Verizon to Start Offering Shared Data Plans in 2012

As smartphones have become more and more popular over the last few years, so has wireless data. The more features that manufacturers add to their handsets, the more wireless data they consume.

This has caused several cell phone providers to preserve their bandwidth by discontinuing their unlimited data plans. Verizon seems to have come up with another way to deal with its data-intensive customers…

FierceWireless passes on some comments made by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at the recent UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.

“McAdam said that customers who are dealing with four or five screens — smartphones, tablets and USB modems for laptops and the like — do not want to pay for all of those devices on separate bills, and neither does Verizon.

“I think in 2012 we will see it. We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.””

Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo hinted at shared data plans back in May of this year, right around the same time that the carrier confirmed it was going to be discontinuing its unlimited data plans. Shammo called these “mega-data plans” a logical progression in wireless data.

Verizon is the largest cell phone provider in the US by number of subscribers, and recently took first place in Consumer Reports’ customer satisfaction survey. It’ll be interesting to see how its customers react to the shared data plans when they go live next year.

What do you think of the idea of shared data?