Feb 29 AT 1:21 PM Anthony Domanico 30 Comments

Verizon to unleash shared data plans in mid-2012

verizon-4g-lte-630

We’ve seen hints around the internet that Verizon would finally bring family data plans to its network in 2012, and yesterday we learned of solid proof that this is indeed the case. In a statement made to a group of investors, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo indicated that shared data plans would begin to be offered in the middle of this year.

While not a firm timeframe, the mid-2012 timeframe does indicate that we’ll see group data plans hit Big Red before the back-to-school season kicks off in the fall. No word on pricing or migration strategies were given, though we expect Verizon will make this package available to new customers first and give existing customers the option to switch shortly after the feature is introduced.

We do know that not everyone will be migrated on day 1, as the new billing system will be a bit complex to administer and will take some time to get fully up to speed. Mr. Shammo indicated that a move to shared data plans is an important move in Verizon’s ongoing transition to a fully-realized 4G LTE network.

We’re excited to see what Verizon has up its sleeves when it comes to a shared data service. Hopefully it’ll mean family plans that are more affordable for customers, as Verizon is currently known for having the largest, most reliable and most expensive 4G network.

Source: Engadget

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • spazby

    can’t wait to see the options…. would love to connect multiple devices and wife’s phone as well.

    • Jeff Pan

      What we need is plan that is shared by multiple devices.

      Say I buy 2GB for $30/month, I should be able to use it for my Phone and tablet!

    • LukeT32

      If I could consolidate my 3 current unlimited plans into ones that would be amazing!

  • Jon Shiflett

    The Mrs. and I are both unlimited on a “family” plan. Would shared data be cheaper, or would this let me share date to a tablet. (She says I get a tablet when she gets preggers…so…)

    • GeauxLSU

      Depending on how much data you use, it may not be worth switching. Once you change from an unlimited data plan, there’s no way to get it back.

    • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

      It’s a trap!

      If she gets preggers you won’t have any time to use the tablet.

  • Joel

    Good things come to those who wait. Interested to see what the new pricing will be for 2 lines…may just find myself ‘ruling the air’ soon.

  • thekaz

    Man.. I gotta wait to see the pricing. The wife and I are on two unlimited (not the band) networks… it would have to be a really good deal for me to give up unlimited plans…

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I am so waiting for this…

  • Shadowlore

    As much as I look forward to this, I will not be holding my breath.

    As with most things, I fully expect the marketing team to unveil something like ‘Family Plan: 20G/Mo for $150 extra!’ This isn’t meant as a slam on VZW, it’s meant as a slam on wireless providers in general… they always seem to take a good idea, and make it horrible.

    Look at the unlimited tier plans vs the tiered plans that were put in place.. they took something that some of us would have gladly signed up for, and made it underwhelming.

    Think about the unlimited vs tiers right now… for those of you on unlimited.. would you have considered sacrificing your unlimited plan for a 10g/mo+tethering for that same $30/mo you’re paying now??

    I suspect they will offer the family plans, but won’t make it cost efficient until you have 5 full data plans currently active… then it’ll save you maybe $5/mo.

    So, while I hope for the best.. I expect much less.

  • redraider133

    I think if the price is right this could get more people to jump to smart phones. Let’s hope they don’t skimp on the amount of data with a really high price tag.

  • E-man

    How do you guys think this will factor in for existing customers who are grandfathered into unlimited data plans? Any benefits for our family plan?

    • thekaz

      Probably depends on how much data you think you will be using across all devices…

  • hater on the rocks

    What about the late great unlimited data that Verizon has how much u share that lol?

  • jawabba

    I imagine they will take 2 – 2GB $30 lines and combine them for 1 – 3GB $50 joint service. It would get new people in the door, and I wouldn’t complain about saving $10.

  • Eludium-Q36

    “We’re excited to see what Verizon has up its sleeves when it comes to a shared data service.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a tech blogger ever stated they’re excited about ANY service Vzn was going to offer because it was always understood to be the priciest it could reasonably be. And that’ll be the case with shared data plans, it’ll be a bit better than the current, but more expensive than what Sprint offers, and it’ll be tiered usage, too, not unlimited. So if that excites you then you’re the most easily pleased technie out there.

  • josegb2011

    Well this doesn’t affect me since I’m grandfathered into an unlimited plan ..and 4gb of 4g lte so is good to see Verizon try to work out better plans.

  • bopgun21

    I routinely use 8 GB/month or more. While I’d like to add my wife to the data plan, no way it will be cost effective for me to give up my unlimited plan without making vast changes to my usage habits.

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/ibbarkingmad ibbarkingmad

    This could be a good or a bad thing. Big Red has a tendency to being on the cutting edge. The problem is is it the cutting edge of good or bad for the consumer. Here’s hoping it is for the better, not the worse.

  • PerfectHairGuy

    Sheesh bopgun21 – what do you do to use that much? I am impressed.

    • bopgun21

      lol, if you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly! I stream internet radio at work all day, Mon thru Fri. Not that Pandora crap either. RadioIO.com… spread the word!

  • Marc’us H.

    It was a matter of time, but like many family plans it only pays to have it if you have 3 or more lines on the account.

    Could be a HUGE push for smartphones though.

  • Jack Thakar

    I use too much data (thank Netflix, 4G, and free tethering from my rom) to leave my unlimited plan, but the rest of my family could definitely benefit from it. Do you think that Verizon will let one or more lines keep individual plans and put everyone else on a shared data plan?

  • danielmkim

    Can’t wait to see how they are going to nickle and dime us.

  • Coltsfan74

    How about $10 more per line to add onto an existing unlimited plan?? Then maybe I would add it.

    Like a couple of other comments, I don’t think I want to give up my unlimited plan. I use too much data now with 4G in my area.

  • alex

    Since when is verizon changes plan to benefit customers? i am waiting for fine print before getting excited.

  • Brian

    This will just be another way for them to juke us out of the unlimited data. Unlimited data should be for all. 2G’s is like a spit in the face.

  • Jenn

    Actually Verizon is discontinuing the unlimited plan for us that were lucky enough to be grandfathered in. Starting this summer when your contract is up, you will be forced to pick a data package tier. So when that time comes for me, I’ll switch to a family plan and hopefully share the data package.