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frankspin

Is Verizon's new shared plan structure a hit or a miss?

Verizon has finally taken the covers off their upcoming shared plan structure for customers that is set to go into place June 28th. The basic break down of how the plans will work is as follows:

Devices
$40 per smartphone (tethering/hotspot is included)
$30 for basic phones
$20 per mifi/usb
$10 per tablet

Plans
Unlimited minutes/text +
1GB data $50
2GB data $60
4GB data $70
6GB data $80
8GB data $90
10Gb data $100

More information can be found here (PDF): solutions.vzwshop.com­/shareeverything­/pdf­/verizon­_...

The plans seem to target customers on family plans with 3+ phones that still desire unlimited text/minutes. Under current pricing, for 3 phones, each with 2GB of data, would cost as follows:
$119 + 49.99 for unlimited voice
$30 for unlimited text on all phone
$90 for 6GB data ($30x3)
Total: $299

Under the new structure, the price would be $200 for the same package, which offers a big savings of $100:
$120 ($40x3)
$80 (6GB of shared data)
Total: $200

If you’re not on an unlimited plan, the savings aren’t pretty much non-existant. I’ll use the same scenario, but for the lowest minute plan and keep unlimited texting and the same 2GB data plans:
$69.98+9.99
$30 for text
$90 for data ($30x3)
Total of $200

Lets now consider two phones for both scenarios as mentioned above. Unlimited minutes/text/4GB data: $209
Basic minutes/unlimited text/4Gb data: $159
New shared tier: $150

These are very rough breakdowns (not counting potential discounts, loyalty plans, taxes or fees) but there does seem to be some cost savings for those on plans of two or more devices with the savings really piling up compared to existing unlimited talk/text plans. Of course, for those who have been hanging on to old unlimited data plans, the new shared plans may not be the best deal. But those grandfathered customers may not have much of a choice, and may well find the new plans a better option than some of the company's other tiered data plans.

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29 replies
joelhamill

I don't think these plans differ much from their current price structure - mainly that voice is still Verizon's bread and butter - I would have liked to see a data only shared plan started at the 5 GB for $50 price point.

I think that would have been a better deal for people with multiple phones/tablets than the unlimited voice & test.

Also, $30 for a dumb phone and $10 for a tablet? Really? I don't understand the logic there. Especially with carriers complaining about the bandwidth issues they will face as more devices use more data.
5 like dislike
frankspin

I agree, I don't need the minutes at all. A plan dedicated to shared data among phones would have worked more in my favor.
0 like dislike
CtrlAltJack

It may be $10 for a tablet because you could just wifi tether it anyway, or they may be trying to increase tablet use, hoping it will become indispensable to many customers before they raise that price.
0 like dislike
joelhamill

As bad as the carriers are I can't believe that they are actively engaging in a bait an switch pricing tactic to encourage the use of tablets.
1 like dislike
CtrlAltJack

They probably aren't; I was only offering that as a possibility. They could be doing it to increase tablet use though, and prices of everything have a tendency to go up over time even without a plan to do so.
0 like dislike
mzleason

They have a 6GB data only plan for $40 + each device in the PDF. Doesn't this meet your criteria. I guess the big limitation is it doesn't allow smartphones.
0 like dislike
Cam

This doesn't seem to be worth giving up my unlimited data. And I also don't think anyone would want to share a data allowance with me, as I use a ton of data.
2 like dislike
cass

I'm a little conflicted on how I feel about this new pricing scheme. There's stuff to hate and stuff to like about it.

I'm going to be losing my unlimited data which sucks. It was inevitable, but I've gotten accustomed to not having to worry about going over some data cap. Also, these plans pretty much screw over people who have individual plans. The pricing for the 1gb to 4gb range is way more than what you would pay with the current tiers. Yes, you get to share that with other devices, but there's that extra cost that you would have to pony up. I really dislike the unlimited-only option for talk and text, seriously who still needs this?

What I like is that I'm on a family plan right now and with the way it all calculates out, I'm actually saving some money. I lose my unlimited data, but with my current data usage habits, I should be ok. One thing that I'm pretty surprised by is that smartphones get free hotspot tethering; I was sure that Verizon would have wanted to screw people over by keep charging $15-20 bucks a month. This pretty much rids the need to add a tablet or computer to the plan.

Let's just hope that Verizon will at least keep their data tiers on par with the way that were using our phones moving forward.
1 like dislike
jonursenbach

The free hotspot tethering isn't really free though. It made sense to charge people for it when they were getting unlimited data, but having free tethering on a 1GB data plan is beyond stupid.
0 like dislike
cass

My advice to anyone on their own plan is to find some friends/family to share data with and split the costs. A gig for $50 really is a scummy move.
0 like dislike
tatsumaki

It is if not for the unlimited voice and text. Right now, I'm paying $30 for unlimited text on three lines. Before AT&T offered me that deal, it would have been $20 a line for the same. Someone paying $60 on top of voice and data might be tickled to spend $50, especially if they are low data users and use to have one of those $15 per month for 150MB plans.

But I do agree - $50 is kinda highway robbery.
0 like dislike
frankspin

The unlimited voice and text is the bigger issue here. They know that neither of them are a hinderance on their networks and it's been proven the amount of data in a text is nothing yet they continue to push them from a marketing standpoint. Unfortunately these "perks" of unlimited will continue to be a focal point for plans until those that find them a bargain stop getting them.
1 like dislike
joelhamill

Yes the prices will rise. I just don't understand pricing voice as a premium over data when they are consolidating both voice and data. I assumed that the tablets would be $30 and the basic phones $10 because of the differnece in data usage (tablets using just a wee bit more).
0 like dislike
jonursenbach

These plans have made me incredibly angry. I was looking forward to this shared data plan stuff because right now I'm paying $60/mo for 2 grandfathered unlimited data plans. I barely use 2GB a month of it, while my girlfriend uses closer to 10GB. "Upgrading" from $60/mo to a shared 10GB plan at $100 is not good. Not good at all.

They can pry my grandfathered data from my cold dead hands.
1 like dislike
tatsumaki

10GB? That's some serious traffic. Good for you being on an unlimited plan!
0 like dislike
jonursenbach

Just looked and she's at 2GB for the billing cycle. She does a lot of Netflix and Youtube on her lunch break at work.
0 like dislike
joelhamill

Somehow, someway I was able to get a Galaxy Nexus with my current unlimited plan. I don't plan on giving that up any time soon.
0 like dislike
tatsumaki

I hope this makes AT&T follow suit. Right now, I'm paying $120 for 10GB of data across three phones and a tablet. I'd love to have the 6GB plan as two of the phones never come close to their 2GB alottment and the tablet usually doesn't either. That's saving me $40 right there.
0 like dislike
awood740

You guys are nuts....most people do not pay for the unlimited voice packages because they hardly use any voice any more. My family has 4 smartphones, 1 dumbphone, and one mifi on our account and we are on the family share 1500 minute plan. We have never used more than 700 minutes per month. That is with my father running his business and my mom, my wife, and my son all chatting away. Most of our calls are to existing verizon customers or when calls are free.....

Looking at the new plan page and the way big money verizon set this up, our current phones will cost $310 per month plus taxes etc....Our last bill was $318 with all the taxes included.

Thanks verizon,

for nothing.

My wife and I are considering our own account anyway, and this makes sprint look so much better.
0 like dislike
tatsumaki

Oh, don't misunderstand me wrong - the cost is ridiculous. I'm just glad I can stop paying for data that I'm not using and don't have to have a separate plan for my tablet.

As far as voice is concerned, I'm one of the lucky ones grandfathered into AT&T's A-list, which accounts for 95% of phone calls made by me and the missus. The rest (aka work related) are covered by the 10,000 roll over minutes we never use 'cause of the A-list plan.

Beware Sprint, my friend. Those I know who have it love the price but hate the service. Unlimited everything is great until you can't use it 40% of the time.
0 like dislike
realsoda

Just wondering, didn't tethering used to $30 extra per phone its used on? A lot of people probably won't use that, what if without tethering there was a $30 or $20 smartphone plan?
0 like dislike
frankspin

Yeah, tethering was an added cost so if you take that into consideration is not a bad deal data wise. I just think people had higher expectations for this.
0 like dislike
Cam

To add on to my previous comment, it appears as if this is now the only option, even for single device plans. So you're stuck paying $90 for one smartphone with unlimited voice/text and 1 GB of data. Which is ridiculous. I'm switching to Sprint the minute my contract is up.
0 like dislike
loudsnorelax

Not sure were you are getting your Texting plans from. Each of my 5 phones are 10 each for unlimited texting. With 5 iPhones in the family, switching to this would actually cost me $40-50 more.
0 like dislike
frankspin

I was basing it off this: www.verizonwireless.com­/b2c­/plan­-information­/­?page...

Under "Messaging" it says $30. If I miss-read this wrong please let me know and I'll update it but I interpreted it as $30 per line for unlimited text. It's possible you're on a grandfathered text-messaging plan but could be on the $10/1000 plan.
0 like dislike
bb4u

It is $30 total for everyone in the family plan not $30 per line. Unlimited for a single line is $20 by the way.

www.verizonwireless.com­/b2c­/explore­/­?page­=text­-pla...
0 like dislike
frankspin

Thanks! Going to update my numbers.
0 like dislike
KenEsq

Let's see...yep. I can pay $180 for my wife and I to have phones and blow through our monthly data allotment by watching three movies on NetFlix.

Nope...not a good deal.

Someone in the US needs to start building out our internet infrastructure and offer it at reasonable prices.

It's pretty clear why Verizon and AT&T have basically halted their fiber plans...they can make much more money by usurping all the wireless spectrum and charging huge tariffs.

At 4G speeds you can use up the 10GB plan in just a few hours...something's not right and it is going to stifle the entire industry before long.
0 like dislike
drichter92

I figured out that if I keep my data plan and pay say $600 for a new smart phone...with the amount of data I use I still save over $600 by not switching to the new shared data! It is so ridiculous.
0 like dislike
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