Would you like to share your monthly data allotment between you and your partner, or your iPhone and your iPad? AT&T and Verizon have been hemming and hawing about shared data plans since 2011, but recent comments by Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T’s mobile business, seemingly indicate that for Ma Bell’s customers, shared data plans may be coming very soon indeed.
Speaking to CNET, de la Vega indicated that AT&T already had a plan ready for shared data, and that they would be offering it soon.
“I’m very comfortable with the plan that will be offered to our customers,” de la Vega said.
Shared data plans would allow subscribers to drop their data allowance into a communal pool, which can be pulled from freely between devices without signing up for multiple subscriptions.
For example, you might pay AT&T $100 for 10GB of data, which any combination of devices in your family might pull from: tablets, laptops, smartphones, you name it. So instead of paying $30 for a 3GB Phone data plan and $30 for a separate 3GB iPad data plan you might instead pay $50 for 5GB of data shared between the iPhone and iPad during a calendar month. Or you might share such an allowance between your iPhone and your wife’s iPad.
In January, Verizon seemingly began preparations to introduce shared data to subscribers, but the plan has yet to be offered to Verizon’s customers. Will AT&T beat Verizon to the punch, or are we still a long way off from consolidating our iDevice data bills?