Verizon Share Everything plans: what you need to know

June 13, 2012
22 8 39

verizon smartphones 2012

Roughly a full month ago, Verizon was announcing that they will soon start pushing a new data share plan, one that will allow multiple users to connect multiple devices that all draw from a single bucket/pool of data. Fortunately for those of us eager to learn more about how this data share plan will actually work, Big Red has disclosed yesterday the full details regarding the new Verizon Share Everything family plan for phone calls, text messages and data usage.

Verizon’s Share Everything Fees & Structure

Verizon’s Share Everything data plan – available starting June 28 – is probably one of the most dynamic plans ever offered by a mobile carrier. The principle behind is quite simple: multiple users and devices all draw from a common bucket of data. The actual structure though, might give you a slight headache at first. Hopefully, the following explanation will act as a virtual painkiller that should allow you to see Verizon’s “Share Everything” data plan in more neutral lighting conditions.

The Share Everything Bucket

First of all, what you should know is that all versions of the Share Everything plan will allow for unlimited calls and text messages. When it comes to the size of the data pool, there are 6 versions of the monthly plan than you can choose from:

- $50 for 1GB of data
- $60 for 2GB of data ($30 per GB)
- $70 for 4GB of data ($17.5 pe GB)
- $80 for 6GB of data ($13.3 per GB)
- $90 for 8GB of data ($11.25 per GB)
- $100 for 10GB of data ($10 per GB)

When approaching the cap, Verizon will automatically send out alerts to all devices, and allow you to pay $10 extra for 2GB of additional data. If you go over the limit but did not pre-purchase additional data volumes (you can do that from Verizon’s website), you will be charged $15 for each GB of data you’ve used.

This is the point where we reach what I like to call “the oddity of Verizon’s Share Everything plan”. If you go for a $50 plan and then purchase an additional 2GB for $10 (remember that you need to pre-purchase the extra 2GB before you reach your cap or you’ll have to pay $15 for each GB over the cap), you’ll end up paying $60 for 3GB, a whole GB better than what you get for choosing the $60 plan from the start. Verizon did not specifically mention if you’ll be able to purchase additional data once you’ve gone through your first 2GB for $10 batch, but I’m guessing you can re-fill the bucket only once.

This trick won’t get you anywhere when juggling with other plans, although you can use it as a safety measure in the sense that if you’re undecided whether you need 4GB or 6GB tops, the best option would be to go for a 4GB plan and then add the extra 2GB only in your heavy traffic months.

The Share Everything Straws

Now that you’ve decided upon the size of the bucket, you obviously need the straws to collect data from the bucket. According to Verizon’s terms, you can connect a maximum number of 10 straws to a bucket, used by a maximum number of 10 people (duh!).

Unfortunately, Verizon has decided not to apply the same fee for all possible straws. Instead, with the Share Everything plan, each month you’ll have to pay an extra:

- $40 for each connected smartphone
- $30 for each phone
- $20 for each hot spot, notebook, netbook or USB Modem
- $10 for each tablet

As it’s more than obvious from the “straw fees” listed above, the Share Everything plan from Verizon aims to encourage the adoption of 3G and 4G tablets, as well as Verizon hot-spots. Verizon has admitted that the new plan might be more expensive for some individuals, but if you’re willing to share a plan with the members of your family (chances are that they aren’t all high data consumers), the Share Everything plan might be exactly what you need.

The Family Example

Let’s say that you own a smartphone and a tablet, your wife and your daughter each own a feature phone, and your son owns a smartphone. Assuming that you’ve decided that 6GB of data are enough, the overall monthly cost will be calculated this way:

- $80 for the 6GB of data
- $40 x 2 = $80 for connecting the two smartphones
- $30 x 2 = $60 for connecting the two feature phones (that don’t regularly use too much data)
- $10 for the tablet

Overall, you’ll end up paying $230 for unlimited calls and text messages on the two smartphones and the two feature phones, as well as 6GB of data that will be shared between the two smartphones and the tablet. For comparison, if you decide to go for single-line unlimited calls, you’ll end up paying nearly $280 for the two smartphones and the two feature phones. Add $20 for unlimited text on each of the 4 lines and $30 each for 2GB on both smartphones and the tablet, and the overall cost would be nearly double.

The Solitary Geek Example

But what if you own just a single smartphone and have no desire to share a plan? The old plans required you to spend $70 for unlimited calls, $20 for unlimited texts, and $80 for 10GB of data, pushing the entire sum to $170.

With Verizon’s new Share Everything plan, you’ll have to pay only $100 for 10GB and unlimited calls & text, plus an additional $40 for connecting the smartphone. Overall, you’ll pay $140: not a lot less each month but added for the entire 24-month contract, it will save you more than $700, and that’s more than the price for a top-end unlocked smartphone. Neat, huh?

Granted, if you make no use out of unlimited calls and text, that’s when the Verizon Share Everything plan starts showing its shortcomings but, hey… nothing is perfect, right?

The details and the fine print

To provide an even better idea of what’s to come on June 28, here’s a leaked internal training slide, courtesy of Droid-Life

verizon wireless share everything plans

Unlimited Data vs Share Everything

Unfortunately, June 28 – the same day that Verizon’s Share Everything plan will become available – will also mark a sad day for all Verizon users who have grandfathered into an unlimited data plan. Although Verizon will not discontinue your unlimited data plan (they can’t due to legal terms), the catch is that you’ll be forced to switch to a capped data plan when upgrading to a new subsidized smartphone. The only way you’ll be able to keep your unlimited data plan is to purchase an unsubsidized smartphone. According to Tami Erwin, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless, “Unlimited data is not something that we think is sustainable in the long run”.

Verizon’s main competitor, AT&T took a much more unfriendly measure back in March 2012 when it has announced that users who have grandfathered into an unlimited data plan (which stopped being available to new users in 2010) will experience reduced data transfer rates once they eat trough their first 3GB. In this context, it will be interesting to see AT&T’s response to Verizon’s Share Everything data plan, especially since Ralph de la Vega (CEO for AT&T) announced that they are also working on a shared data plan concept.

On the other hand, going from $30 for unlimited data to $50/GB in one year is a shocker, no matter how you look at it. I am sure that the comments to this post will reflect that.

Conclusion

From where I’m standing, there are three things that are now clear after analyzing the Share Everything plan. First, as Verizon officials themselves claimed, the Share Everything data plan brings a lot of much needed simplicity to data and voice plans, especially for those of you willing to share a single bill amongst multiple users. Second, as Tami Erwin said, “We believe that the announcement of this pricing will fuel an ecosystem of devices”. Third, it’s obvious that carriers are finally accepting that their future is in data, and that voice and text are just apps that run over data networks.

What are your opinions on the new shared data plan from Verizon? I’m also guessing there are a lot of unlimited data users who aren’t exactly proud of being a Verizon user right about now. Just drop us a comment and let us know what you think!

Comments

  • geta2j

    I wonder if enough Verizon subscraibers switch when their contract runs out that maybe Verizon would reconsider. I really thought that those people who used over 2GB of their unlimited data per month were a small minority…. why the need for this drastic change?

    • T Stephens

      What’s being left out here is that most people don’t have unlimited text and talk and dont want or need it. With unlimited data I can text all I want and Skype all I want. The old family share plan allows me 1400 minutes shared by 4 phones. First two phones included and $9.95 for each additional phone. That’s 2 smartphones for $79.95 and $30 each unlimited data. Thats $140. Add another smartphone for $9.95 and $30 for 2GB under tiered plan, that’s $180. Add a basic phone with no data for $9.95 and that’s $190 plus taxes. Now let’s look at new family share plan.
      1st smartphone – $40 unlimited talk and text (whoopie)
      2nd smartphone – another $40
      3rd smartphone- another $40
      4th phone basic – $30
      Add average of 8Gb data plan for about $90. Add it up…$240. Where’s my savings? Love getting screwed by Supreme court and Verizon on the same day. Yes i can keep my plan as it is by paying full price for upgrades but how if that fair for me and millions of other existing customers? It’s all about us providing Big Red with the millions of dollars they spend lobbying congress in keeping smaller, startup cellular companies with better deals, out of their business.

      • T Stephens

        Just look at the plans they have over in Europe and compare the cost in dollars. Europe if far cheeper. Now ask Verizon how much they spent on lobbiest and campaign contributions over the past two years. You can defend this plan all you want. But if its not fair for all, then its not right for all. Until I SEE the savings for a family like mine, i cant approve of this. Unlimited talk and text is a gimmick Verizon is using to draw people in when most people on an existing share plan use less than 1000 minutes per month and with android and iphone apps, you and do both all you want with existing unlimited plans. I’m switching to Sprint as soon as my contracts are up. Thanks for nothing Verizon. I can get 4 smartphones with unlimited talk, text and data from Walmart for $200 a month. Faster network? Maybe not. But at least i know what I’m getting is fair.

  • Abe

    I just wonder why they didn’t wait another year for more people to come off the unlimited data. It would feel better to me if I wasn’t going from unlimited to 1gb for the same price per month….

  • TommyNYC

    Just glad that my contract ended couple weeks ago.. so was able to renew and keep unlimited data for 2 more years.
    Right now i use about 3-4gb a month, which means i’ll have to take the $70 plan… a $40 jump per month is quite the jump.

    I’ll be holding to my unlimited for the next 2 years, then hopefully (but doubtfully) there will be a better option.. and if not, i can only hope Sprint will continue to offer unlimited.

    • LL

      what do you do that takes so much data? I use the hell out of my smarphone and my data usage is about 1.5gb

      • TommyNYC

        I’m in IT, I often end up in locations that have no open wifi, no router.. etc. so a big chunk goes to tethering, I use it to download drivers when needed and so on.

        Just a quick example: a display driver right now is around 120mb, a full set of drivers from Dell can get to around 300mb easy. Do that 5-6 times a month.. here’s 2gb.

        Plus I use Skype alot, which isn’t that much of a hog but it takes its share, and of course the general use of 4 email accounts, google maps.. etc etc.

  • mikeclee

    I don’t understand why everyone is so confused.

    First of all, you have to understand that the new Share Everything plan is only an OPTION. No one will be forced to it, you only will be changed to it if you request it. All of Verizon’s currently available plans will still be available (individual, 700 shared, 1400 shared, etc) after June 28th. The only thing is if you’re on unlimited data and you upgrade after June 28th then you will lose your unlimited data and be moved to tiered data ($30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, etc).

    Again, Share Everything is ONLY AN OPTION not mandatory. All current plans will still be available.

    • Mzanchelli

      Verizon is selling this new plan as a customer benefit, a “good deal” for customers with multiple devices. What a crock! More expensive, with less data. What a great deal for customers! I will hold on to my existing plans until they pry it out of my dying hands.

      • mikeclee

        It is a good deal for some customers but not many I agree. Of course if you’re in a family of 10 with only 2-3 heavy data users then of course Share Everything would be the better route.

        • -marc

          mikeclee….you are a verizon shrill. stop defending them. currently 2gb of data is $30. on the new plan its…..$60(2gb) + $40(smartphone) charge. Thats $100 vs $30. How does that make sense? How is that beneficial.

          • mikeclee

            I wouldn’t say I’m pro-Verizon…In fact I’m very much against losing subsidized upgrades to keep my unlimited. But maybe if you read what I actually wrote and did the math that way you’d understand.

            Plus you’re providing pretty funny math to get $100 vs $30. You think you can just buy a 2GB plan for $30 without a phone plan?

            Either way, take a family of 10 users all with smart phones and getting the 10GB plan.

            $100 for data plus $400 ($40×10) for phones. $500 for 10 users all with smart phones. Unlimited data, text and 1GB per person.

            Compare that to getting 2 separate 5 line family plans all with the minimum amount of data for $30. $300 ($30×10) for data, $60 (2x$30) for unlimited text, and $240 ($120×2 family plans with 5 lines). That amounts to $600 per month for 1GB more per person and much less minutes.

            Like I said, it doesn’t work out for everyone but it will for some people who are not heavy data users or only have a couple of people who are. Or even in the extremely rare case that all 10 people want to get a smart phone on Verizon without actually paying for a data plan you won’t really use (WiFi only). You will just have to get the minimum 1GB plan split 10 ways to be able to use a smart phone.

          • Yaya

            If each family had ten people, there would be more people in US than any other contries. For most of the families that want to cut the cost, it is a huge dissapointment.

          • mikeclee

            Exactly what I said…it works out for very few people. And you don’t necessarily have to be in a real family to be on a shared plan. All 4 other people on my plan are just friends who want to save money.

          • Johnathan

            You may not have 10 people in your family but you would be surprised how many people have tablets, jetpacks, secondary lines, home phone connect, and whatnot on their lines. Plus, 10GB isn’t the ceiling for the plans, just the release to the public for the preview.

          • Johnathan

            I am pro Verizon… What about your minute plan? $100 is your whole plan… Even at the lowest plan, 450 mins is 39.99 plus $30 data. If you add unl texting as most have thats 59.99+$30 data, So total 89.99 bill plus taxes. $90 vs $100. Wrong math is wrong.

    • samson

      True…only an option – for now…until you go to upgrade your phone…and then you either pay through the nose for a phone, or be forced into one of their plans…so really, where’s the option you speak of????

      • mikeclee

        You will not be forced into Share Everything even if you upgrade your phone. You will simply lose Unlimited Data and be forced to tiered data of $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, etc. A plan which is currently available.

    • Verizon Administrator

      There is so much misinformation here. I have spoken to 3 individual Verizon customer service representatives on this exact issue. New customers who sign up after June 28th will be forced onto Share Everything. No single-phone tiered data packages will be available.

  • http://twitter.com/vznsharewallet Verizon Share Wallet

    a Facebook page for everyone who hates Verizon’s new share everything plan

    http://www.facebook.com/VerizonShareYourWalletPlan

  • Mzanchelli

    I am a customer who has 5 smartphones on a Family Share Plan, and pay about $280 for 1400 minutes (more than needed), unlimited text messages, and 4 GB on each of 3 phones and 2 phones with unlimited data. Under the “Share Everything”, my bill rises to $300, and the total amount of data to be shared is restricted to 10GB. What a deal!! Verizon screws us again!!

    • Johnathan

      You do realize that it’s a savings for customers who are not currently under the grips of Grandfathered and or Promotional packages. I know you only care about yourself and your wallet, but have some sense that not everyone has the benefits that you have, and you don’t have benefits that others have. Nothing is perfect and it is no more than an option.

      • http://twitter.com/tanjiro tanjiro

        Yeah because the only person I know (Verizon is a monopoly where I live) with/or that needs unlimited minutes is you. Honestly, never met anyone who uses minutes anymore. They’re forcing US to pay for what only a minority need. And google it, you are the minority.

        • Johnathan

          Where in this did I elude to the number of mins I use monthly (100ish on a 3 line family plan.) On top of that your entire point of your post is predicated on an assumption and had nothing to do with my reply. The fact that anyone liked that proves that you are one of the customers that has no sense at all. Trust me, there are many… Common sense just isn’t common any more.

          • http://twitter.com/tanjiro tanjiro

            The only customers that save money are people that currently have unlimited minutes and text. There might be a few families that have 4-5 smartphones without unlimited minutes that will save money, but not many.

            Kid, I was only responding to your post because you sound like a douche that thinks the world should change according to what YOU need/want in life.

            But I’m not going to feed you troll food anymore.

            Later

          • Johnathan

            Can’t argue math and experience bro.

        • Johnathan

          Furthermore, when you have talked to over 1000 customers about overage on their plan, have 2 years of vzw customer service experience and read what I post, please refrain from posting replies to my comments with your opinions. People do use few mins on average but what you fail to realize is that life changes, people die, people are born, people rely on their phones for business and some kids still get new BFs/GFs that their parents don’t know about causing millions of dollars in overage every quarter. While I’m sure your world also revolves around you and your miniscule circle of friends you do not have a working knowledge of the Verizon network as a whole.

          • http://twitter.com/tanjiro tanjiro

            LOL ACTUALLY

            I have been in the cell phone business for the past five years and three of them were with Verizon, but nice try. Go figure out how to root your super cool droid and then we will talk. You can email me if you have questions?

    • Johnathan

      You are leaving out your 20% discount through your employer sir. Just thought you should know.

  • Johnathan

    I couldn’t even finish reading this… Do some more research on the plans and how they work before making my job harder. The statement that you can gain 2GB for $10 refers to most of the plans and moving up, similar to how they work now. We can’t change the plan retroactive to before your bill cycle date. Furthermore on an unl talk and text plan you pay $30 for up to 5 lines to have unlimited texting, not $20 per line. Under your example you are looking at $50 for unl talking and texting and each straw would be 49.99 regardless of the phone, plus $30 for each minimum 2GB/4GB determined by the phone and the double data promotion. Not to mention a $30 minimum plan on a tablet.

    $50 account access
    +4×49.99= 199.99
    +3×30=90
    Total plan cost under the example is 339.96 < not nearly double.

    I sincerely beg you to please go to vzw.com and research your plan options before blogging next time. As the person who has to clear up these errors when customers call in.

    1 more correction, you left out customer provided equipment as a method to upgrade your phone… Friends and eBay can assist you in keeping your unl plan.

  • http://twitter.com/tanjiro tanjiro

    I’m not confused at all. I’m mad because this ends up costing me $30 a month. I’m not going to pay it though, going to prepaid and saving $150 on my bill now. :]

  • Dbarnes

    I currently have a feature phone with 75mg of data. If I upgrade to a smartphone after June 28 do I have to move to a Share Everything plan or can I just opt for the stand alone 2G $30 plan.

  • chad

    So i have unlimited data now i just pre ordered s3 and kept it but im getting rid of my other line thats not used anymore. contract is up in august cause i dont wanna pay ETF. That brings me to a single line would i lose my unlimited data cause i dropped that line? or make me switch to that share everything

  • Cis

    i’m hearing rumors from my suppliers – can anyone confirm/deny ? – verizon is going to hold s3 pre-orders hostage forcing folks to buy into new plan. -verizon will not honor the employer discount with the new plans

    • johnathan

      Pre orders work like always and are orders placed before a change and discounts will work as they do now.

  • http://twitter.com/JulienPDX Julien

    A single geek plan will run almost 140??? Are you joking? that’s pathetic! I pay like 85/mo with AT&T!!

  • rivers2run

    I have one smart phone and currently have 450 minutes and unlimited data plan, I use between 1 and 2 GB a month. I never go over on my minutes, and use google voice for texting, I pay $75 a month with taxes and fees. I don’t need unlimited text or talk. Spending a $100 plus taxes for what I am using is a huge increase. I will either switch to another carrier or I will buy an unsubsidized phone. Spending an extra $400 for a phone is cheaper than the $30+ I will spending per month on this new plan.

  • mike

    just curious if anyone has thought of weather or not if you change your current family plan lines over to a share everything plan if the contracts on the other non-main account line are demeed voided? From what i’ve read once you change over to the sep. all u get is a monthly access charge per line up to 10 which would mean that the main account holder’s line would bear the data useage charge along with the indvual access fees per line based on the type of phone on them. I have been looking into changing possibly but not sure about the “other lines” contracts being upheld or now voided under the new sep contract?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440367746 Violet Druash

    I currently have two smartphones and a dumb phone on my plan. Smart phones grandfathered in w/ unlimited data for 10 each a month. Unlimited text on all phones. 1400 min. 180 a month. Not seeing how this new option will benefit my family