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PreCentral: Verizon launches data sharing family plans

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Verizon launches data sharing family plans

We had an inkling that this was

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, but even so we're still surprised and glad to see it has arrived:
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is the first US carrier to reorient their plans to be data-centric and enable data limit sharing. They call it the Share Everything plan, and it's pretty slick. Here's how it breaks down:

You pay for your device's service and then buy a bucket of data to be shared across up to ten devices. The monthly device rates (unlimited phone and messaging included on all) break down thusly:

  • Smartphones: $40
  • Basic Phones: $30
  • Laptops, USB modems, and wireless hotspots: $20
  • Tablets: $10

And here's how the shared data plans break down:

  • 1GB: $50
  • 2GB: $60
  • 4GB: $70
  • 6GB: $80
  • 8GB: $90
  • 10GB: $100

There are also separate plans available for basic phones (no data) and modem devices (USB/MiFi), but we don't care too much about those. Verizon is throwing in mobile hotspot for free on all plans, though, which we heartily approve of.

What these changes result in is higher charges for the smartphone-only user, but as you add on more devices the rates become more acceptable. The average smartphone user uses less than half a gigabyte in a month, but if you own a Verizon smartphone and tablet you could be using well over a gigabyte between the two. Now, instead of paying for two separate data plans you can have just the one and pay an extra $10 to add your tablet or $20 for a MiFi hotspot.

If you're paying the bill for a family of Verizon device owners, it's even better, with the per-GB data rate scaling down as you increase the size of your bucket. Data still ain't cheap, but Verizon's at least doing the work to make it reasonable for those of us with multiple devices.

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