AT&T announces shared data plans, available in late August

By , Jul 18, 2012

The nation’s #2 carrier, AT&T Mobility, today announced shared data plans, in response to Verizon’s shared data option which became available June 28. And just like the Big Red carrier’s Share Everything plans, new plans from AT&T allow new and existing subscribers to share cellular data across smartphones, tablets and other devices, plus get unlimited talk and text.

According to a media release, current customers, including business users, won’t be required to switch to the new plans. Should they decide to switch, they can do so without a contract extension. More importantly, AT&T says there will be no changes to its device upgrade policy…

This is in contrast to Verizon which is imposing its shared plans on everyone. Shared data at AT&T starts at $45 a month per smartphone plus an additional $40 for 1GB of data. You can choose your data allotment in 1/4/6/10/15/20GB tiers costing $40/$70/$90/$120/$160/$200.

The larger the data bucket you choose, the less you pay per gigabyte and the less you pay for each smartphone added to the shared plan. Adding a tablet to your plan will set you back an additional $10, or $20 in the case of a computer. Another smartphone with unlimited voice minutes and text messages will run your an additional $30 a month.

But don’t just think smartphones and tablets, says AT&T Mobility’s marketing chief David Christopher:

Today we think of people’s smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we’ll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet. Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.

Here’s an overview of AT&T’s shared wireless data plans, features and prices.

You can add up to ten devices to your shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Basic math tells us that having an iPhone and iPad share data on AT&T’s network would cost $120 a month for four gigabytes of data: $70 + $40 for the iPhone and $10 for the iPad.

Want ten gigs? The cost goes up to $180 a month. A PC/Mac with ten gigs of data? That’s a total of $180 a month, paid to AT&T each month.

Have you guys already made calculations? Is this new shared data option going to reduce your monthly bill?

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  • mordechai eliyahu

    to much of a math i really dont understand y people dont just swich to sprint for the unlimited data

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003530234142 Peter TheMoo Cow

      Cause Sprint is shit

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      Sprint and T-Mobile are cheap because there network are not so great. So the offer cheaper prices to compensate for the lack of network range and network speed. Kind a like a Middle Age  guy that buys a sport car with an automatic shift. They making up for what they don’t have.  

      • http://twitter.com/IbroBawa Ibro Bawa

        actually Tmobile has great reception in NY.

      • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

        Actually T-Mobile is OK in NYC not Great. And Yes AT&T sucked in NYC at one point too.

      • http://twitter.com/polishpolack Matt from Teaneck

        at&t still sucks in NYC. it has absolutely the worst building penetration signal (according to consumer reports). So unless you work outside i would not recommend at&t.

      • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

        Lol never said AT&T was the best but it’s got some what better than before but over all its ok at best

  • JerseyD

    That seems like it cost a lot more than the old plans.

    • JerseyD

      I just did the math and it is more expensive.
      Right now I have 5 lines on my account. 3 iPhones w 2gbs of data each and 2 basic phones. Unlimited text and more minutes than we could ever use. My bill is always $228 after taxes.

      On the new plan for 3 smart phones sharing 6gbs and 2 basic phones it would be $255 before taxes.

      No thanks.

      • http://citizensteven.blogspot.com steve

        Don’t forget those taxes are supposed to be, used to be, and should still be paid for by the carriers. It’s the carriers who the gov’t will go after if they’re not paid, not the customers. They passed them on to the customers in a previous money grab.
        The greed of the carriers is unparalleled.

  • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

    WOW Verizon & AT&T are really get are really getting GREEDY!!! 1gig of 40 bucks. That’s more than most home internet for unlimited. You get 3gigs for 30 bucks NOW. VERIZON & AT&T ARE CRIPPLING THE POTENTIAL & POWER OF ALL SMART PHONES. If T-Mobile lands an iPhone Both Sprint & T-Mobile raise prices too. It’s Sucks someone gonna do something.

    • Al

      The plan is geared for people who has unlimited voice plans, it’s not for people who has unlimited data plans. It’s a no brainer for those who value voice over data..but in this day in age data is more valuable..

      • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

        Yes but for anyone with an smart phone and single line it cripples te use of there smartphones & tablets. I have AT&T unlimited Dat a ( 3gig cap than slowed down ) free mobile to mobile unlimited text. An lot 6000 rollover minutes an only pay about 85 with phone Insurance. If I want a new iPhone 5 will I lose my plan. Maybe?

      • Al

        It’s optional.. as far as I know. You can keep your existent plan, who knows it might change when the new iPhone is announced. As far as AT&T and Verizon goes.. Verizon requires you to switch to there plans. But your right.. smart phone is primarily used for data, so it does cripple the data usage. That’s why I plan keeping my data plan.. this plan is useless for me..

    • http://citizensteven.blogspot.com steve

      Exactly. They are crippling the potential of the smartphones. Hopefully, by the time 2 years are up Apple will have their super wifi network pretty much covering everyone everywhere with a super long range wifi network backed up by LTE data from the carriers when you don’t have an Apple super wifi within range. The range of these will be in the miles, not feet. With Apple’s market share, they’re the only company that can do it.
      This will work by exchanging out everyone’s Airport routers for the new ones which have a range of between 1-5 miles. Pricing will blow all of the carriers out of business. People with iPhones will pay Apple for yearly service, and primarily connect to Apple’s super wifi network run off all the routers people have in their homes. Apple will work out agreements that router traffic won’t count against any cable data caps, and there will be at least 2 modes on each router, public and personal. Personal will be the homeowner and family with a typical password protected set up that still has the same range, so going to the market, the gas station and a jog will all keep you on the same connection. Apple will have agreements with all of the major carriers and your iPhone will first try to connect to an available wifi router, then to the fastest/strongest signal LTE / 3G / 2G. The people who own Airport routers will get an even further reduced rate for having it installed. Or it will be required for everyone who has an iPhone. Tho I surmise that they will go the discount route because some people don’t have wifi at home.
      Over time that would probably morph into Apple setting up a more traditional network with similar, but higher powered routers all over. As the carriers lose market share and begin to go under, Apple can purchase them for bargain prices, fire all the execs making millions for sitting on their asses and move the network to 6g (super wifi will be known as 5G). 6G will change the country as once it’s in place, noone will ever need to pay for another network. No more cable modem, no more cable probably at that point.
      By then my 10 shares of Apple will have split 10 times giving me like 10000 shares which will be worth about 1000 each, making a few thousand dollar investment worth about 10 million dollars.

  • Jeffrey Handy

    Hmm – I use the 3GB plan @ $30, and my wife @ 250MB for $15 = 3.25GB for $45. Looks to me like the shared plans are crap. The lease expensive one for us would be 4GB and it would cost us $110. I don’t get the allure.

    • J M

      What about your normal voice/message cost? $45 is just your data cost.

      But for anyone that has a family member on an unlimited plan it is likely not worth it. For us, we have 4 lines, 2 at $25 2GB, one at $30 3G, and one unlimited. For 10GB of data, it would be only 5 dollars more per month. But since we never even come close to using all of our text or minutes the unlimited text/minutes is worthless (we actually have almost 6,000 rollover minutes).

  • Jeffrey Handy

    Oh, wait, now I see – they are including unlimited talk & text in the base price. Much better deal.

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      For a single line it’s a rip off and a slap in the face

      • http://twitter.com/Barack0drama Yo mama

        It’s not meant for a single line, it’s a SHARED plan.

        The normal plans will still be in place for individual users.

    • Wes

      Actually, phones are $35 each. So 6GB of data + 2 phones = $160 per month

  • ridiculous5

    Looks like it would cost me $25 more a month and I would lose unlimited data on 2 of my lines. Yea…No Thanks…..

  • cschug

    Verizon is NOT forcing customers into the share plans. They can keep their current plan, they just lose their unlimited data. So instead of $30 bucks for their unlimited data line, they pay $30 for 2GB. Get the facts folks.

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      TRUE FACTS: Verizon charges 50 for 1gb of data & 40 for smartphone fee = 90. AT&T charges 40 for 1gb & 45 smartphone fee = 95. Taxes not included. 

      • cschug

        I wasn’t arguing their share plan pricing, but check your math. 40 + 45 does not equal 95.

      • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

        Lol simple math and I blew it lol. But both plan still suck lol

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      So on Verizon is you want to keep your plan GrandFather in you gonna pay full price for an smartphone. In which full price Smartphone costmore an I paid for my desktop which was only 500

      • cschug

        Yes, if you want to keep unlimited you have to buy the phone outright. But you can still upgrade and keep your calling plan the exact same other than being capped at 2 gigs of data. My whole point is you do not have to change to the new plans if you do not want to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

      Okay Verizon rep…Who’s going to pay full price for a phone? No one, cause most people don’t have $650 to drop on a phone. No, they’re not holding a gun to your head and telling you to change plans, but they’re twisting your arm a hell of a lot to do it.

      • cschug

        Guys, listen: you do not have to upgrade to the shared plans. You do not have to buy a phone outright to keep the structure of your current plan. You only have to buy it outright if you want to keep UNLIMITED data. You can upgrade to a new phone, pay your $199 and have your $30 data plan capped at 2 GB. I’m not a Verizon rep. I’m not defending their pricing. I’m just pointing out an incorrect statement in the article. The author makes it seem like AT&T gives you the choice but Verizon doesn’t…this is false. That’s all I’m trying to point out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

        And we’re all saying that you DO have to buy the phone outright to keep the unlimited data, something we were told we’d have NO MATTER WHAT; which clearly is not the case any more. They lied, period. Buying a phone outright, when we were told we’d get the subsidized price, to keep our unlimited data is ridiculous.

      • cschug

        I completely agree with everything you just said…but you’re still missing the point of my original comment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

        I’m sorry, but losing unlimited data is NOT keeping my current plan, it’s changing what I have to something new, i.e. different plan, period. Unless I shell out $650 for a new phone, THEN I can keep my unlimited data. Sorry, I don’t have that money, most people don’t.

      • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

        I agree

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1384316579 Byron C Mayes

    Smartphone: AT&T
    iPad: Verizon

    And never the twain shall meet…

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      Jailbreak it an get wifi ipad then you’ll have the best of both worlds all on the same network

  • 2008crna

    AT&T is more expensive than Verizon for Data costs. Take the example for 2 iPhones:
    Verizon = $80 for phones plus 2 GB data, $60 more is $140 plus tax/fees
    AT&T = $90 for phones plus 2 GB data, (doesnt exist so have to move to 4 Gb plan) $70 more is $160 plus tax/fees

  • air naji

    This is just ridiculous… I can’t wait until my contract is over.. I’m going prepaid.

  • http://twitter.com/jpcacho Josh Cacho

    If you dont need unlimited text, etc…the shared plans are way better

  • http://twitter.com/thundiyils Jacob S

    What the heck? I was waiting AT&T to reveal its shared data plan to decide whether to continue with them or not. Now, its clear that there is no point staying with them any more.

    I have 3 iPhones in my account. My current plan is 700 minutes with 200mb data ($15 each) on two phones and 300mb data ($20) on the third phone. We do not have any text plan. My current bill after 24% corporate discount is between $130 and $140 each month.

    With the shared data plan if I choose 1GB shared data I would pay $40 plus $135, that is $175+ Tax each month for my 3 phones. If I choose 4GB data I would pay $190+ tax each month. wow, what a rip off!

    I have started testing StraightTalk (AT&T MVO) since yesterday. My coverage and data speed is same as AT&T right now. If I switch my all 3 connections to ST, I would pay $135 a month for Unlimited Everything including Tax. My first two days with ST is just wow! Only thing I will miss compared to AT&T is visual voice mail and MMS, heck I don’t care! I did 45 minutes of Facetime with my iPhone 4S on ST 4G connection with current iOS beta 3 yesterday, while I was moving around the city, which was awesome!

    I have nearly a month to evaluate ST coverage and service, if I am satisfied with ST, its a bye bye to AT&T. I will have to pay ETF (not full) on my two lines, still I know I will be saving huge money on long run!

    FU AT&T!

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      Whats ST if you don’t mid me asking

      • http://twitter.com/thundiyils Jacob S

        ST = StraightTalk; MVO for AT&T and other network.

  • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

    I remember the old days when you had Crappy Phones and great phone rates. Now we all ( most people ) have these do it all Smartphones an the Phone Carriers are always change Rates to bleed our pockets. I’m still trying to see the positive in this. So far every time an NEW iPhone is about to release weren’t you own one or not the Phone Rates Have Change. I had the 3G all the way up now to the 4S. I’m grandfather since the 3G but that doesn’t mean I’m bind to see the GREED that’s happening. 

  • http://twitter.com/geekinit geekinit

    More expensive and yet my service still sucks at the house. Lame

  • http://citizensteven.blogspot.com steve

    Shared Data is the most horrific money grab the carriers have pulled yet, perhaps worse even than calling 2-3 gigs of data unlimited or blocking tethering/charging extra for tethering.
    If our government would stick it’s head out of iraq’s ass for a minute and actually represent the citizens, they wouldn’t allow this kind of shit to go on. We’d be regulated at about 30 bucks a month for unlimited data and tethering included, which isn’t a stretch because the smaller companies only charge a bit more than that. I think there’s one out there which gives unlimited data and texts, plus some minutes for 35 bucks a month.
    The carriers want you to pay for shared data (which includes tethering) instead of just tethering the stuff you need to your smartphone data. This way they get extra money for each device you use with the service. People are not always smart, and will run out and register each device they plan on using instead of tethering them. Then they’ll find out they’re paying like over 200 bucks a month to have a bunch of devices sharing a few gigs.
    If you must use shared data, only register the bare minimum. Your smartphone, maybe your tablet if you must. The shared plans all include tethering, so some may enjoy a shared data plan if they want to tether from their smartphone and iPad. Otherwise, just use the tethering and don’t register a bunch of devices which all have a recurring monthly fee to be on the plan. It’s ridiculous. I can’t believe the carriers haven’t been ordered yet to stop this bullshit. Someone please find the money trail between the carriers and our representatives so we can get these assholes impeached.