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Verizon CEO: Family Shared Data Plans Could Happen in 2012

Family shared data plans could be here some time in 2012 according to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference this week, he mentioned that after 2 years of work toward account-level pricing, VZW is almost there. Customers who have multiple screens (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) and are sick of having to pay for each one individually, will soon have the option to purchase a blanket of data to cover them all. Think of shared data just like you do with family shared minutes – you purchase one bulk amount of say 5GB of data, and all of your lines or data-involved devices get to pull from it.

McAdam would not go into specifics or give a time frame for release, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an early 2012 goal of theirs.

As long as the price is fair for a decent amount of data, I’m a big fan of this idea. Wait, did I just use “fair” and “price” in the same sentence when referring to the mobile industry? Silly me, I should know better.

Thoughts on shared data?

Via:  Fierce Wireless

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Jeff

    You use fair Price and Verizon in the same sentence…. I am not sure that is actually possible….

  • Anonymous

    Yea his face says exactly what is wrong with the mobile industry!

  • Stewie

    This guy and Jha should get together and procreate, the result would be Dumbo – His ears are just behind Jha’s in largeness.

  • Jimshea537

    I think this is a long time coming. With my cable company I pay one price to use the network and I can hook up as many PC’s and printers as I want.
    With the “Family Plan” all devices should be allowed data access for one (reasonable) price. I don’t want to have to give up my unlimited data, but if tiered plans are cheaper, then maybe that would be the way to go.
    The other thing is – the price of new smartphones is getting out of hand. Also, now that we have tablets, why do phones need to be so big?!

  • Stu Pidassol

    Both my wife and I have unlimited. She barely uses hers for email and navigation once in a while. Both my kids want smartphones, but I am reluctant to pony up another $60 on top of my bill as it is. Hopefully, they will have a plan where ALL the lines do not have to be included.

  • Anonymous

    But I have the last remaining unlimited internet plan…what to do, what to do…

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t he share two fingers and stick them up in his @$$

  • jag

    I looked and we are averaging 2GB per month between the 2 phones.  If prices stay the same and I can share 2GB with my wife for $30 instead of $60 for the 2 devices I am in.  But knowing Verizon I doubt they will stay the same.

  • Gino Fratto

    This would mean that they SHOULD allow tethering at no extra cost then RIGHT?? RIGHT?? There would be no reason not too… All data is coming out of the same pool anyway… So if i have 5 gigs and want to tether from my phone to my laptop, why would that be a problem??

    • Dan

      ummm, yeah, good luck with that.

  • Dollyllama

    Boy Ralph Lauren is really starting to show his age.

  • we need some younger people to start communication companies.

    who’s down?

  • Anthonyjarmando

    we see this for what it really is, a ploy to leach more money from consumers and an attempt to get people to drop their unlimited data plan. i am *seriously* reconsidering buying the Nexus and cancelling my account in favor of Sprint. Sick of getting jerked around and having money stolen from me.

  • Anonymous

    2012? Right before the nexus launches?

  • Anonymous

    So if one member of a family has unlimited data plan, could everyone else piggyback off of him

    • Anthonyjarmando

      i highly doubt that they would allow that. it would be a seperate plan, just like how the family plan for minutes is a different plan. that means you would have to give up your unlimited data at $30 for whatever rates they are offering.

  • Anakin2Solo

    I hate this guy

    • Anakin2Solo

      and yes bro, I am mad

  • So how does that effect people grandfathered on the unlimited data. does the second phone get my data plan and they stop charging me? i see this as a way to pwon more customers somehow.

  • Anonymous

    Gee, thanks Verizon! So now instead of two data plans with 4GB for $60/month they will instead be sharing 2GB for something like $50/month. There is no way Verizon is going to make this better (cheaper) for the consumer. This dickbag needs a mega yacht and a private island.

  • Some Random Dude

    Thoughts on shared data: GIMME A F$*#ING NEXUS! 

  • Trbasil

    Just in time for the Nexus release

  • David Hussey

    If only they’d allow data plan sharing across not just other mobile phones, but other devices like tablets and chromebooks.  Now that’s something I could get behind.  Now if only they’ll grandfather an unlimited plan to a shared plan….

    • Anonymous

      Dang, I forgot about sharing data with tablets. It would be awesome to be able to share with mobile hot spot too so you could get a wifi tablet.

      Of course, this is after Verizon strips my unlimited from me.

  • Bryan Williams

    It’s jagoffs like this guy in the picture why we still don’t have a Galaxy Nexus release.

    Someone get him some Metamucil.

  • So our government can shut it down whenever they feel like it?

  • babadush

    5 gigs for a family isn’t enough

  • This.

  • Anonymous

    The only way they will actually set this up is to get more people on data, not to give a good deal to people that already have multiple data plans on a family plan. I’m not sure exactly how they’ll go about doing it, but don’t expect it to be a much better deal than what we’re getting now.

    • Oscarus

      Agree. They will not issue a plan that will *decrease* revenue. *Median* data use among smartphone owners is something like 300 MB per user per month [1].

      Their current plans are $30 for 2 GB, $50 for 5 GB. I am sure they will *not* make a family plan with 2 GB  only $30/month. Take a family plan with 4 numbers, and two current smartphone owners paying $30/month each, each of whom consume 300 MB. If Verizon priced 2 GB for the family as a whole at $30/month, under these new data plans, their revenue for this family would fall 50%, while data usage would double (assuming the new smartphone owners on the plan would consume as much as the smartphone holders).

      I predict they will issue a plan charging at least $50/month for shared family data, probably for 2 GB. That is a savings, but only sizable for those with three smartphone holders already or more. By the time these plans are introduced, Verizon’s lineup, at least its Androids, may be almost exclusively LTE. And data use was *already increasing* very quickly prior to the introduction of LTE. When data usage increases to 1 GB per month, with a 2 GB family data plan, there will hardly be any savings.[1] http://blog.validas.com/blog/2011/08/29/median-smartphone-data-usage-soars-within-past-year-att-up-888-verizon-wireless-up-551/

      tl,dr: Verizon will make these plans in a way that most people won’t save much money.

      • Verizon has no interest in saving anyone any money, and neither does
        sprint or T-Mobile (beyond under-cutting Verizon, which isn’t that
        hard).  2GB is nothing.  I limit smartphone data usage to android app updates, email with occasional news alert link clicking, tethering while traveling (data usage spikes to 10GB+), and ripping YouTube (most rips from PC don’t play on android).  Except when traveling this keeps my data usage under 2GB most of the time.  Have a slingbox or use netflix?  Verizon will screw you.

    • They already did it with text messaging – $20 gives you unlimited texting on all phones on a family plan. Data sharing would making their subscriptions AND smart phone sales soar.


    Who cares! Release the damn Nexus!!

  • lmmfao @ my family sharing 5 gigs. 

  • fartbubbler



  • IMHO, a national wifi is possible and necessary, just like Citizen Band Radio.  We shouldn’t even be talking about paying for wireless connectivity via private corporations.  The internet is an essential safeguard to democracy, replacing the rotten media services of the last century.

  • EC8CH

    I was angry at Verizon before… but now that guy is just making me sleepy.

  • Stevefxp

    Been waiting for this to happen. I am paying over 110 a month in data related. Harvest. If I pay less for equal data I am happy.

  • Sprotthedestroyer

    As long as its a 30 dollars for unlimited, shared data plan im ok with it. im not gonna give up my unlimited for family shared 5gb for 30bucks or whatever there tiered data prices are.

    • Txbeaner

      +1…can’t be any better than my unlimited data

    • Anonymous

      It keeping with a competetive market, they will offer individual plans starting at 39.99 and shared plans at 59.99. Lmao

    • I’ve said it one and will say it again…  Verizon will have to pry my unlimited plan out of my cold dead fingers if they want it.  

  • Edwin M

    Now if I could share my unlimited plan, then that would be good.

  • Anonymous

    I would love it if I could use my unlimited plan with that…. 😀

  • Not sure how that would affect users that have the unlimited data packages.  I currently have two phones that have $30 data package per phone but not limited on data used.  I still want to have unlimited data ability but pay less than $60/month for it.  If I could get that then it would be worth it but if I had to stay at a limited data package and if I go over we get screwed then that would just suck.  This may be a trick to get users to change how they pay for their data packages but in the long run make them pay more by going over the Data allowed.

  • GCurry

    As a reminder, (regulated) phone service a few decades ago cost about $20 per mo, per household.   Granted, you couldn’t call anyone without waiting, anywhere, anytime.   (In some ways that was a blessing).   Now a household could easily spend 10 times that on (unregulated) phone service.

    Houshold plans are a good idea.   But Verizon will charge what they can get via their near-monopoly, not some function of what it costs.    And you can bet that the old options will be removed as soon as they can make more money with the new options.

  • Anonymous


  • Jaime Ramirez

    CEO F.U

  • as long as my unlimited is transferable to this…then cool.

    i’d probably end up getting an iphone for the car and use a droid as my “daily driver.”

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Who gives a crap Mr. McAdam. Your network can’t handle the data anyway.

  • I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • mctypethingHeartsAngelface

    Is this the guy I need to speak to about my freaking Galaxy Nexus? Where do I find him again?

    • Benjamin Mackie


  • gearmonky

    looking at how they price shared minutes, i wouldn’t expect a cheaper price for shared data than for per-user data.  i’d expect maybe $40 for 2GB or $60 for 5GB.

    • xformulax

      I’d say this is exactly right…. $30 for 2gb (1 person) and then an additional $10 per line to use that 2gb pool.

      This will attract families who have users on “dumb” phones, and the families who already have data and need more may stay on whatever plan they’re currently on.

      • xformulax

        oops, i meant 4gb for $30, not 2gb.

        basically right now you’re forced into 4gb/30, even if you really only need like 1gb (seeing as how the median is somewhere between 300-500mb)

        so instead of a family of 2 paying $60 for 4gb each, they could share 4gb for $30+$10… you’re paying more per gb, but if you have no need for 8gb, it’s still worth it to pay less over all.

        my wife and I both have unlimited, but I’m on wifi at home and at work, and I’d seriously consider family data (after monitoring our usage for a few months) if I thought we could save ~$20 a month… even if that means losing unlimited data (and I don’t even pay the bill, she does)

  • Anonymous

    Wait for it….

  • Shut the F@@@ up verizon.

  • Jordan Webb

    I want this so badly. I’ll be getting married soon and phone stuff is one more thing we’ll have to look at cramming into one bill. Since neither of us really ever uses that much data, this might actually be an intelligent way of working it.

    Additionally, I know people that won’t upgrade their dumbphones from four years ago because the new ones are all piles of junk and they don’t want to pay much extra for a smartphone they won’t use. This has the potential to get a lot more smartphones out on family plans (good for everyone, really).

  • Bewara2009

    Silly You Kellex, 

  • Anonymous

    I’m only a fan of this if they provide a) unlimited data (dreaming, I know) or b) a decent price per GB. I’d pay $30 or 5GB, but probably not a penny more.

  • I think it is a great idea assuming they give us reasonable prices. It should make smartphones less expensive to own.

  • Anonymous

    Yes you did…and beyond that, you used “decent” in there too.