One of the biggest concerns for smartphone early adopters is that extra data fee popping up in monthly bills. Smartphones have become easily accessible, with options varying from free to $300 devices, but those fees are what people do not like to see. A great alternative carriers have been looking at is shared family data plans. Such offerings should break the boundaries that stop consumers from purchasing a smartphone, and Verizon seems to be planning shared data plans for next year.
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam has spoken up at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, mentioning that shared data plans is something Big Red has been considering. And these data plans might be showing up next year, in 2012.
I think in 2012 we will see it.
We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.Lowell McAdamVerizon Communications
Now that we have moved into tiered data plans, it only seems fair that the limited gigabytes be used as pleased. It is already possible to share family minutes, as well as texts for some carriers. As we move on to a smartphone friendly world, the same should apply to data. There is no doubt that extra fees have been stopping customers from purchasing devices.
Newcomers are not the only ones backing off. As technology consumers/enthusiasts, we are also interested in tablets, USB internet dongles, WiFi hotspot devices, and even laptops. Would we want to pay $30+ for each one of these devices, though? Of course not. Shared data plans would allow us to get rid of such limitations, allowing us to use our purchased gigabytes as we best see fit.
What do you guys think? Would you use more internet devices if family data plans were available? Do you think people would be less hesitant to purchase a smartphone/internet device?