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

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.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

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.

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