Verizon and AT&T

Unless you're using more than two phones, AT&T's new shared data plans won't really save you money over Verizon's.

AT&T is launching shared data plans in August. Verizon has them now. The premises are similar -- one plan, multiple phones sharing from a bucket of data. (Voice and texts are all unlimited and "free.") You'll have to pay for each phone that's a part of the shared plan, though.

How do they break down? Which one's more likely to save you money? Let's take a look.

Verizon shared data versus AT&T shared data

Data bucket Verizon monthly price AT&T monthly price
1GB $50 $40
2GB $60 -
4GB $70 $70
6GB $80 $90
8GB $90 -
10GB $100 $120
15GB - $160
20GB - $200

Now, that's only half the story. Or maybe only a third of it. Verizon and AT&T each add on a monthly fee for each device that's part of the shared plan. Verizon's is pretty simple -- $40 per smartphone, $10 per tablet.

AT&T gets a little more tricky, but the math is straightforward. Per-device fees start at $45 if you've got the 1GB plan, $40 for the 4GB plan, $35 for the 6GB plan, and the fee drops to $30 a device once you hit the 10GB plan. 

So, let's run some numbers for the plans that match up:

  • Two smartphones on a 1GB plan: $130 a month on Verizon, $130 on AT&T
  • Two smartphones on a 4GB plan: $150 a month on Verizon, $150 on AT&T
  • Two smartphones on a 6GB plan: $160 a month on Verizon, $160 on AT&T
  • Two smartphones on a 10GB plan: $180 a month on Verizon, $180 on AT&T

Those plans match up between Verizon and AT&T. Precisely.

Shared data cost per gigabyte per month

Let's look at it from a different angle, though. Assuming two smartphones on each plan, what's the monthly price per gigabyte of data?

Data bucket Verizon AT&T
1GB $130/GB $130/GB
2GB $70/GB -
4GB $37.50/GB $37.50/GB
6GB $26.67/GB $26.67/GB
8GB $21.25/GB -
10GB $18/GB $18/GB
15GB - $14.67/GB
20GB - $13/GB

So there's that, for what it's worth.

So which is better?

It's kind of a wash, insofar as whether AT&T saves you money over Verizon here. Where the two have the same data buckets, you'll be paying the same per month, if you're only using two phones. If you have more than two phones, you'll save a bit on AT&T, so long as you've got at least the 6GB data plan. Three phones on the 10GB plan would cost you $220 a month on Verizon, or $210 on AT&T. So you'd save $120 a year.

And we haven't even mentioned the difference in networks. Verizon is still light years ahead of AT&T on LTE deployment. So there's that to consider, too. And we're not taking fees into account, either. Also, it's worth noting that AT&T's not forcing these plans on anyone. They're completely optional. If you have a grandfathered unlimited data plan now, you don't have to switch to this.

The real trick to saving any money, with these plans, is to make run the numbers yourself versus your current plan, and then use every last kilobyte without going over. 


Reader comments

Shared data plans: Who saves you more money, Verizon or AT&T?


Judging by your comment I would assume you have done all the finance calculations to verify that they aren't changing their plans to ensure they stay profitable to the point to appease WallStreet and their stockholders? You seem to have some inside knowledge that they are just trying to screw everyone over and are not actually concerned with staying profitable. You see, this is a corporation that is in the business of making a profit. They balance that level of profit against consumer demand to ensure they aren't driving customers away. Both ATT and Verizon are building out LTE networks that are going to cost billions of dollars to get up and running. They have to change their business model to account for the cost of user data consumption away from one that foucsed on voice/text.

Conveniences cost money. If you aren't happy with it, then go over to Sprint or T-Mobile and their crappy coverage. Remember that you get what you pay for. If you only stay in big cities, then those networks should be great for you adn you can pay less. If you want nationwide coverage then you need to pay for it and it costs more due to the larger amount of infrastructure.

If you don't like that explanantion, then get your butt out there and start your own wirless company and charge whatever you want to charge.

Or better yet, switch to a MVNO and see what it really means to be disenfranchised. You will save a ton of money and voice/text is unlimited, but support doesn't exist, automatic billpay is a luxury, and data speeds/limits are terrible.

Its amazing, the collective national conspiracy theory that all four nationwide providers have a cartel and aim to do nothing but provide identical overpriced service so that competition doesn't control pricing. Listen carefully: There is a reason that the two "bargain" carriers (sprint and Tmo) don't have way more customers than the two "premier" carriers (VZW and ATT). How hard is it to understand that people want "premier" and are willing to pay for it!

Compared to using a heavily bloated, branded and bootloader locked Verizon Wireless device or a perfectly standard, unmolested and completely clean device on an MVNO that enables BYOD - the choice is pretty simple. I have been there, done that with both options and I am completely unable, from a global perspective (used a couple of different carriers in different countries) to see how VZW can be some kind of "premium" alternative.

I have a much greater experience from carriers like Hi3G (3), Telia, Telefonica O2 and T-Mobile (CZ) than I had with the Big Red. But if I am to believe posts like this, Verizon is some kind of extreme luxury, where everything is top notch with the result that you have to pay.... $199-299 for the device and then at least $2400 during the 24 months.

The competition isn't working properly in this country when it comes to cellular service and those who don't understand this fact should check out the European carriers, both service and pricing.

Edit: For those who think that Verizon LTE is something to brag about: go check out what speeds you can get on other LTE carriers like Telia in Sweden. Compare the pricing and how many GB of data that is included.

Personally, I am not going to accept any more carrier branded devices. My Galaxy Note GT-N7000 is perfectly clean and the Nexus I ordered from Google just blows away those horrible, pathetic propositions like "$699 without contract, $199 on contract".

So simply put: get references - those that defends carriers like Verizon instead of getting on a high horse pretending that VZW delivers some kind of "quality" that "justifies" their pricing.

Well Tmo's crappy service as you call it is fine by me. I get great signal everywhere I go. Along with my 30.00 100min unlim txt and data i'm sitting pretty. If I want to get raped i'll go to the gym for it. At least i'll get in shape. What this Duopoly is saying to Consumers is a Big F.U. I'm all for having a company make as much profits for it's shareholders. I'm not in favor of companies abusing their position to make this happen.

T-Mo's crappy service is crappy, they care not to give my area anything past GPRS or EDGE.. same with AT&T.

Verizon is the 'luxury' alternative because I have decent data and within the next year, I'll have LTE everywhere I go that I have 3G coverage.

you must work for att or verizon..... you sound like a suit and tie type of guy....the same person thats running amercica into the ground.......

How does one change the system? All 4 of the "major" carriers are overpriced, yet people gladly go about bending over to all of them. No one wants government intervention, yet no one knows how to stop these companies from raping us.

They are overpriced due to LACK of competition. Why is there so little competition? It's government interference. Specifically;

1. - The way in which wireless frequencies are allocated, with the FCC allocating HUGE blocks of spectrum to the big guys (consequently there isn't any left for the little ones)

2. - By adding in excess and unnecessary regulations that drive up costs. Costs the big guys can easily absorb, but are crippling to startups. Thus reducing competition.

3. - By the use of zoning regulations and preventing tower sharing. There are only so many places you can put towers, and many of those are taken by the big guys. In many cases towers could be shared, with the smaller company leasing space from the larger one, but the government regulation won't allow that "for safety reasons".

Those are just three that come to the top of my head at 12:30AM when I'm exhausted. There are many many more.

Ultimately, the solution to high costs is competition. The best way to encourage competition is to get government out of it's way.

Absolutely agree with Tallyho.... you want the best, you have to pony up for the best. That's not to say that I'm happy with their pricing plans/strategies but there is something to be said about you get what you pay for. My wife and I went up to Lake Placid about ten years ago with about 4 other couples. She and I were just dating and while she was on At&t, I was on Sprint. My best friend's ex-girlfriend had a huge banana for a phone but was on Verizon. She was the only one out of all of us getting a good enough signal for us to make calls. All else stared blankly at our phones as it looked for service. As already mentioned, if they care about staying the best, they have to provide the best LTE network and other services alike. To do this, they have to correctly price the cost to build out this network and leverage it against consumer appetite. If not, their plans will fail - then, we all lose.

But, that's not to say that they aren't suspect of well, being shady. About 3 years after we got married, she may wife, then on Sprint with me, had an unpleasant customer service experience that prompted us to land on Verizon's doorstep. At the time, they were infamous for gimping manufacturer's phones branded with their name. My bluetooth wasn't enabled, but yet the phone had the feature. The verizon CSR tried to pull the wool over my eyes telling me that they disable bluetooth for security reasons so that no one get's info off their customer's phones... Really???? Call it conspiracy but it just seemed like they were trying to figure a way to monetize bluetooth connectivity to me, so they just handicapped equipped phones until they could. LOL

All this is to say, I can understand why someone, without thinking it through, would think the 2 big phone giants are trying to squeeze more out of the consumer. All that said, I get some serious throughput on my 4g at home that I'm never on wifi... Average 18/12mbs... the most I've ever seen a couple of times was 39/20mbs (up/down). I may hate what I shell out to them, but its the best! Oh yeah, i'm on the unlimited data plan (granddaddied in)!

This is a sad world when people either on Verizon or At@t feel like they need to get on their high horse and must discuss how great their networks are because of what their coverage maps claim or because they have more Lte markets than the next carrier. I call bull spit on all these high horse folks who really need to come down to earth here in the real world. Look around folks At@t is so far up Verizon's ass that you can't which one is which. Let's take a real good look at what you are really paying for on a monthly basis. Verizon forces you to purchase LTE DEVICES ONLY which means what saturation they don't really explain that to people why because they just want all your money for their overpriced Lte devices. Oh yeah folks Verizon also forgot to mention that most of their LTE devices are battery draining monsters that you won't really get to enjoy to much anyway. Oops let's not forget Verizon's the WORST CARRIER in general updates to handsets so their is a great chance that your overpriced Lte device will never get an update ever. Another MAJOR ISSUE they never tell you while they are bending you over monthly is that all their cdma model Lte devices all work differently on their bloated Lte network. That means reception as well as signal strength is suspect and dependent on so many things. Coverage maps are not 100% folks so all that glitters isn't gold in the Big bad Verizon and At@t world. Bottom line these days if you are getting great service with Tmobile such as myself who kicked Verizon to the curb then be happy while your saving your money. Take a look at Sprint to they might not have LTE just depending on where you live but sooner or later they will. Don't let these big carriers trick you into all that hub bub of how great they are in the real world both At@t and Verizon are extremely overrated been their done that turn to the next page just cause you pay more doesn't mean your service is the best. Tmobile shits all over Verizon where I reside.

1. Would it kill you to hit the "Enter" button every once in awhile? It's harder to read than a 4th grader's handwritten letter.
2. It's "AT&T", not "AT@T" you dolt. You see their name every day. How hard is it to spell correctly, even with spell check on your "BOSS" SGSIII?
3. Given that a lot of people commute more than 2 miles to work (unlike yourself), coverage maps matter. Not only that, but if a person does not get signal in their home, and/or work, and/or most frequented places, they're moving to a carrier with better coverage. So your assertion that coverage maps do not matter is flat out wrong... as your statements have always been.
4. As robertelkins states, you seem to be forgetting that T-Mobile is planning to transition to LTE, starting sometime in 2013. So all your whining and bitching about "battery draining" LTE is for naught. When the transition occurs, do you plan on jumping to some smaller, non-LTE carrier like Cricket or Virgin Mobile? Cause that's going to be the only available options since every major carrier will have LTE. Additionally, LTE is being said to become a worldwide mobile wireless standard. Better get used to that "battery draining" LTE.
5. "Let's take a real good look at what you are really paying for on a monthly basis." That's done for us in the article above. Didn't you read it?
6. "Verizon forces you to purchase LTE DEVICES ONLY" That's the most absurd BS ever written. While true that Verizon is pushing to get people onto LTE (but not for the reasons you so ignorantly/stupidly state), you can still purchase 3G only smartphones. All iPhone (so far) and Blackberry models are 3G only, as is the HTC Rhyme, LG Enlighten, Motorola Droid Pro, Xperia Play, and Casio G'zOne Commando. Try some fact checking once in awhile.
7. "Oh yeah folks Verizon also forgot to mention that most of their LTE devices are battery draining monsters" Did you really expect a wireless connectivity medium that is generally faster than, or at least the same speed as, most people's broadband home networks to *not* be "battery draining"? You are simply clueless. Not to mention the fact that LTE, in widespread use anyway, is no more than 2 or 3 years old. Do you really expect a connectivity standard *that* young to be perfect?
8. I would go on proving more instances where you're wrong/in error, but I just realized I'm only half-way through your idiotic rant, and I'm pretty sure if your first half is completely wrong, your second half is too. Have a good day.

Ok, so where YOU reside it's better, that means anybody who claims they would rather have Verizon's better coverage are "on a high horse"? Really? I moved to Pennsylvania 2 years ago. When I got here, I had T-Mobile. Guess where I could use my cell phone...when I was at home and had WiFi to use UMA calling. We have a crap load of people in the area from Oklahoma because of natural gas drilling. All of them who showed up with Sprint have gotten letters telling them they had to find other service providers. Why? Because Sprint also has no towers for miles, and they were roaming for entire months off of Verizon's network. If you want service in this area, it's AT&T or Verizon. And even the two of them don't get coverage everywhere. There are places I go with my Verizon phone that it doesn't work and a friends AT&T phone will work, and places it's the opposite way. Even before I moved over here, there were a couple places that I went at least twice a month were I had no service with T-Mobile and my friends AT&T phone had coverage. T-Mobile wasn't paying to use the AT&T tower in that area. Hell, when I moved here, I lived on top of a mountain and could look across the valley at an AT&T tower. My Nexus One showed full bars, but T-Mobile hadn't paid to use that tower, so even though I had full bars, no calling without WiFi. I hate Verizon's prices, but I like actually being able to use my phone most places I go around here. I'm not on a high horse, but if think I'm going to save money by paying T-Mobile and then not being able to use my phone, you are a horses ass. It's a big country, with many different areas, and many different coverage situations. Come where I live, and then call me and let me know Verizon or AT&T are overrated. Oh, your call won't go through, nevermind.

I DISAGREE with you on your comment. I do have Sprint and AT&T, both carriers has closed network service in everywhere I go to, I had VZW, which they claiming my area is 4G LTE covered, I had the TBOLT at that time, inside the clinic I`m out luck to get one par, which T-Mobile has almost full signal at the same time. Inside my house
VZW has the same signal as Sprint HTC Evo 3D has. I did dropped VZW and I want back to Sprint. As nation coverage, I use to drive a big truck and I use to go 48 state and Canada, Sprint has cover everywhere. One thing you should know, one thing about Sprint network makes it different and special from the other three network is, if you are in a area has no voice call on Sprint, you still can send text and browse the web. VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile, when their voice down everything goes down with it.
But you forgot one thing! all the services, depend on your area not just on carriers.

i was on your side until " If you aren't happy with it, then go over to Sprint or T-Mobile and their crappy coverage."

then you lost my interest....

The shared plan is a joke... One more way to rip us off...
On a family plan with 4 phones on it and everyone at 2Gb. we pay 180

you pay only $180 a month for 4 phones? thats pretty damn amazing really thats what i pay with 2 phones. or wait are u saying all 4 phones share 2 gb? cuz thats lame unless u dont use the gb's that much. lol

everyone is forgetting about the family plans we now have. The 2nd line and up are $9.99(plus junk fees) plus what ever data plan you may have attached. Now with these shared data plans each device (phone) is $40 . If you add the $9.99 plus say $30 for your existing data plan you are at the same price as adding an additional device. The advantage of the family plan is that each device has its own data plan from which to draw. In reality you have more data with the family plans. If each device has say a 2-3 GB plan then all together you may have 6-9GB total if you add the 2-3 devices together. If they were to leave the additional lines at $9.99 and then let you share data from the primary line then it would be in the consumers best interest. Familys on a family plan will not come out ahead here.

3 phones and 1 GB on verizon = $170
3 phones and 1GB on AT&T = $175

3 phones and 4gb on Verizon = $190
3 phones and 4gb on AT&T= $190

3 phones and 10gb on Verizon = $220
3 phones and 10gb on AT&T = $240

Incorrect on the last one. AT&T drops the fee to $30/smartphone on the 10GB plan.

So it would be:

3 phones and 10gb on Verizon = $220
3 phones and 10gb on AT&T = $210

Forgot one there:

3 Phones and UNLIMITED data on Sprint = $170

Of course, coverage is not as good, although it is getting better. The LTE rollout and Sprint's new tower plan should solve many of their coverage problems. Here in Western New York there are NO coverage problems anyway, even without LTE. And they are STILL cheaper than the two other big guys.

So please tell me how getting the same service (Or less, since data is limited) for more money on AT&T and Verizon is "Premium"?

When you try to change your plan, you can scroll through all of the Shared Data options.

12 GB = $110
14 GB = $120
16 GB = $130
18 GB = $140
20 GB = $150

It was part of the training. If a CSR in stored or at a call center doesn't know about this, then they need to Retake the training and pay attention to it this time

None of them save me any money. Instead they trying to make me pay a lot more for unlimited minutes I don't use.

Exactly. If you don't need (or have) unlimited minutes then these plans don't save you anything. Hell, I wish I could drop my 450 minutes to 100!

When I renewed and upgraded my Verizon contract, the 6 GB shared plan I switched to saved me between $40 and $50 a month. That was on 2 smartphones, 1 regular phone , and a Xoom.

While you won't see it here, most cellphone customers are seeing savings in line with yours when they switch to the new plans. Unfortunately most of those people aren't commenting on blogs.

Yeah, I've noticed. When Verizon launched the iPhone, I figured that it would only be a matter of time before the data plans would I started changing they way I used my data. When they finally announced the changes, I monitored exactly how much data I was actually using for several months. We rarely approach the 3 GB I figured the 6 GB plan was more than enough.

So you are saying most people will be saving money, which means Verizon and AT&T will be seeing less profit? There is no possible way they would offer a new plan that would reduce their overall profits. There have been polls for the Verizon plans and by far the majority of people say their bill will increase. As many people have pointed out the only people who will save money on these plans are the ones who currently have or need a large amount of minutes, for everyone else your bill will increase.

It entirely depends on if you were using at or near your data limit before. If you had two lines both doing 2GB/mo and you need to replace that with a shared 4GB, your price will go up. Odds are, you were not using all 4GB of that. Maybe one was using it all or getting close, but the other was probably doing like 200mb a month. 2GB a month is really in reach for two users, and you can go even lower and have 1GB for 2 users. If you dont go over that, then yes it saves you money.

The carriers see more profit when they win customers away from the competition, and when they offer high cost services that people gladly pay for. These new plans really give customers the ability to opt out of paying a higher price, in exchange for getting less product.

I'm saving $18/month on my account that was two smartphones with unlimited data on both. Historical usage for what I could consider one medium-heavy user and one light user amounted to about 1gb/month. I opted for the 4gb. Even if we go up 2gb to the 6gb plan, we'll still be saving $8/month. Everyone's mileage will vary, but this was actually a beneficial upgrade for me. But then again, I don't use my phone as an internet connection in my house, nor do I stream Netflix on it all day long or rip down torrents on it, or whatever people are doing to incur such heavy data usage on a cell phone.

Four phones cost $160. 2 tablets. $20. 20gb plan. $150. Total with taxes after my discount is $334. My bill had been $423 a month. Seems to me that who gets penalized under the new plans are single device data hogs who where tethering 50gb of data every month. The rest of us win.

Yep, and that was the point. 5% of Verizon customers are using 65% of Verizon's data and while I have not seen the numbers for AT&T I have a hard time believing that it is significantly different.

I've gone over the numbers with many customers over the last month or so and the vast majority of everyday users save at least some money and those that dont usually tend to get something out of the deal they didn't have before (tethering or unlimited minutes/text, data for that messaging phone that they hadn't wanted to pay for a data plan on before, etc.). Yes the power users (and I count myself here), that frequent tech blogs like this, tend to see their bills go up unless they skimp on data, but then we are the 5% that are using the most data.

From my own observations, if you have 1 phone your bill will probably go up unless you are a low data user. If you have 2-3 phones tend to pay about the same if they dont use more than 2GB of data each, if at least two of them dont use a lot of data they can save a little money. Same thing with people who are on the higher minute plans but, especially the "unlimited" ones that few people really need. 4 of or more devices almost always save money. I had one customer who had 4 phones and a tablet and he saved about $180 by switching. Another customer who had 2 smartphones, a basic phone, and a tablet saved about $100 by switching.

it will be interesting to see what happens with verizon turns on their voice over LTE (VoLTE) service and discontinues/disables everything else. it should happen around 2013 or 2014.

remember what one of their executives said, "everything is going to be data."

I just get screwed becuase I am by myself and have to pay $100 for almost no data. GG -- guess its back to sprint.

Yeah, I'm not liking it either what with having a single device on the plan. At least I'm grandfathered in to AT&T's unlimited plan and I'm not forced to switch plans nor providers. Otherwise all I see is that I'd be screwed by paying more.

These plans are not designed for you. They are designed for people like me that have wives and kids and dogs with smart phones. Instead of limiting each phone to 2GB with individual penalties for going over data limits, the usage is shared. This has been explained to death all over the internet and yet single phone people like you keep coming back and complaining that you don't "win" with these plans.

Definitly looking forward to my contract expiring so I can move to T-Mobile... I'm the only one in my family with a smartphone at the moment because of their mandatory data plan requirements and the others want smartphones not for the connectivity but because nobody makes a good dumbphone anymore. This could have been AT&T's saving grace with us, but they #$@*&^ it up big time with those insane per-device charges.

Its kinda funny... using a plan like this for the 1GB bracket would almost double our bill (admittedly we're grandfathered into a great voice package), but switching to one of T-Mobile's value plans and getting everyone their own 2gb of data would only raise it by $20.

That's so true. I bet a fair number of people don't even need a smartphone but the quality of normal cellphones & even quick messaging phones has plummeted so much. Verizon's selection especially is total crap. At least with AT&T or T-Mobile you have a much better chance of picking up an older unlocked GSM device which you can easily activate.

That's true, but you need to get lucky with one that has a good battery. If you get a flat one, you're kinda out of luck because even the replacement batteries would be flat due to being manufactured years ago.

Are you or are you not with AT&T? You are grandfather in, you plan will not change. You do NOT have to move to a shared data plan. That was clearly stated in the article!

Verizon and I didn't get along. Every month for a year my bill went up 20 to 30 dollars a month. I was grand fathered in and still got ripped off. I went to month to month and have saved over 100 a month for 2 lines

Phil, you're a brave man wandering this far into comment hatred territory lol... it's like the wild west down here.

It IS optional at Verizon as well. Whether a new or existing customer you still have the option to choose an individual plan. Below is a list of individual data plans (copied directly from Verizon's website):

Data Packages with Mobile Hotspot
12GB Data Bundle with Personal Email & Mobile Hotspot $100.00/month
7GB Data Bundle with Personal Email & Mobile Hotspot $70.00/month
4GB Data Bundle with Personal Email & Mobile Hotspot $50.00/month
Data Packages
10GB Data Bundle with Personal Email $80.00/month
10GB Data Bundle with Corporate Email $80.00/month
5GB Data Bundle with Personal Email $50.00/month
5GB Data Bundle with Corporate Email $50.00/month
2GB Data Bundle with Corporate Email $45.00/month
2GB Data Bundle with Personal Email $30.00/month

By AT&T being optional, means, when you want to upgrade your phone, you can get your new phone at the subsidized price AND you get to keep your existing plan OR you can move to a shared data plan.

Verizon, if you want to upgrade your phone AND want to keep your current plan, you must pay FULL RETAIL price of the phone. If you want a subsidized price, you MUST move to the new shared data plans.

Incorrect. This is only true for unlimited smartphone data. Anything else you can keep when you upgrade. You can still change your minute and data allotments, still add features, and if you are on a Nationwide FamilyShare plan you can even still add additional lines up to 5 total.

The tiered data plans that were introduced last year are still available to customers who upgrade but keep their minute plans.

Verizon is "strongly encouraging" use of the share everything plans but new customers can still get individual plans at the same price as they always were ($40 for the line, $30 for the data).

On the other hand, if you think you get screwed by VZ for not having a family, just wait til you start filing income tax! Lack of a wife and kid are going to cost you BIGTIME. lol.

Of course they would "strongly encourage" us to pay more for the same service. :) The individual plans are very gone from the website. I guess you have to call or go into a store?

LOL about the taxes!

I'm with AT&T and I pay $155 for what would cost me $175 with the shared plan. I kind of feel like this was just a "we've got that too" move on AT&T's part. It's a shame because I think they could have attracted some disgruntled Verizon customers if they had priced it much more competitively.

AT&T should do Roll Over Data like the Roll Over mins. just my 2 cents, i think they would be able to steal a lot of big red people with that. att customer for 9 years.

I agree, roll every 3rd month. That would be nice if you had a 2GB plan and only used 1GB two months, but 4 one month, you would be safe. That should have been their saving grace. Roll Over GB's on our plan compared to VZW.

Haha so AT&T more or less copied Verizon plan so the totals are equal for the average two phone contract? Haha, they just made it trickier to figure out since they saw how unpopular V plan was. Classic. Once people figure out ways to get the data cheaper or via other means they'll have to reinvent their plans to charge users based on number of seconds their phones are turned on or something. I get that it's all about making money, that's fine, but you have to not brutalize your customers or they will always find loopholes and alternatives. I bet the cable and satellite companies can tell the phone cards companies some mistakes they've made. :-)

I don't think it was a trick to consumers, I think it was to show the regulators that they're not price fixing.

who saves me more money, Sprint, but they're not a option here, and yeah i know the network may be slow, but i have wimax so i get by just fine.

It's pretty apparent that VZW and ATT are content to sit fat and happy with their pricing structure and instead try and convince new customers to signup based solely on marketing claims of having a better network.

It will be interesting to see what happens when both contenders reach a state of saturated LTE coverage and data throughput becomes a non-issue like voice-calling has become. (After all, do we really need to increase wireless data from the average LTE speed of 20Mbps to some new network that can provide 60+ Mbps or so when it costs so much for just 1 GB?)

One other observation, this pricing scheme points out pretty clearly why ATT shouldn’t have been allowed to absorb TMo. There’s little to no pricing competition between the big two as it is, and eliminating one of the 4 would have only made it worse.


total ripoff.

I'm on T-mo and Ihave 3 smartphones and one feature phone on my family plan. Each smartphone user gets 2GB of data for a total of 6gb of data. I have unlimited texting and 1000 minutes per month to split out among the 4 lines. I pay a total of $120 a month.

have never gone over the 1000 minutes since calling other t-mo customers is free as are nights and weekends. and have never gone over the allotted 2gb per line for data. although it wouldn't matter since t-mo doesn't charge you extra if you go over your data allowance they just slow down your connection speed.

This same plan, albeit with unlimited voice, would cost me $225 a month on AT&T. So I save $105 a month with t-mo.

Unless you need unlimited voice these plans are all geared to charge you more $$. The carriers know voice usage is down due to smartphones using more data so they give away the voice part to try and sweeten the deal.

No thanks. T-mo all the way for me.

I am currently leasing a nice small Mercedes for only $249 per month and it even comes with free scheduled
services for the next 2 years.

By comparison, with VZW or AT&T share plans, I would have to fork over $160. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY THINKING?

Remember how we were raped with long distance charge on our home phones as recent as 5 to 10 years ago?
Who pays for long distance calls these days?

The cellular carriers are doing the same thing to us again.

Bollocks! $249 a month for a c class with service included? No such thing unless you laid a boat load of cash out of pocket.

I checked VZW's pre-paid and it is the same price as on contract for a crappy phone. WOW that sucks! T-mo or a smaller service is the only way to go if you are alone.

Let's not forget about Sprints "shared data" plan.

1 phone, unlimited data = $80
2 phones, unlimited data = $100
3 phones, unlimited data = $120
4 phones, unlimited data = $140

I'm just saying. And before people bash the network, reports from upgraded cities have been great!

I don't understand why people can't stop complaining and demonizing Verizon. Who amongst you aware of the work skills that you have acquired through school and work experience goes out there looking for the employer that will pay you less? Nobody right? its obvious that we are going to work for the employer that would value our skills and profit from them the most and hence afford to pay the most. Well why do expect that some company is going to invest billions of dollars to build a state of the art network and then not have the right to go out in the market looking for customer who will value and benefit from it the most?
If you run a business or you are a sales person and you cannot afford to miss that important call or to be able to receive or send that document, or be able to find that address on time to attend that meeting to close that deal that will earn your salary for the month, then your phone bill becomes insignificant.
Fortunately we live in a country where consumers have many choices and we are not forced to pay for anything that we don't want or don't need. Everything is driven by the market, or what they call supply and demand. When more and more people can do what anyone of you do for a leaving, employers will pay you less because they can find more like you that will work for less, so when all the other wireless providers catch up to Verizon, prices will drop also.

That all works in a competitive market. As it's situated at the moment. You have two Giant companies dictating what we all will pay. Yes we have options. Thing is most will not take advantage of them. They have gotten to the point that they are bad for the consumer and should be looked at for break up. With our bought and sold congress that won't happen.

Agreed. We seem to have a tiered oligopoly in the US wireless market. I don't think a breakup would help though. When Ma Bell was split up, they all started merging back together again so now we basically have two of them (Verizon and AT&T).

Why would you believe in a break up of a company, in this case Verizon or AT&T? to make two Tmobiles or two sprints? or maybe 4 crickets?
The only thing that is gained when punishing big companies is the unintended consequence of depriving the public of better services.

I use those skills aquired through work experience and schooling to develop products for the company's customers that either provide more value or are available for lower cost. With the aim of offering new features, then working to reduce the cost of those features.

In the decade I have been using cell phones, the cost for features offered has only increased in the years after the features were introduced.


How can you say that when mobile broadband didn't even exist 10 years ago the way it does today? like someone else said already, these new lte networks require a massive investment, and the carriers are just adjusting their pricing to reflect actual consumer use - more data and less voice.

I'm on vzw and have 2 smartphones grand fathered into the unlimited plans, but I'm thinking of switching to a shared 8 gb plan because it might save me a couple bucks a month and legit tethering built in would be nice. I think the plans are actually pretty decent compared to what they were offering before if you have a couple or more phones on the line. Obviously they suck if you're alone, but again they're not really for you then.

I remember when I upgraded to DSL from dial up back in 2000. It ran 640kbps and I thought it was lighting fast, I didn't mind the bill was close to $100 a month.
Who would have thought back then of of Megabit (4G) speeds on a mobile device, and what if that would have been possible in those days, how much would have been the cost for that?
I think a lot of us take from granted what we have and what we are able to do these days, we take from granted the devices that we are able to buy.
For that I disagree with the premise that the services and products have not become light years better and cheaper. I know people on minimum wage that can afford a smart phone and 3g data.

+1..what Jorgeix states. Folks, don't like the cost then vote with you pocket book and move on.
Stop wanking about the fee's. There is a price with technology besides the hardware so pony up and accept, or adjust by moving else where or to a dumb phone.

its really very simple, but we like to moan and groan and bitch and look at what we once had. Sheesh folks, this economy is about to implode and THIS is what occupies your time.

Nuff said, moving on.

This will hurt at&t more, because all things being equal (price and device selection) people will choose Verizon more often. Verizon has a better reputation than at&t

I understand the rare exceptions to the rule: if at&t coverage is better in your area, or if VZ pissed you off.

For people that are only using phones these plans make no sense. For those using mulitple phones & multiple tablets these make perfect sense. It elimnates over buying data on one device and not having enough on the other. Currently I'm paying $140 for two phones with 3GB each and usually have 1 to 2 GB left over on each line each month because my wife and I use our iPads. We have 5 Gb a month at $40.00 (corporate discount)plus data card at $40.00 for another 5Gb so we are paying $260 and on average use 12 to 14 GB per month. Under the new plan I'd be at $240 plus (with no corporate discount factored in) I have tethering included so I don't need to use a data card anymore. In theory my savings should be around $240.00. ($160 for 15 GB, Two Smartphones at $30 a piece and two tablets at $10) If they discount the same way Verizon has I'm at $206.40 for a savings of $53.60 per month. And I can use the data on the device I need it on.

In some situations where you have multiple users using mulitple devices it makes sense. For single users using one or two devices it does not.

Tablets are exactly it. I want to just see 1 comparison. I'll call this a standard family
2 phones, 1 tablet.
I pay about $160 now for just 2 phones. with 2 2 GBs plans. the idea I can add a tablet and pay just about the same totally changes my next Tablet purchase. I will totally make sure my next tab is 4G capable

but on verizon you really don't have to worry about this. The thing is with the shared data, they are removing the pay to play to use your phone as a mobile hotspot. So with your 2 phones, you can get a wifi tablet and anytime you have your phone you have a 4g hotspot available to your tablet and you save 10 bucks a month or 120 bucks a year by not having it be a 4g tablet on your plan and money saved by not purchasing a 4g tablet.

This is true for both carriers. I use my phone enough for calls that I'd have it constently teathered to a powercord. This is an option and I'm sure one many will use as a way to save $10 per month. And then people like me that want/need the convience of both devices being connected will pay for it. The time I see myself tethering is with my laptop.

Someone on another post said that this shared everything plan was suppose to be for families. I beg to differ... I currently have 3 smarphones and 2 basic phones. 750 minutes shared minutes(free m2m, nights and weekends), unlimited text and data(for smartphones). We pay 230 on our current plan(thats with fees). I did the calculations for the new share everything plan and I would end up paying 240 for unlimited talk and text and 6gb data. Thats before any additional fees are applied.

I dont see how this helps family plans.

I am in the same situation. Currently with the fees I am paying $210 for two smartphones and two basic phones (including unlimited data on the smartphones) . With the new share plans I will be paying about $220 and not including the fees. I think is time to re-think my business with Verizon.

Well doing a check of what I use these plans won't suffice all that much. I'll stick to unlimited and having to pay full price for a phone.

Same situation here - I have about a year and a half on unlimited, and I hope by that time that something better will gel out. Else, I will get a 4G MiFi type device and move to standard phones.

I really don't see that I'm going to have a problem with the shared data plans. When I upgrade to the GSIII my wife and I will join plans and end up saving 50 bucks a month and thats with the 6gb data to share. unfortunately I will lose my unlimited data, but I knew that wouldn't last forever. I've been training myself to use wifi whenever possible and that being said neither one of us has used more that 2gb of data a month for the last year. I'm def ok with saving 50 bucks a month and finally getting to upgrade from my Droid X to a 4g phone.

Two phones currently using AT&T's grandfathered "unlimited, but throttled at 5GB each" = $157 WITH fees/taxes.

New 10GB shared plan would = $180 PLUS fees/taxes.

No-frickin'-thankyou!! :(

When I'm looking at the plans between Verizon and AT&T it seems to be a wash in most situations. As stated. If you are running Smartphone Heavy AT&T might be cheaper in some situations but Large amounts of Data goes to Verizon. Here is a very incomplete list of the overall things I see as plus and minus of each based on buying a shared data plan.

Verizon Pluses:
Better 3g Coverage as a Whole
More LTE Cites
More data options with 2GB increments costing $10.00

Verizon Minus:
More expensive per smartphone regardless of amount of Data Purchased
Phones such as GSIII come with locked Boatloader

AT&T Pluses:
Faster 3G Coverage (I count HSPA+ as 3G)
Larger WiFi network
GSM Flexability (Swapable GSM Cards, Data/Voice always usable same time and Non-AT&T Devices)

AT&T Minus:
Large Gaps in Data Tiers
Rurual Coverage is not as Strong

Does AT&T offer the free mobile hotpot with its smart phones like Verizon does (their presser only says "tethering")? That is the main reason I am thinking of giving up unlimited data on Verizon to go to this shared data bucket paradigm. I would be able to use my wifi Xoom, and my wife could use her Kindle Fire when we're away from wifi coverage.

My wife and I don't use even half of our 1400 minutes and already have unlimited texts, and we only use about 2GB combined in data each month. But we end up paying the exact same price if we switch to the 4GB shared data plan, and we both will get free wifi hotspots on our smartphones to use with the laptop or tablets as needed. As long as we keep an eye on data usage, I think giving up unlimited on both our lines will make sense to get that wifi hotspot ability.

If AT&T doesn't include that, they just need to pack up and go home. LOL

We all want great service at cheap rates, but alas, it is not to be.. we just have to do what each feels is best for him/her.. I guess I'll just keep throwing money to big red, because I get good coverage, just no lte yet

If you only have two devices, it doesn't really make sense to look at these plans. But 3 or more, you start to see some savings over their per person/device data plans. I am likely to switch over the At&t (because of a corporate discount) and its 10 bucks cheaper to go with 2 lines at 3 GB each, than 2 lines with 6 GB shared. I don't think I've ever gone over 3 GB on my EVO 4G in 2+ years.

These plan are attractive if you are not on a grandfathered unlimited plan.
If you are already tiered then there is savings potentially,
If you are unlimited *AND* you use a reasonable amount of data, then these plans are bad.

I hope people don't buy in to this new pricing scheme. I understand the point of being in business is to maximize profits, but when you start bending customers over like this it begins to get ridiculous.

I already have an individual plan with VZW and I know they wont kick me off anytime soon (people still have unlimited data for chrissake; give it up!) but I decided to go to their website and have some fun.

You are now chatting with 'Jalma S.'
Jalma S.: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today?
You: yes. can i get an individual plan? I dont want the share everything plan
Jalma S.: Is it going to be a smart phone?
You: yes
Jalma S.: The minimum on a smart phone is $100.00 for unlimited talk, text, hotspot and 2Gb of data.
You: so the individual plans are gone?
Jalma S.: Yes they are.
You: oh ok. i guess i will go shop at AT&T. thanks for your help
Jalma S.: I am sorry to hear that. I know how frustrating it can be.
You: Not frustrating at all really. makes the decision a lot easier :)
Jalma S.: I apologize for the inconvenience.
You: Not your fault. It might be helpful for you to express to your superiors how the new plans are turning individual customers off though
You: thanks and have a good evening!
Jalma S.: I have done that many times. You have no idea how many times I hear those words.
Jalma S.: It has been my pleasure to chat with you today! Please feel free to re-open the chat session if you need further assistance . Thank you and have a great day!

Perhaps it is time to get a $60 data card plan and go VIOP. :)

All carrier bitching aside.. can't wait til LTE covers both voice/data simultaneously without any other form of GSM or CDMA.

And this strikes no one as price fixing, I'm a little young but wasn't at&t and Verizon created when ma'bell got broken up. Either way it seems these move together when removing plans, raising etf fees, adding these shared data plans. Anyone?

I noticed that the AT&T shared plans says "Unlimited Text" instead of unlimited messaging. Do you think they are going to begin counting all types of messaging, aside from texts, as part of your data allowance?

They are now anyway, Unlimited Family Messaging is just AT&T jargon for Unlimited texting along with Unlimited Any Mobile. IM, BBM, email, etc are all data no matter what you call it.

I just updated the spreadsheet with the expense details to add the “Cost per GB” of data. For a family of four with three smartphones, the typical plan to get would be the 4GB plan. Under this plan, the cost per GB will be $30 per GB instead of $15 as it is currently. If you actually decided to share 1GB with three smartphones, your cost per GB is $135 under AT&T and $120 under Verizon. Chances are you’ll probably overage on it. I’m typically on wifi when at home or at work, so on average my data usage is probably around 300-400MB per month.

Look like I'm staying with sprint...

1 Evo LTE + 1 Galaxy S3 = $178 per month

(includes shared 1500 minutes, unlimited mobile calling, unlimited messaging, $20 data charge and insurance)

Would love to see Sprint included in these pretty charts as well.....up for renewal in November, so would love to compare two lines on all three carriers, since I'm currently in an unlimited data plan with VZW.

I keep hearing the argument of being screwed if you don't live in or near a big city. Please explain to me where in the boondocks all of you tech needs live? I'm guessing it's a big city like the rest of us. Or at least close. So unless you frequent a hwy between Colorado and Utah on a daily basis, where no one has service anyways. Then stop using that as an argument free these corporate tyrants to rape the system.