News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday July 18, 2012.
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This morning, AT&T announced its new Mobile Share plans, which offer customers a single data bucket that can be shared across multiple devices. The new plans are similar to the Share Everything plans that Verizon Wireless introduced late last month, and include unlimited talk and text in addition to the data service.
Like Verizon's plans, AT&T's Mobile Share plans have an access fee for devices plus the cost of data. Data options range from 1GB per month on up to 20GB, and can be shared with up to 10 different devices. Should a user exceed the data limit on their plan, additional data will cost $15 per GB. Mobile hotspot service for compatible smartphones and tablets is also included at no additional charge. Customers can choose from 1GB of data for $40 per month, 4GB for $70 per month, 6GB for $90 per month, 10GB for $120 per month, 15GB for $160 per month, or 20GB for $200 per month.
The access fee for each smartphone is $45 per month if paired with the 1GB plan, though that drops to $30 per month with the higher data tiers (it is $40 per month with the 4GB plan and $35 per month with the 6GB plan). Messaging phones carry an access fee of $30 per month, while mobile hotspots, laptops, and USB modems have a $20 per month access fee. Tablets and gaming devices have a $10 per month access fee.
AT&T notes that it will still offer its traditional individual and family voice and data plans to both existing and new customers after the Mobile Share plans launch, so customers will be able to choose what plan suits them best. Also, the carrier says that customers that still have grandfathered unlimited plans will be able to upgrade to a new device and keep their current plans - they will not have to switch to a shared data plan or upgrade at full price to keep their unlimited data.
AT&T plans to start offering the new Mobile Share plans beginning in late August.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.