A few months after Verizon launched its Share Everything plans, AT&T has announced that it too will offer shared data plans starting in August. Like Verizon, AT&T’s plan offers unlimited talk and text, as well as support for up to 10 devices per account. The same basic structure underlies the AT&T and Verizon plans, but Ma Bell’s implementation of the plans is where it distinguishes itself from its largest competitor.
If you recall, Verizon charges anywhere from $50 to $100 per month for 1 – 10GB of data, and each type of device you add to the plan (smartphones, tablets, feature phones, and data sticks) add an additional flat fee to the total bill. For a basic 2-smartphone 4GB Verizon plan, the total bill would run $150 ($70 for data plus $40 for each smartphone).
AT&T offers a similar but vastly different way of approaching the same model. You begin by selecting how much data you need similar to Verizon, though AT&T offers much more varied data limits, and as the amount of data you select increases, the cost of each smartphone drops. Consider the following table:
As you can see from the above table, smartphones can range from $30 to $45 per month, with the amount you pay decreasing the more data you need. AT&T is able to accomplish this by charging significant amounts of dough for relatively small amounts of data (seriously, $200 for 20GB?). In all, the pricing ends up being largely the same for two-smartphone households with AT&T and Verizon. With 4 GBs of data, AT&T’s model yields a smartphone bill of $150, and the 10GB plan costs $180 under both carriers. Feature phones, tablets, and data sticks/jetpacks all cost the same monthly fee as Verizon as well.
Of course, the big difference between AT&T and Verizon is that AT&T isn’t forcing people into the new data plans. Existing customers can choose to keep their plans, including those grandfathered into AT&T’s unlimited data plans. New customers will also be able to choose between the Shared Data plans or AT&T’s traditional plans.
For more information on AT&T’s plans, we suggest heading over to their site. The plans will go live in late August for all those interested in switching. Would these new plans benefit anyone out there, or would you end up paying more in the end?