We knew for a while that AT&T would eventually follow Verizon’s example and move to a shared data model for its plans but we now have the official details.
Today, the carrier announced that starting this fall, customers will be able to choose new Mobile Share data plans that come with unlimited talk and text and a common pool of data that can be shared between up to 10 devices.
AT&T’s new scheme is quite similar to Verizon’s Share Everything plan – both plans have tiers for data, with the price per gigabyte being higher for the lower tiers. In addition, you will have to pay a fixed fee per added device (of which at least one must be a smartphone). On AT&T, you will have to pay a monthly $30 per feature phone, $20 per laptop or netbook, and $10 for a tablet or gaming device. For each smartphone, you will have to pay between $45 and $30, depending on the size of your data bucket.
As a quick example, a family with two smartphones and a tablet that uses a maximum 6GB of data per month will have to pay $170 per month: $35 for Smartphone 1 + $35 for Smartphone 2 + $10 for the Tablet. The two smartphones will have unlimited voice and talk, and will share the 6GB of data with the tablet. If you go over your monthly data allowance, you will have to pay $15 per GB.
Unlike Verizon, which completely phased out their old plans, AT&T is playing it safe and keeping their other plans. In other words, new customers won’t be forced into the new pricing scheme for now.
What do you think about AT&T’s new pricing model? Is it convenient or just another scheme to help customers part with their money?