If it saves the consumer money, At&t won't do it.
I have 4 iPhones on my account with each having unlimited data. I pay $30 a month for each line for data, but 3 of the 4 phones normally use between 200 and 500MB per month because we have WiFi turned on most of the time. My daughter is a music video junkie that loves watching them on Vevo HD and YouTube. She can easily go through 7+GB/ monthly easily. I really dislike paying $90 monthly for 0.6 - 1.5 GB of data for the first 3 lines. I turned WiFi off of my daughters line so that I would use some of the data that I pay for monthly. I don't want to be a data hog, but I also want to get some use out of the $120 data services that I pay for monthly. I pay about $50/ monthly for my home's broadband service and I use that for all sorts of things. I'd like to be able to do the same with my wireless service. Does that make me a bad person? If I had 4 $25/ 2GB plans, 3 of my lines would be way under their allotment and the 4th would incur overages. If the lines shared data at a reasonable rate, my daughter's usage would not be as much of a factor because of the lower usage of the other lines. I'd like to be able to use my iPhone to create a hotspot for my WiFi only iPad, but that isn't allowed on my data plan. If there was a shared data option that allowed tethering at a reasonable rate, I'd love to check it out. I doubt if AT&T will ever allow tethering on an unlimited plan, so I'll just wait and see what's coming down in the form of shared data...
If it saves the consumer money, At&t won't do it.
At&t SGS III, LTE
I have over 2,000 Rollover Minutes, a $39.99 voice plan, $20 unlimited texting with Unlimited Mobile to Any Mobile, and $30 Unlimited Data (using the IPhone work around). Plus my employer discount. By far that beats whatever Verizon has to offer for that price range.
And AT&T has mentioned they are looking at having shared data plans. How soon though who knows.
From cNet. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-201...y-to-take-off/
Since companies are right now now more "customer-centric" but apparently looking for for the companies interest in the way they manage their customers and their data use, it may be a while before they shift to shared data plans....
Some carriers may be slow to enter this new arena because implementing a shared data plan is more challenging than it sounds. Such plans demand a more "customer-centric approach," according to Infonetics, requiring a "radical change from the way in which customers have been managed to this point."
In June, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said that his company was working on a shared data plan for customers with multiple devices, promising something soon. But an AT&T spokesperson told CNET yesterday that the company "has not announced any news related to shared data plans at this time."
Last edited by spdickey; 11-15-2011 at 11:13 AM.
I'm sure that they will offer family share data plans as an incentive to get people off of unlimited data plans. It would be stupid for the company to allow people to share an unlimited plan.
I agree that a plan that allows shared unlimited data would be pointless for AT&T. I would be happy to see tiered shared data plans such as 10GB/ $50, 20GB/ $75 etc. I would leave unlimited for a plan similar to that...
If you can get AT&T for less than VZW, that's just a mega win.
You also have to spend more money to get Friends and Family. $20 more since you have to go on a more expensive plan to get it. And let's not forget for those that know how to do it you can still get the $30 unlimited data on AT&T.
With Rollover minutes and Unlimited Mobile to Any Mobile when you get the $20 Unlimited text messaging, I'm still not grasping how Verizon is cheaper. Especially since you're being confined to LTE handsets to get the promotion.
I think the best thing for AT&T to do would be to pool the data allotments, so that one of the 5 lines could get the 2GB, and the rest could do the 200MB, and you'd save $30-$40 that way and still have a decent amount of data (still 560MB/line average with 5 lines). Either that or a 2GB plan with the $10/GB overages, and then a $10/mo access fee for the secondary lines.
As to the OP, switch to the 2GB plans, and make your daughter stop abusing 3G. When you stop abusing the network with video, you will find that even the heaviest smartphone users are well under 2GB, and that's even counting a lot of Pandora. Without Pandora, even the heaviest users would be well under 1GB. That'll knock $20/mo off of your bill.
The challenge with shared mobile data is that AT&T is using the data plans to pay back the subsidies on the devices they are selling. It's a worst case example, but imagine if you get a new iPhone every 20 months, with a $450 subsidy on that device, they are paying out an average of $22.50/mo in subsidy. Granted, on voice plans, they put out, say a $100 subsidy, maybe even a bit more on QMD's, so not all of the $450 is attributed only to the smartphone, but it still can almost eat through the 200MB plan's $15/mo. Now if AT&T wasn't subsidizing the devices, and Apple's profit margins had to droop below the $450 level (effectively the subsidized price the consumer pays is only a few bucks less than what the phone would cost at retail if there was no subsidy system), then I would say AT&T should allow family data sharing, but in it's current system, it's clear where the money is going.
I usually support government regulation, but It is unfortunate that the government over-regulated and killed the AT&T/ T-Mobile Merger
The best explanation of the pricing nutiness in the industry.
Why Sprint and T-Mo will always suck.
The only way to end the pricing insanity is to eliminate contracts and subsidies.
I want Wifi calling on AT&T.
If you text while driving, you're an idiot. End of story.
If theres going to be shared family data, you can bet its going to be low amount of data and just barely cheaper than all lines having the $15 200MB Data Plus. I envision something like 500MB for up to 3 lines for $30 and $10/additional lines with 100MB of additional data. Slightly cheaper than Data Plus on 3 lines, which is $45.
Granted its a great way for them to push low data users onto smartphones who otherwise wouldn't have wanted to pay $15/line.
Verizon 4G LTE
San Francisco | San Jose
AT&T 4G LTE
The only family data I know of is on Wal-Mart family mobile, and that's $40/GB, but it doesn't expire, so light users could go more than a month on that.
1. has access to WiFi to use in lieu of relying on the cellular network, and
2. actually know, or care to, switch their phones to use the WiFi network rather than cellular
Because if you rely solely on the cellular network, it is very easy to go over 2 GB.
My phone - Android (HTC Thunderbolt), I have my gmail account and two yahoo accounts. My email is set to check for new email every 15 minutes. I check email on the phone, check to see what the Amazon app of the day is (and download maybe 1 app a week). The Sense UI has the weather widget going, I also have the Weather Channel widget going, and a widget for the NY Daily News. I don't use WiFi, don't use Netflix or Pandora, rarely surf websites and I use about 1.3 GB per month.
My daughter's phone - Android (HTC Droid Incredible), she has the gmail account, a yahoo account and a hotmail account. She is on the Facebook app pretty much all day long. She doesn't stream audio or video, very rarely downloads apps or surfs the internet and doesn't use WiFi. She uses about 4 GB a month.
My youngest son also has a Droid Incredible. He literally doesn't use the phone at all (it can sit on his dresser untouched for the entire month), but his phone syncs to his email. His phone uses about 300 MB of data a month.
My middle child has the Droid Bionic, but he does use the phone over WiFi when he is at home. He watches youtube videos all the time, and he goes through about 800 MB per month.
I doubt you'll see $10/GB overages, I think its more likely going to be Data Plus style overages.
@jseah, I've tried using solely cell data for about 2 weeks before (on the T-Mo Unlimited+5GB/mo) and I still only managed about 400-500MB in 2 weeks. This is including K9-Mail doing push on 2 accounts, BeejiveIM, Google Talk, Pulse news reader, Tapatalk, downloading and updating apps (incl amazon aotd) and some other apps. I don't stream audio or video, but did download about 3 podcasts (3x 20-30MB) a week. To date, I've only ever hit around 3.3GB on cell data in a month with tethering and almost 0 wifi.