Verizon's new Share Everything plans; setting the bar for family plans

Verizon's new Share Everything plans; setting the bar for family plans

Summary: I expected that carriers would not be giving anything away with shared data plans, but have to admit I am a bit disappointed that convenience comes at such a high price on Verizon.

TOPICS: Big Data

In May Verizon stated they were going to completely change their wireless plan structure and I am blown away by how fast this is now rolling out. Starting on 28 June, Verizon's new Share Everything plans are rolling out and will be the only option for customers, unless you stick with your existing plan and buy new phones at the unsubsidized pricing. The new plans give you more options, but this convenience comes at high price for individuals with minimum voice options. If you compare unlimited voice and text, then it is a good deal and for large families who all want data the plans are a great deal.

The shared data plans are higher for individuals, but families who want multiple devices all with data will save quite a bit (if you want unlimited voice) with less worrying about per device data usage. A family of five will drop to $270 for five lines with a shared pool of 4GB, includes unlimited talk and text. Individuals who don't talk much on the phone, on the other hand, will see plan rates jump from the low of $69.99 (450 minutes and 2GB of data) to the lowest smartphone option of $90 for just 1GB of data. Granted these new shared plans come with unlimited voice and text messaging so if you make a lot of calls or send a lot of texts this may end up being a better option. I personally end up paying about 50 cents/minute for voice because I do not make that many calls on my mobile phone, but have to pay the minimum $40 per month.

I would prefer to see wireless carriers offer compelling data only packages with per minute voice options. Like many people I see on my commute, data is used much more than voice on smartphones and voice seems to be where carriers make major profits.

With these new shared plans you get unlimited voice and texts with data charged at these rates:

  • 1 GB is $50
  • 2 GB is $60
  • 4 GB is $70
  • 6 GB is $80
  • 8 GB is $90
  • 10GB is $100

Monthly line access fees are as follows:

  • $40 for a smartphone
  • $30 for a basic feature phone
  • $20 for USB stick, notebooks, netbooks
  • $10 for tablets

These plans also include WiFi hotspot functionality. I am not sure if things will change with the data only plans for the iPad and tablets.

Given that I see excellent Verizon coverage and my daughters are getting older and heading off to college, I am considering a switch to Verizon where everyone can get data, unlimited texts, and unlimited voice minutes for a lower price than i pay even on low cost T-Mobile.

If Sprint can get their LTE network up and running soon, they will look even more attractive for individual lines with their unlimited everything plans for $80 per smartphone. I am still grandfathered into unlimited data on Verizon at a total cost of $83, with taxes, and if I stick with Verizon I am going to just keep buying unsubsidized devices to take advantage of this data plan.

Topic: Big Data

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wireless companies want to unload "deadbeat" customers

    And their definition of deadbeat is that a customer falls below their minimum monthly revenue per account. It costs money to maintain an account, pay for direct marketing programs (all that junk mail you get every month), and provide the minimum services for a single phone number. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all want the minimums to keep going up and match profiles similar to what the cable industry has been doing with subscription packaging over the years.

    The net effect will be to either force minimal users to pay more for the same service, or push them off onto the prepaid companies. And it won't be long until the prepaid vendors figure out the game and raise *their* prices as well.
    terry flores
    • That is called inflation, right?

      but we have almost none as per the official sources ;-)
    • Bulls***

      Verizon Wireless is running something like a 45%+ profitability numbers from their quarterly report a year or so ago (too lazy to look up current numbers). There's no way you can tell me that I'm not profitable at $70/month for rarely-used talk minutes and 1-2gb of data.

      They're doing it because they're practically a monopoly and they *can* charge it. Or think that they can, anyway. Who knows, if enough customers are up in arms about it, maybe they'll drop it (see: BoA's $5 debit card monthly fee).
  • rip offs!

    Let's see if I have a smart phone and I don't want to pay ridiculous data plan prices I still have to pay $10 more than a regular phone will just to get a line. I assume that Verizon will continue their policy of forcing you to get a data plan if you have a smart phone. Most people spend most of their time near a wifi hotspot, home or work, so why force us to get a data plan we don't need or want. $50/month for 1GB is a rip off. No other way to put it. I'm glad I have a plan with one of the tiny carriers that gives me all I need for $30/month.
    • If you can use WiFi a lot - Republic seems to have the answer

      I have a Family Plan with VZ now and it's ridiculous. One Droid X and two dumb phones, cost is $140 a month for fairly low minutes and no text. While technically it's unlimited data - I don't hardly use that either. Basically I am on wifi 95% of the time with home and work. At home VZ has an awful signal so I need to use Google Voice on my home computers.

      So am I tired of paying $1680 a year for lously service I barely use on a two year old Android phone? I surely am. It's ridiculous.

      These new plans look like they might be a reasonable alternative if you have a lot of smart phones - but hardly cheap. $50 for a crummy 1GB of data? Wow. If they can't pillage you one way, they just find another.

      I would love to get my wife a smart phone, but I'm not paying another data bill for it. VZ will no way let you use a smart phone for voice only and WiFi for data, even if you have an unsubsidized device. I give up.

      So I'm on Wave F waiting list for Republic Wireless, cause they are offering really the only glimmer of relief from these expensive wireless companies. $20 bucks a month, you mostly use wifi for everything (which I pay for separately) but you can use the cell nets easily when and if you're out of wifi range. That fits my usage pretty perfectly.
  • first take, and then some rethink

    My first take was, wow VZW is charging a LOT more for data access. I thought my data access would jump by nearly double and that I still would have to pay for my minutes and my text plans. What VZW didn't make clear right away (and what a lot of other writers on other sites failed to note) was that this was an all-inclusive plan. I have 4 smart phones in my family, and we've never used much over 2GB of data in a month as a family. With my kids both in high school next year and soon to be in college, we have to think about the cost overall. Based that this is an all-inclusive plan, it may be cheaper in the long run than what we currently pay, but not by much. I'll have to detail out my bill and find out if it is better in the long run than what I currently have on my unlimited plan (which I would have to upgrade if I subsidized a phone through VZW at the next upgrade date anyway).
  • Announcing Verizon's new "Bend Over" plans!

    Seriously, I can't bend over much more than this without being a contortionist!
    While Family Data Sharing sounds ideal, it comes with risks that Verizon knows all too well. Get 3 people sharing just 2GB of data, and Verizon hopes you'll eventually blow your data cap and get bonus $$ from Per GB overage charges, since you alone can't control how much YouTube or Pandora your kids are going to stream on their phone.
    They could have at least kept the general data rates the same, and still get their "profit" from the additional boost of overages, which are bound to happen with a shared data plan.
    Convenience at a price... now "Bend Over"! :)
  • Puuulese...

    Two smartphones, unlimited talk, text & 3/4G video to any wireless phone on any network and unlimited web (we used over 8GB last month) with a pool of 500 land line minutes with total protection plans and a couple of other add-ons for less than $200/mo, all taxes, fees included. And you think Verizon is setting the bar?!?! Come on... Sprint has them all beat, even before they roll out LTE. Their 4G they have now works quite nicely, thank you very much, I end up waiting on the response from the other end. When compared to my home broadband, unless it some huge site like NASA or Google, the speeds are about the same. It's the web that's slow, not my phone. And I live in the NC countryside.
  • Verizon is afraid of being just a dumb data pipe

    Notice that calling and texting is included. These are both core services that rely completely on their cellular network. Data on the other hand, has the ability replace both calling and texting and can be done on other networks besides Verizon's cellular network. Verizon is afraid.

    This is another futile example of a company trying to hang on to a business model that has been turned on its head by the internet. Verizon will try, but in the end will fail to hang onto the past. Sad.
    Jeff Richardson
    • No, I think they are trying to adjust for the future

      What other networks are you talking about? I know of none that have the reliability or ubiquity of the cellular carrier networks.

      Skype, Google Voice work great--if you can connect to a network reliably.

      Texting can already be delivered over an IMS core and they are working on Voice over LTE.

      I'd say they are embracing the future. Oh and by the way, they already carry 60% of the worlds LTE traffic. So if they are so worried about data taking over, why are they investing and moving so quickly to roll out LTE services?
    • by the internet?

      what about verizon fios, i get 20mbps up 20mbps down, and they take care of the cable out here too
  • Outrageous data plan costs...

    My phone has to be on AT&T for company purposes, so we have an individual smartphone plan for my wife: unlimited data (that she doesn't use very much) and the usual text/voice, all for about $75/month. The minimum data plan proposed is more than the unlimited I just renewed with an S III smartphone on the way. This looks like the Gordon Gecko approach to pricing...
    common sense
  • Not a great deal for me

    I looked into this and determined that with our current Family Share plan with 3 regular phones and 2 smartphones, 1 w unlimited data + hotspot and 1 w 2GB, no hotspot, I'm paying $240 minus 30 employer discount=$210. I normally don't use more than 1GB a month on the unlimited plan phone so if I went with this new scheme w 4GB data it would be $240 minus 24 = $216 or $6 more and I'd lose the unlimited data. They only apply the employer discounts to the main line and data charges which is lower under the new plan so I get a smaller discount.

    I don't think it's going to be worth it for us.
  • It's pure crap!

    I'm on AT&T with 3 iPhones (myself, wife, and daughter) with mine on a grandfathered unlimited data, one on a 1GB plan, and 1 on whatever the minimum data plan is and we pay $160/m. If I had 3 iPhones on VZW I'd be paying $170/m for the bare minimum. I guess I won't be taking the family phones over to VZW and I'll be paying full retail or getting a phone off of eBay for my work VZW account so I can keep the current plan which has unlimited data.
  • I am leaving

    I have been Verizon customer for about 15 years. I have 5 regular phones on my account - three of them for our older family members. I do not want to text or browse on the phone. I pay about $100 (before taxes!) a month and consider it too much already. Now I am told I will have to shell out $160. Thank you very much - I will rather switch the carrier.

    Now someone please tell the Feds that we have some inflation here - and it is not 2.5%.
    • Only if you UPGRADE any of your phones...

      ...will you be required to pay more. And, if you do not have any data plans now...then there should be nothing to worry about.
  • Earn And Save Plus Free

    I still find it amazing that more people have not learned of the BEST KEPT SECRET in
    wireless today. Every one should be jumping on the bandwagon now. For more details check out the website EarnAndSavePlusFree. It is the perfect solution for
    anyone with a smartphone especially. No DATA LIMITS. True UNLIMITED.
  • per-line charge is the most significant increase

    Sooner or later people will figure out that the really big change here is the per-line charge. Nominally it is $10/month per additional line. Now the minimum will be $30, $40 for a smart phone. Now why is that - didn't they break out the data service as a separate fee?

    In our family of 5 phones (3 smartphones, 2 dumb) and 3 data plans (2 umlimited, 1 4GB), it looks like our plan will go up by nearly $100/month! My oldest son used 7GB on his unlimited data plan last month.

    The good news is that we don't need to make any changes for a few months when the oldest smartphone needs to be upgraded. Maybe the market will give Verizon an attitude adjustment before then.
  • I'm not an ATT customer but I play one on TV ...

    well, not really.

    I wonder about something ... I was a Cingular/ATT customer a couple years back, and my fone there had a SIM chip. I periodically bought used fones on eBay and put my chip into the new (to me) fone and it worked just fine without me having to change anything on my plan. I bought a Blackberry and simply moved my chip from an old Pantech 'feature phone' to the BB it and just carried on as usual noticing absolutely no restriction in service capability ... without any data plan, without being on a 'smart phone' plan, even tho according to ATT/Cingular it was required to have both a smart phone plan and a data plan to use a smart phone on their service ...

    ... Can you not do this anymore? ...

    I'm now a MetroPCS customer ... phone selection is a bit limited as is the service area, but I rarely travel outside my local service area in any case ... I pay 50 bux a month all in for unlimited talk, text AND data on an Android phone. How can the Big 3 get away charging effectively double those monthly rates? Why do people remain customers?
    Gravyboat McGee