AT&T Working on Shared Data Plans

By , Jun 5, 2011

Another interesting tidbit was unveiled by AT&T Mobility CEO, Ralph de la Vega, concerning the company’s future strategy for data plans. Instead of having to buy a separate data plan for each wireless device, such as an iPhone and iPad 3G, customers will be able to purchase a “shared data plan” that could be used across all registered devices.

After receiving a lot of criticism over the network’s poor reliability and quality, AT&T is trying to adapt and build a better infrastructure for the largest group of smartphone customers in the U.S. These shared data plans look to be part of the plan for creating a better AT&T…

Engadget,

“AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega just confirmed at the D9 conference today that the carrier is “working on” a shared data plan, but he’s not committing to a time frame just yet. He also left no doubts about those plans when pressed further on the question, clearly opening the door to a situation where you could have an iPad, an Atrix 4G, an AT&T netbook and just about anything else all sharing a unified pool of minutes and data. He didn’t offer any hints about possible pricing, though, and it certainly sounds like this is something that’s still a ways out from actually being launched.”

It’s clear that this feature is still very much in the development stages, but it suggests some interesting change-ups to the traditional wireless plans that are offered today.

For families with multiple iPhones or even different smartphones on the same family plan, shared data plans could be a much cheaper and more practical solution than the current, a la carte system. These types of shared plans could also make more sense for tethering users that wish to share data with multiple devices and save money.

What do you think? Would you buy a shared data plan if you had the option?

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  • 8943

    In a more serious note, has anyone actually pressed +1 ?

  • Morgan

    So if data plans are shared (like we currently share call minutes), what happens to tethering -isn’t that essentially sharing the data connection between devices? Will at&t require us to buy a device (i.e. iPad) with 3G capability so that we can “share” a data plan. And I suppose that the unlimited plan will not be shared, regardless of the 3G capability of the sharing device. In addition, do the devices sharing a data plan all have to be the same OS? Guess that’s all part of what at&t is working out. Regardless, sounds like the thing to do to me –implementation details aside.

    • Masters

      “For families with multiple iPhones or even different smartphones on the same family plan” this answers one of your questions in the article.

  • Cliff_S

    I currently have 5 lines – 1 Iphone 3gs, 1 Iphone 4, 1 Captivate, 1 Aria and an LG Vu+
    My Data plans now are $25 + $15 + $15 + $15 +$0 so any Group plan less that $70 and
    over 3gigs would Be Great. 5 gigs shared for $50 would be fair I think.

  • Bob

    Yes definetly, I also have AT&T dsl.

  • http://iphonedownloadblog.com Evil Sebastien

    10gbs for $50 would be fair

  • XC4RRiED

    I would definitely buy it. The only reason we don’t have data on any line of our plan now is because of having to pay for data in each individual line.

  • JoBerlin

    In Germany you can have something like that. Depending on your carrier you may have up to 5 SIM cards sharing one line, minutes and data. By dialling a special code you can switch which device should start ringing first and other stuff.
    It’s really cool – I have two SIMs: one in a 3G Stick and the other in my iPhone.
    Best part: Depending on the carrier ordering an additional SIM costs 15-25€ once.

  • Al

    They should implement the rollover feature for the unused data that’s left over every month from the cheap 2gb limit that AT&T gives to their cheated customers unlike Verizon who offers unlimited data.