AT&T today announced its shared data plans for smartphone, tablet (phablet?), and Mac/PC users. Current and new customers will be able to choose plans for all of their devices with one with a fairly simple matrix. Current customers will not be forced into these plans (ahem Verizon!), but many with multiple devices/family members might jump at the opportunity.

Bucket plans start at $45 a month (but drop to $30 a month at higher data tiers) + $40 for 1GB of data. Tablets like the iPad will cost $10 a month to add to a smartphone plan. PCs and Macs will be an additional $20 each via LaptopConnect cards, MiFi, or built-in modems. Adding an extra smartphone with unlimited talk and text will be $30 a month.

Interestingly, MiFis are grouped with PCs, so that might be better than getting a separate tablet and PC charge, but it also is another device to carry/charge. Moreover, the extra hop often slows down the speed of the network.

Below is the cost matrix:

Let’s say you have an iPhone and an iPad that you want to put on AT&T’s network with 10GB of data per month. It would be $120+$30 for the iPhone and an additional $10/month for the iPad. That is $160 a month. Adding a Mac data card would bring the total to $180 a month.

This shared bucket plan will particularly appeal to folks with lots of devices/family members and probably most of all businesses that want simplified billing and bucket data. Whether customers use the bucket for a bunch of co-workers or one businessperson with like three biz devices, billing will be simplified for IT.

“We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share,” said AT&T Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher. “With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They will be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. However, if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It is their choice.

“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,” said Christopher. “Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.”

You need to activate a smartphone with these plans. You cannot go data only. I would have liked a data-only share plan where I could just buy data for a few iPads and Macs to share.

The full release follows:

AT&T GIVES CUSTOMERS MORE CHOICE WITH NEW

SHARED WIRELESS DATA PLANS

New Mobile Share Plans Allow Customers to Easily Share Data Across

Smartphones, Tablets and Other Devices

New and Current Customers Not Required To Choose or Switch to Shared Plans

 

DALLAS, JULY 18, 2012 — AT&T* customers will soon have more options in choosing the plan that’s right for them and their mobile devices. With new AT&T Mobile Share plans, available in late August, new and existing customers can share a single bucket of data acrosssmartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. AT&T Mobile Share plans make it easy for customers to manage their data, voice minutes and texting, without needing to keep track of multiple plans.

Customers can select one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T’s existing individual or family plans. Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T’s device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T’s best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers.

With AT&T Mobile Share plans, customers start by choosing how much data they want each month, then choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones. 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.

First, choose your monthly data amount.

Per Month

Mobile Share with Unlimited Talk & Text

1 GB

$40

+

$45

4 GB

$70

+

$40

6 GB

$90

+

$35

10 GB

$120

+

$30

15 GB

$160

+

$30

20 GB

$200

+

$30

Each Smartphone

Additional data: $15 per GB

Next, add more devices to your plan.

Basic and quick messaging phones

Laptops, LaptopConnect cards, and netbooks

Tablets and gaming devices

$30 each per month

$20 each per month

$10 each per month

AT&T Mobile Share allows customers to essentially build a plan to fit their devices and usage. Customers who are more data-centric can choose a larger data bucket. Customers who typically use more voice than data can add multiple smartphones and basic phones and opt for a smaller data bucket.

“We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They’ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It’s their choice.

“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,” said Christopher. “Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.”

Mobile Share plans give customers more control over how, where and on what device they use data — which has become more important as people use more data devices. You can choose to use more of your data bucket on your tablet, for example, or tap into your databucket only when needed for devices you use occassionally. And by consolidating data plans, you can take advantage of any data you currently have unused each month by efficiently sharing it across devices.

“The ‘more you share, the more you save’ concept is one that will resonate well with customers because of the value provided through the Mobile Share data plans themselves and in smartphone connection fees,” said Roger Entner, Founder and Lead Analyst of Recon Analytics. “AT&T also is providing its customers with flexibility and choice by keeping its existing data plans and not requiring customers to move to Mobile Share unless they want to. It’s a win-win for both AT&T and its customers.”

To help customers track their data usage, AT&T keeps users informed with courtesy alerts as they near their data allowance for the month. Also, customers can check their usage at anytime online, through the myAT&T mobile app, or by calling *DATA# from their mobile phone.

Each data plan also includes access to more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots — the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network** among wireless carriers — at no additional charge. Wi-Fi usage at public hotspots, home or office does not count toward the monthly wireless data plan usage.

Customers can learn more about the new plans and determine which plan is best for them at www.att.com/mobileshare.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s