AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) unveiled its new “Mobile Share” data plans, which will allow consumers to share data to multiple devices and users.
The company released its new data to match Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) “Share Everything,” which was introduced last month. AT&T’s announcement emphasized the offering of more choices to consumers. The company does not require its customers to adopt a shared data plan, and they are free to choose from all the existing plans offered by AT&T.
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Mark Siegel, spokesman for AT&T, emphasized that the existing individual rates offered to consumers and business entities are still available, and they have the option to upgrade to the new rates and share data across as many as 10 devices. Customers who want to upgrade their devices will pay a subsidized fee, and they keep their existing plans.
AT&T’s Mobile Share data plans offer unlimited voice and messaging services, and a block of data for a flat cost.
Prices for Mobile Share data plans include $40 for 1GB, $70 for 4GB, $90 for 6GB, $120 for 10GB, $160 for 15GB and $200 for 20GB of shared data. The basic price for a smartphone is $45. If a customer purchases a bigger data block, the price of the smartphone is lower. Customers who buy 10GB to 20GB data will only pay $30 for a smartphone.
Charges for additional laptops, laptop connects, mobile hotspot devices, and netbooks are $20, tablets and gaming devices cost $10, and for basic messaging and phone, with shared data and unlimited talk and text is $30.
Comparing Verizon’s Share Everything and AT&T’s Mobile Share, the two carriers offer the same price for a plan with two smartphones. However, customers who share more data across multiple smartphones will pay less under Mobile Share. Verizon customers cannot keep their unlimited data plans, unless they are willing to buy un-subsidized phones and laptops which cost hundreds of dollars.
According to David Christopher, AT&T Mobility chief marketing officer, the company is always evaluating its upgrade cycle. He expects users to share a large amount of data using their smartphones. This is evident based on the larger tiers (15GB & 20GB) offered by the company to customers.
On the other hand, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile are currently offering unlimited data to its customers.
AT&T is expected to launch its Mobile Share data plans in August.