch with her aging mom.)

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post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

As usual you are wrong. I don't follow Verizon news so I don't know what they are doing/planning to do but SVDO on Sprint is already being done now and does not require LTE. Sprint went with "DO advanced" instead of Rev. B. Yes you need a phone capable of using it like the S3 or pretty much any of the newer phones on Sprint released in the last 6 months with enough antenna diversity, but the phone just is communicating 3G EVDO in the same fashion it always does to a EVDO carrier at a site, and is also communicating to a 1x voice carrier. So simultaneous voice and data is already possible on Sprint without using LTE. 

Do Verizon and Sprint have this feature? Nope. Was just a server-side SW update that allowed all their devices to haw SVD? Nope.

Even you say it was only on te newer phones hitch discredits the claim you trying to make. If you're going to troll you could at least put a little effort into it.

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post #37 of 45

How does this compare with Verizon's shared data plan?

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud30000 View Post

The big benefits to this plan which many pass over:

 

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited Text

Free Tethering

 

If you want to compare it on an equal level to your current plan, take into account the cost to add those features to your current plan as well. This new pricing option is for those in which the three major features above are something they are willing to pay a little more to get.

I have 550 minutes a month and using probably 200 max, 300 minutes expire every month, I send about 5-6 messages a month - that's 20 cents a message = 1 dollar a month. 2 iPhones, 1 unlimited, 1  300 MB, 1 feature phone. How can I save with these new plans?

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post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

You said SVDO on CDMA is not possible. It is and doesn't requite LTE. Sprint had to upgrade their network with DO advanced to offer this ability and I am pretty sure Verizon did as well. Yes it requires newer phones to take advantage of that feature but all phones from now on will be able to use it. Just admit you were wrong and SVDO on CDMA networks is possible. Crow isn't that foul tasting. You can do it. 

It really is a moot point since this is just a bridge technology. LTE will be everywhere soon on all carriers and it can already do it so no big deal. But it can be accomplished now for those on Sprint or Verizon that requite that and do not live in an LTE area. Granted it only works on some phones like the S3 and several more, but it is possible. 

I said it was not possible with a simply SW update. There is HW that is involved. I know you have a beef with me for trouncing your poorly formed comments on this site but if you don't want to keep taking you to school you should at least try to read more carefully.

"Remember the people that kept saying that EV-DO Rev. B was just a SW update and that Verizon and Sprint would that feature soon enough?"

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post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


The only thing you can school anyone in is how to thoroughly thrash a straw man because that seems to be your favorite tactic. It is easy to win every argument when you continually change what you said, misconstrue what the other person said, or just make things up.

Except that I quoted exactly what I said which not only destroys what you wrote but makes you a liar on top of it. Please, learn to read. It's an important skill in life.

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