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With all the recent news about forcing customers to use shared data plans we saw this week, T-Mobile wanted to let everyone know their stance on the situation. Posting on the company's Issues and Insights blog, Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing, says "T-Mobile believes that consumers today do not want a ‘one size fits all’ approach to shared family data plans, nor would they benefit from that model". ​Reading through the sentiment in the comments on the recent Verizon news, and one would have to assume he is right.

Reading and watching David poke at Goliath is fun (in some twisted kind of blogger way) but there's one big variable still not defined -- how much shared data, and how much will it cost. With a reasonably high cap, at a reasonably low price, I can see the benefit in a shared data poll across multiple devices. Saying goodbye to a  5GB plan for your phone, your tablet, and your data card or hotspot, and hello to a shared 10 GB plan at half the cost is an offer many would jump on, even if the cost per kilobyte increases.  

One thing Sherrard is saying that I think most would agree with is that "Customers who pay more, should get more". There are many ways for Verizon (and AT&T, who surely won't be far behind) to make this a change for the good. Until we see the plans and pricing, I'm not ready to crucify anyone just yet. If everything holds true, we'll know more in about a month. 

Source: T-Mobile

 

Reader comments

Customers don't want shared data plans says T-Mobile

50 Comments

Jerry,

The plan is devised to increase Verizon revenue not please customers. I wouldn't expect a better deal than the one you're getting now.

"Customers have told us they want shared data plans..." as opposed to unlimited plans is just corporate-speak for 'we're doing this whether you like it or not'.

+1. There is no way they are going to make this cheaper for the average customer. When they changed it to a 2gb limit I am sure it was what the customers wanted as well.

Honestly this is just their attempt at playing the opposite side of the field to gain the ones who jump ship. I was grandfathered on my data and I'm pissed I gotta jump through hoops to keep it but shared data makes sense of the pricing is right. Lets say you have three lines that's 90 a month 2 gig for each. Well if the family uses only four gigs or so cause they are the average user then it makes sense to pay lets say 60 for five gigs shared. Lets just wait on pricing to decide what's best for the majority and average user. The devil is in the details and those details will be the dollar.

While I don't agree with "forcing" this plan on customers, I do think it should be an option. I can see how a shared data pool could benefit multiple device customers..I'm just not one of them.
However, if AT&T offered a shared 10gb plan for less than what I'm paying now for data on my kids, wife, and not to mention the overages on my line, I'd be all in.

Should be an option to be honest. I have 4 lines @ $30 bucks each for data which sucks. It all depends on prices and data amounts Imo.

Im paying 100/mo for data now for four devices (one is a dumb phone). Two of my four devices are unlimited, my tablet is capped at 2GB. I'd be willing to give up the unlimited plans for a 10GB shared plan but my cost would need to go down to say, $60/mo. Do I think that will happen? Hell no. I'm guessing 10GB will be no less than $100/mo. Need not look further than Verizon Wireless home Internet service for guidance on pricing. Fortunately I have a good 18 months before I have to bite this bullet. Funny thing is I would do it voluntary if I could save money.

I predict that with the new data plans and 2gb - 6gb across multiple devices, and LTE connect speeds, there are going to be a LOT of people going over their data limit and either being locked out, throttled to a crawl or paying out the bunghole for their data over runs. And paying huge penalties for data over runs may seem like a good idea to VZ now, it's a PR nightmare in the making.

That is what the whole goal of these shared plans is for : overage$$$. As far as I know VZW isn't going to be throttling, they're charging per extra GB. How many families with their children on extra lines are going to be wholloped by their children/teens overage charges after they burn through their group plan's data allowance?

I agree. That's why the first tier will be low. You'll get nailed if you go over. Just like the voice plans and text plans.

Verizon, the world most expensive cell phone carrier, will pull in yet more money. You are right, most likely the new data plans will fall within the 2GB and 5GB limits. This is NOT going to be good for the customers, and it is designed for one reason, and one reason only: to make more money for Verizon.

I've been with Sprint all these years despite their spotty phone selection, weak-sauce CDMA and terrible coverage because at the end of the day, they're still the best deal in town.

And now they're the only deal in town for someone who uses a gig or two most months but far more during vacations and business trips, or who simply doesn't want to engage in the 2012 version of watching the clock (those who discovered the Internet after the rise of broadband won't understand, but trust me, it sucks, and it's their calculations that count, not yours). If you don't have to worry about your data usage, Sprint is literally your only national choice now.

Thank you, Verizon and AT&T, for making it easy to stick with what I've got and for enabling my preferred carrier to stay solvent for the next few years, barring any more debacles like Lightsquared.

Having looked over my bills for the last 6 months, we have 2 phones w/unlimited data & a hotspot w/ 10 gigs (no other option in this rural area sadly), at a cost of $140 not to mention 3 dumb phones. If I'm going to be pushed into a new plan it better be a large chunk of data we share. Say 25-30 gigs for $60. Yes I said $60. It is a pipe dream I know. But I'll go back to a dumb phone or Straight Talk from Wal Mart before I watch my bills go even higher. I'm already paying $270 to Verizon now all things included.

On my plan we pay $90 a month for 3 phones. Each unlimited data. on average total we use 20-25 GB a month. Unless they can make a shared plan cheaper than that I don't see the reason to pay them for new phones...

10 GB for $50 with 700 minutes, and $10 for unlimited texts and ill buy. Otherwise no way. Since your service is crap where I live.

I don't get how VZW can say unequivocally that customers want shared data? I can see how customers on a family plan would want to share data like they do minutes, or someone with multiple devices would want to share data across devices (phone, tablet, hotspot) , but if I'm a single person with only one device, why should I want to "share" data? Who exactly am I sharing with? As others have said, it should be an option, we shouldn't be forced to convert to a new plan.

Interestingly I got an email from VZW today saying I can upgrade to an LTE phone (still rocking my DroidX) with unlimited data. I would gladly do this if there was a compelling device to upgrade to. Though I may have to just for the sake of keeping my unlimited data for at least the next 2 years... Am really hoping something new (I'm looking at you Sammy and Moto) will come to vzw before I can no longer keep my unlimited data.

They passed on Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, and the Nexus is a 'Fake' Nexus in many people's opinion due to some bloatware, CDMA restrictions and sloooow updates from Verizon not Google. And they just had to put the Verizon logo on it to piss Google off.

They also passed on the HTC One and S. And the RAZR is an OK phone but I would not call it great with Blur, locked bootloader (for those of us who care) and a qHD screen. It does have good radios though. And the Maxx battery is impressive.

Their current best phones are on VZW, but I'm hoping vzw will carry the Galaxy S3, and there are rumors of a Moto Fighter. Sure vzw has the Nexus and the Maxx, but as I said above, those aren't compelling enough, imho, to upgrade right now. Depending on what their new plan structure is like, I may upgrade to one of those to keep my unlimited for another 2 years, assuming there is no option for the S3 or the Fighter (or One X variant, but I'm definitely not holding my breath for that one) before I lose the option to keep my unlimited data.

I love my gnex and see it as a 30 month device for me...but I've had it for months already. You are at a good time with device release but keep in mind nothing is official yet from vzw so you still have lots of time. Don't rush out today or even next month...

Fran Shammo, Verizon Wireless CFO said;

"So when you think about our 3G base, a lot of our 3G base is unlimited. As they start migrating to 4G they will --HAVE TO-- come off of unlimited and go into the data share plan. And that’s --BENEFICIAL TO US-- for many reason, obviously. So as you pick what tier you want to be and we think that there will be some --PRICE UP-- in those tiers.”

"We're fairly confident we'll start to see people uptick in the tiers (read as 'upgrade from the pitiful first tier'), which is where we'll see the revenue accretion (read as 'money pour in')."

You may not be hurt by this new plan if you and your share members are light data users. However, if you have been streaming Spotify or Pandora or Netflix or free-tethering etc, you are the one who is going to carry the cost. WiFi is now your best friend.

There is no circumstance where a shared-tier is more beneficial to the customer than flat out unlimited for each user.

The single advantage to the consumer in this plan is the idea of multiple devices on one account (thank Google for this concept).

This is a plan to make more money, pure and simple. And that's fine. It's their right. I just wish they were more upfront and there was more serious competition from the other 3 carriers.

Sheryl Sellaway (yes that is her real name) - Verizon spokesperson said;

“Customers have told us that they want to share data, similar to how they share minutes today. We are working on plans to provide customers with that option later this year,”

Thanks Sheryl! I guess customers also requested those abusive and lucrative texting plans. Oh, and I guess consumers also requested a $30 upgrade fee and an elimination of one year contracts and increased ETFs. Customers must also be requesting Verizon's beloved bloatware and painfully slow updates.

Thanks for looking out for us Verizon.

T-Mobile is so full of shit. On their site, you have to zoom into street level to see what data coverage they offer. Then, on their test drive site, they speed test their hspa+ phones against 3G iPhones on the other 3 carriers and declare their network the fastest. It's pathetic.

Hey T-mobile, I'm one of your customers, and what I want is free wifi hotspot service again. I'm already paying you for the damn data, let me use it how I want to.

I really wouldn't mind shared data as long as I can keep it unlimited. I use about 10GB per month. I'm fully bought into the Google system including streaming all my music from their servers. Might be time for the Goog to step up and say something. It's in their interest to keep me with unlimited access to their products.

That makes no sense. If each user is unlimited, what exactly are you sharing?

Google would have to buy bandwidth from the carriers. I doubt Verizon would do this but you can still get unlimited data if you're willing buy your phone full retail to use T-Mo or AT&T networks through companies like Straight Talk. Some say they throttle but others say they don't.

I think even Verizon will let you keep your unlimited plan for now if you buy your phone for full retail. I'm not sure if you have to buy it from them. Of course without a contract, they can take away the privilege at any time.

Google should roll out their own cellular network and be done with the carriers.

Ohhh the dream that would be Google having their own wireless company. 1gbps wireless internet all across the U.S., kinda like how their doing in Kansas City, except not wirelessly.

There is no way in hell that Verizon, the world most expensive carrier, is going to give you Unlimited data to share with your family. No, it will likely be 2GB shared amongst your family for an even higher price than what you are paying for 2GB individual plan right now, with a possible 5GB shared option at an outrageous price.

I am not great at math and all but I would MUCH rather keep my unlimited plans so Yea, ANY change would be a bad one since anything is a step down from unlimited.

This just shows how Tmo has lost touch. I was a customer service rep for them and I can't tell you how many times customers asked me when a family data plan would be offered. This is why I quit. With the new CEO came a loss of connection with the people.

Screw verizon. Sprint is by far the best. I left verizon a couple of years ago and I couldn't be happier. Sorry for all you folks stuck on americas largest 4G network. Go big red!!! At the end of the day, its your choice where your dollar or excuse me, verizon customers where your hundreds of dollars go. I'll take sprint and their $79 unlimited everything plan and smile all day long. Keep up the good work sprint!

That's for an individual plan. Verizon costs a lot less than Sprint on Family plans. I was a Sprint customer for 7 years. I pay less on Verizon for my 4 lines.

Um...you would be WRONG :(

I was with Vzw for several years and switched to Sprint as it saves me over $100 per mo for 3 smartphones on a family plan. 1500 minutes, unlimited data and text.

Unlimited data - Check
Unlimited texts - Check
Free calling to any mobile device - Check
Not dealing with Big Red's crap - CHECK!!!

Do some research before you respond, that way you actually sound like you know what you're talking about.

Thanks and have a nice day :)

Tim, unless you have some kind of special rate there is no way VZ is less than Sprint on individual or family plans. No way.... Please post specifics.

I can think of two situations where I would want shared data.

1. I would like to share a data plan between my phone and my tablet as long as the plan price is less than phone+tethering.

2. My wife uses much less data than me, but more that the 200MB or so that most carriers have as starter plans, so it would be nice if we could share a plan. Again, as long as it's less than two separate plans.

I can see the appeal of the family shared data. We have three lines. Two with 3gb data and one unlimited. I use most data and have my One X set to stopobile data at 2.9gb. My mother only uses around 500mb. 3rd line uses less than 2gb per month. So if we could get shared data of 6-10gb for less than to $90/mmo we pay now then it would save us money. As for overages, ICS has the Usage setting to warn and or stop mobile data. Up to the user to enable.
If I were an unlimited user I can see being angry if I had that on ally lines. Unfortunately as more people sign with AT &T and Verizon they will not have the unlimited data.

Ok, I just don't get it. Every article concerning tiered vs. unlimited data always has the same comments over and over again. "Why can't VZW, AT&T, etc just let users have unlimited data for nothing" or "Its just corporate greed. Screw companies for wanting to profit off of a consumer product". Seriously, those of you who use more than 10gb of data a month, what the hell are you doing all day? I used to think I was a pretty heavy data user, until I started analyzing my old Sprint bills and realized that I never broke 2gbs a month. That included web browsing, watching videos, and streaming & downloading music off of Rhapsody.

So VZW wants to crack down on data users and make them pay for what they are using, and to that I say kudos. I also really hope that people that abuse the grandfathered plans get booted. If you want unlimited, spotty, and slow 4g speeds, I'm sure Sprint will love to add you to the 50 or so customers it has left (and yes, I'm a 5 year Sprint customer that just left).

While I agree with a few of your points, I disagree about the usage of data. It is fairly easy to get to 10gb is you stream video.

I can't wait for network vision to be fully in place so Verizon people have nothing to say anymore about sprints network. I remember when I was with Verizon and their network was shit before the alltel takeover.

I'm tired about all the complaining too. May be all carriers should just go the power company route and you pay for what you use, period! That would shut everyone up and cut down on the gluttony of data use. :)

Yea, you can bet these new data policies will go into effect right before the SGS3 & Droid Fighter are released. I do think the DINC 4G will be released under the current system.

That's the problem with these data plans. Their not reasonable amounts of data. LTE enables watching more video content which obviously uses more data, 10gb's+ in a billing cycle isn't hard at all. I still have 5 days left in my billing cycle and I just passed 10gigs of data.

Saying goodbye to hotspot payments is a good point. Shared plans could also entice purchases of data radio enabled tablets.

If your on Verizon and say you upgrade right now before the new plans go into affect, does that give you unlimited data for the next two years?

I have worked for Verizon Wireless for many years, and our customers have been asking for share data plans for a long time.

So T-mobile thinks customers dont want CHOICE?

Let me tell you something.

Right now, myself and my sister are on 200MB plans from AT&T for $15 each. Soon, my parents both want to get iPhones, which would put them on $20/300MB plans. This means we would be paying $70 a month for 1GB total data, split 200/200/300/300 each.

A 2GB plan costs just $25 a month, and even if it costs $5 to add a data line, that works out to $40 a month (theoretical pricing), but if its around this, it would be $40 for TWICE the TOTAL data. Thats NOT even counting that fact that we have different styles of usage, so if my Mom only uses 100MB normally, and my Dad uses 200MB, and sister uses 400MB, that would leave me with 1.3GB to use. See what I mean? Its far more flexible since different family members have different uses.

I can't see why on earth customers would want shared data. I certainly don't want it and have not come across one person that wants it either. The powers in charge at Verizon are nothing but liars.