It looks as if Verizon is following in AT&T’s footsteps and has dropped their unlimited data plans for tiered structure. While this may sound like bad news there is a ray of hope. Verizon has also shown evidence that they may soon be offering shared data plans.
While speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit, Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo hinted at the possible concept of sharing a single pool of data, but unfortunately did not offer any other details or timeline. Instead Shammo stated, “I think it’s safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family. That’s just a logical progression.”
According to Tony Bradley, of PCWorld, he agrees that this idea does seem logical. Bradley at the moment has three different devices all with a separate data plans and if each device was subscribed to a 2GB data plan that would equal 8GB for roughly a $100 a month.
According to him it would make more sense to be able to buy a pool of data and share it in between devices. Taking it a step further companies like AT&T and Verizon could in turn offer home broadband consumption included in this data pool for any device that uses a data connection. As an added bonus, AT&T could add the ability to have rollover possibilities for megabytes like they do for their minutes on voice plans.
The quote that Verizon’s CFO made was limited to family plans, but carriers need to keep in mind that businesses need the ability to access these services also to be able to help manage cost effectively. A business version of this could include such things as administrative tools to be able to easily provision, allocate, and monitor data consumption quickly. IT admins could easily use these tools to view how much data has been consumed by devices on the plan.