Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

Summary: With its unlimited plans dead, AT&T plans to introduced shared data plans, allowing customers to spit data between multiple devices.

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TOPICS: AT&T
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Speaking at the All Things Digital D9 conference today, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said that his company was "working on" introducing shared data plans. The CEO however, could not provide a timetable for when the new plans would arrive, so it may be a while until the company actually announces anything.

AT&T would not be alone. As Verizon CEO Fran Shammo revealed last month, Verizon, too, plans to introduce shared data plans for its customers. This would allow a fixed amount of data to be split among various devices, including phones and tablets.

Of course, all of this is something that the companies likely should have offered from the beginning. Better late than never, right?

[Via ThisIsMyNext]

Topic: AT&T

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22 comments
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  • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

    It blows my mind that this isn't already the case. I know loads of people that don't have smart phones simply because there needs to be a data plan on each and every phone.
    Aerowind
    • Yes and .....

      @Aerowind

      how can they ban tethering and contemplate data plan sharing? Isn't that what tethering is?
      Economister
      • No, it is really different.

        @Economister Sharing a data plan means that, for example, if you have 1G of data in your plan, it could be shared with n cell phones as long as they don't cumulatively use more than 1G of data. Tethering simply allows a PC to use your cell phone as an internet source generally via a USB cable. Now MIFI allows your cell phone to act like an AP. MIFI is an advanced form of tethering. Sharing is just a nice convenience and works especially well when there are some who only occasionally need it combined with those who utilize it heavily. This way the whole family can have smart phones even if some of them rarely utilize the full capability
        DevGuy_z
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @DevGuy_z
        It would make more sense if tethering was incorporated into a shared plan. No matter what devices are on my account, if I have a 2gb plan, I can use up to 2gb; for my heavy devices AND for my infrequent devices.

        This would also allow ATT to cut down / back on "unlimited" accounts.

        Your reference to infrequent use and need for a data plan if you get a smartphone also applies equally to tethering.

        Just a thought... :D
        rhonin
      • Fundamentally.....

        @DevGuy_z<br><br>they are still the same. If you tether, you are sharing your phone's data allowance with another device, which may or may not be able to connect on its own to the carrier's network.<br><br>You are paying for a certain number of bits to be transmitted. The precise technical means of sharing those bits among devices are irrelevant.<br><br>In a sense, when you connect a Bluetooth headset, you are tethering also - wirelessly. The Bluetooth headset is a digital device separate from the cell phone. What is the difference between a Bluetooth headset and a tablet tethered via Bluetooth to your phone? Nothing. It is just the carriers trying to fleece you.
        Economister
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @Economister
        Tethering is using a single physical cellular connection to allow data communication from a non-cellular device or devices. They would have to be physically co-located.

        A shared data plan is allowing multple cellular devices to be billed to a single bill. All devices have their own cellular connection and could be anywhere the service is available.
        JimboNobody
    • Banning &quot;tethering&quot; on phone data plans is like .....

      @Aerowind
      banning 18 wheelers on the fast lane on highways. It makes sense to everyone except the inconsiderate jerks. If the "tethered" device didn't consume so much data/bandwidth they would be undetectable. Many websites throttle useless junk to mobile devices but go hog wild on computers thus slowing EVERYONE down.
      kd5auq
  • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

    AT&T has nothing I want. They can keep their useless technology
    Luddite24
    • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

      @Luddite24
      Your lack of a relevant opinion is meaningless to me.
      You can keep it.

      ;)
      rhonin
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @rhonin

        It is his opinion, and is as relevant as any other. Your opinion of his opinion is irrelevant.
        mlashinsky
    • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

      @Luddite24 And you have nothing this forum or any of the world wants. You can keep your unintelligent opinions to yourself and go troll another site.

      I guess this would be useful for some people, but having an unlimited plan currently, this just isn't something I see myself signing up for in the near future.
      Bates_
  • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

    Not having a shared data plan has kept me from any smartphone as the cost for a Family quickly goes to absurd and not an option.
    geoff.schardein
    • And I'm sure that is one reason AT&T is now looking

      at shared data plan. They are seeing lost potential revenue by not having it. Because, you see, in a capitalist market, in order for a company to make money, it has to please the customer. In a socialist market, all the company needs is the right political connections. Fortunately, the U.S. is still more capitalist than socialist.
      fr_gough
      • Ridiculously simplistic

        @fr_gough<br><br>and fundamentally wrong in that particular market.
        Economister
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @fr_gough
        True.
        If you can entice more users into the "smartphone" market, it gives you more options, more opportunities to leverage future revenue - ATT may finally be seeing the light. :D
        rhonin
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @fr_gough, Well, repeat that mantra when ATT sucks up T-Mobile and you only have two choices and they collude. Unbridled capitalism always ends up in monopoly. In fact, ATT is purchasing T-Mobile to limit competition.

        There is no reason to kill unlimited plans. Most people do not abuse it because land-line speeds are still significantly better. So if you ask current owners of iPhones if ATT is making them happy or has justified the change, there is a resounding "NO!". Please note that Verizon, who now has the iPhone, is making the same move, within months. Both are basically saying, "yeah, we have more capacity, but screw the customer. They will eat whatever we feed them." So, where is your "capitalism"?
        chrlsrchrdsn
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @rhonin, The reason ATT has killed unlimited and added overcharge havens, errr, shared plans is to get people to spend more. You know the old days of cell phone overages that broke the bank. Now they can do it for data. The only companies that offered alternatives have been bought up and we are down to basically three, almost mirror images, providers. So, block sizes will be whittled down until they start getting nice blocks of overcharges and/or bump ups.
        chrlsrchrdsn
      • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

        @chrlsrchrdsn

        Not true. Unbridled capitalism almost NEVER ends up in monopoly. The governments half-ass support of ETFs and other artificial barriers to entry are the mechanisms creating consolidation and monopolies. These things are antithetical to free market capitalism. What's with everyone gladhanding the -isms? Yes, the market now sucks, but that doesn't mean it's capitalistic or socialistic. It's just corrupt. Is there an -ism for that?
        tkejlboom
      • Yes .....

        @tkejlboom

        corruptism ;-)
        Economister
    • RE: Shared data plans coming from AT&T...eventually

      @geoff@...
      Agreed. I have avoided purchasing a smartphone for a while now, even though I dream of owning one daily. It's just not cost effective for my family, plus the usages for each individual phone would be disproportionate, making it even more difficult to justify.
      TOP_SWATTA_SHANE