AT&T CEO: Family Data Sharing Plans Coming Soon

AT&T CEO: Family Data Sharing Plans Coming Soon

Your iPad and iPhone might soon share the same data allowance.

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?

  • J Christopher Doss

    So glad AT&T & Verizon are keeping up the “competition”. I swear they are working with each other so not to work against profits.  However, I am glad to see a pool of data being offered, but I have not known Verizon to make changes to the advantage of their customers. We’ll see.

  • FriarNurgle

    AT&T will either set a knock on out of the park or keep things status quo.


    Here is my guess for two devices:
    - $25 for 1GB shared
    - $35 for 3GB shared
    - $45 for 5GB shared
    Each additional data line/device would be $9.99 and add 1GB to the allowance pool.
  • davester13

    And for the low, low price of only 99% of the highest individuals plan, times the number of individuals or phones [whichever is greater] to be grouped together.

  • ApplePr0n

    I’m a VZW customer and cant wait until this happens. However I’m still on Unlimited data, so it probably wont be worth it

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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