Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Verizon, Now AT&T Pool Data

Shift From Minutes To Megabytes

AT&T is following Verizon down the path of shared-data plans under the branding Mobile Share. In a nutshell, this involves buying a pool of data (as opposed to a pool of minutes) and then applying smartphones and tablets to use that pool.

This move was certainly anticipated. Verizon made a similar move earlier this year. Clearly the large carriers know that growth in data usage and drops in minutes require a response. Part of that response is in the infrastructure the carriers must build, such as a broad deployment of 4G data. Another part of that response is the careful crafting of monthly plans that are attractive to customers while recognizing the voice and data trend lines and protecting carrier revenue streams.

Plan As Announced at
Specifics around the AT&T plans are published on the website. Notable, consumers choosing to move in this direction do not need a contract extension. They choose a data plan capacity from 1GB to 20GB and pay an associated price, and then pay additionally to add smartphones and tablets to that plan. Tethering does seem to be available as part of these plans, which should be a nice convenience for users and an additional revenue opportunity for the carriers.

Have any of you moved to one of these plans on the Verizon network? Are some of you planning the move on the AT&T network? Are the prices attractive? Will it change the way you use some of your devices, such as getting carrier plans for tablets or using a phone to provide Internet access for laptops when out of WiFi range?

Leave a comment and let us know.


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  1. The pricing seems a lot higher than what I'm currently paying at first glance. I'll have to look it over more.

  2. I'm interested, but that's mostly because Verizon has got me fairly well cornered. But with a properly configured phone (use WiFi and other trusted and encrypted WiFi spots) with my phone, a shared plan makes a fair bit of sense.

  3. At the published prices, I'd pay maybe 5-10% more than I do today. I don't mind the concept, and if the prices drop a little I'll probably do it.