From CNET News.com: AT&T launched its own "Mobile Share" plans today, matching Verizon Wireless's push to get more people to share their data plans with family members.
Mobile Share, like Verizon's Share Everything, provides a bucket of data that can be shared between as many as 10 devices. One of the devices has to be a smartphone, but other basic phones, tablets, and laptops can be added on top of that for an additional fee. The plans get unlimited voice and text messages.
Shared data plans, which act like a family plan for a common bucket of minutes and text messages to draw from, is expected to change how people view their data plans. AT&T and Verizon hope the plans will drive the adoption of new devices, although consumers will need to pay even more attention to the data they consume, since they can burn up the allotment for an entire family.
The shared data plans have long been bandied about as a tool to get more people using data. In particular, the industry hopes such plans will drive the adoption of connected tablets, which have so far been slow. Most people opt to buy Wi-Fi only versions of tablets, or seldom use the cellular connection of their device because of cost.
The plans, like Verizon's, are somewhat complicated, but the price per gigabyte goes down as you increase the bucket and add users. The plans begin with a 1GB option that costs $40, but there's a $45 monthly fee to connect each smartphone. Options include a $70 4GB plan with a $40 smartphone fee, and a $90 6GB plan with a $35 fee. The higher end $120 10GB plan, $160 15GB plan, and $200 20GB plan all have a $30 smartphone fee.
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