Verizon Unveils “Share Everything” Plans Details

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Verizon Wireless has offered up details for its new “Share Everything” data plans. The plans encourage the grouping of multiple devices on one plan – and if you’re a single you may not love the set up.

Here’s why: The plans incorporate unlimited phone and text message use, plus a “bucket” of data that can be shared across up to 10 Verizon Wireless devices. The shared plans will launch June 28th and will start at $50.

Verizon calls the new offering “the plan that revolves around you” and told WHNT News 19 earlier this year the changes were brought about in part due to customer feedback.

As CNET reports, “The industry is hoping that the notion of a shared data plan will specifically spark sales of tablets, which haven’t fared well outside of Apple’s iPad. Verizon hopes customers will be more willing to use a cellular-connected tablet if they can draw from a common pool of data, rather than a separate plan and bill.”

Here’s how the plans break down. Each comes with unlimited calling and text. That’s a big plus for those who hate worrying about overage charges. A $50 monthly plan gets you one gigabyte to be shared across devices.The prices go up from there depending on data use:

    • $60 a month, 2GB
    • $70, 4GB
    • $80, 6GB
    • $90, 8GB
    • $100, 10GB

There will be a low-end $40 plan offering 300 megabytes of data. That plan does not include data sharing. You can review the full details of Verizon’s Share Everything plan here. The company also has a handy calculator to help you estimate what shared plan is best for you.

The share plans will likely bring savings for those who sign up as part of a family or group. For singles though, it may be a different story. That’s in part because of a fee structure for the new plans, requiring an additional monthly charge for each device used – $40 per smartphone; $30 a phone; $20 for a hot spot, USB modem, notebook, or netbook; and $10 for a tablet.

Verizon Wireless announced earlier this year it planned to drop unlimited data plans – even for users currently “grandfathered” in as customers upgrade to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. CBS News reported no indication users of Verizon’s unlimited 3G data plans will be forced to give them up if they do not upgrade services.

The New York Times’ Bits Blog reported that, according to an e-mailed statement from Verizon, the death of grandfathered unlimited data plans “will come when all the people with unlimited data give up their devices for new ones.”

Here is Verizon’s statement as reported in the New York Times:

– Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
– When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
– Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
– The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.

As news of the coming changes first spread, many customers expressed frustration – venting through social media and on the web. Some even signed a petition asking Verizon to keep the “grandfathered” unlimited plans.

Blowback over the plan changes initially ignited after The JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston, where Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said customers will be forced to switch to tiered plans when they upgrade to Verizon’s 4G LTE network – currently available in most major and mid-sized cities across the United States.

“As you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan,” Shammo said, “[We’re] moving away from, if you will, the unlimited world and moving everybody into a tiered structure data share-type plan.”

Verizon got rid of unlimited data plans for smartphone users last July but allowed customers to keep unlimited data plans even after their contracts expired. Verizon has also allowed 3G wireless subscribers to upgrade to 4G LTE devices and stay with unlimited plans.

You can also follow WHNT News 19 Anchor and Technology Correspondent Michelle Stark on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on this developing story.