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Verizon CFO: Family Shared Data Plans Coming This Summer

During Verizon’s Q1 earnings call today, CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo said that family data plans will launch this summer. He did not go into specifics on price or data bundle size, but did mention that by mid-summer, families will have an option to share a pool of data and add devices onto it easily.

As I said, we will be launching our data share plan in midsummer this year.We believe that plan, the way we have it designed, will enable our customers to easily connect other devices to that plan.

We have covered this saga for almost a year now, all the while seeing family plan calculators appear, mentions of “mid-year” launches, and overhauling of account management systems. While Big Red has taken time to work out all the kinks, it looks like they have come far enough for Shammo to express a more specific time frame publicly.

We are still unsure if this will be a positive or negative move for the industry. In a time when data prices are increasing, we can’t help but wonder if these bundles will be overpriced and under-sized. I guess we’ll know in a couple of months.

  • http://twitter.com/NKD11 Nitin Kumar

    I honestly think that more lines you have the more you will probably save. I mean verizon is not going to give you 8GB for 60 dollars if the double data deal is still there than there is no point of shared data and you might as well have your own plan. If they give me 15gb for 100 bucks, I am all for it. I have unlimited on my line but everyone else has 4GB, and I have 5 lines. I barely use 4 and everyone barely uses 1gb, so I am happy with that. If it is overall cheaper for me, I will sign up for it. Knowing Verizon and their premium way of doing things I wont be surprised if they assume people are stupid and try to rip people off by going shared data.

  • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

    I am just hoping I can buy 1 monster pack and add in my XOOM and hotspot and not have them on separate plans anymore.  Having 8 total devices and 6 of those 8 being smartphones/hotspots and 1 feature phone that requires the cheapest data package I would be shocked if I ended up paying more.

  • Michael Lewis

    I’ll have to convince my family to NOT get this plan. I want to keep my unlimited data. I think unlimited data is better then sharing data between family members. It could mean that I’m ruining everyone else’s experience just because I decide to watch lots of videos one month…

  • ~dArK.AnGeL

    I’ve been waiting for this; 5 phones now! grrrr….  all but one unlimited so not so sure it’ll help $$; lets hope.. .

  • Devon Kiss

    Yet another reason to stay with the best!

  • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 DougZ

    I think we’re living in a “data price bubble” right now. Wireless is quickly becoming the top way of getting on the Internet, and there are small companies popping up here and there that offer unlimited data plans at a reasonable price. I think eventually the same thing that happened to the dial-up market in the 1990′s will happen with wireless: the big guys will overcharge, the small startups will undercut them, and eventually the big guys will lower their prices.

    Paying for data is a terrible business model. It’s like saying:You have to pay for this book before you read it, and you’re going to pay per page.””How many pages are in the book before I buy it?””We can’t tell you that.”

    There is no other product that does this…when you think about it in this manner it almost seems fraudulent.

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    I have a Shared Family plan for minutes and all 5 phones on the plan have unlimited data. Thankfully, I get a discount through my company on my line and I don’t mind paying the $287 a month for all 5 phones.  I could never go to a Shared Data plan, I still have a kid in school that watches YouTube at school on his phone.  I think he used 14GB last month.

    I think where VZW will get you is when people forget to turn off auto upload of pictures to G+, MotoCast, Dropbox, etc.

    • http://twitter.com/NKD11 Nitin Kumar

      Your kid must not be studying if he is using 14gb a month on his phone, lol. My nephew uses less than a gig and he goes to school too. He uses his phone mostly at home where he uses wifi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

    Why would anyone want a family data plan…sounds like an easy way to get ripped off

    • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

      Let’s see my mom barely uses 250MB of data so i want it

  • http://twitter.com/hannsoft Greg Hannigan

    If the cost of a plan is less than (#-of-phones x $30) then it’ll be worth it. I think that’s the whole point – make it less expensive than several different data plans per family. If they give you a discount in doing that then of COURSE they’re going to ask for something in return .. and that’ll come in the form of a tradeoff in total amount of data.  They’ll say “want more data? Get separate plans”.  Or pay enough more for that family plan that there’s no longer any savings. Them doing it any other way doesn’t make any sense.

    Remember – this is the company that now makes you wait almost 2 years to upgrade your phone at a discount – and then makes you pay them a fee for the favor.  About 30% of the discount is now gone.

  • PC_Tool

    If I can get 10 GB for under $120, we’re golden.

    (5 line family plan, 4 devices with unlimited @ $30, rarely go over 8GB a month between them all….most of which is on my device)

  • Franklin

    They can have my unlimited data when they pry it from my cold dead hands….or i switch to sprint :)

    • Jeremyb352

      The only reason Sprint still offers an unlimited data plan is because there’re network data speeds are so slow that no one could possibly use more than what AT&T and big red are offering tiered in a month. I’ve had AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon in the last 12 months. My Sprint speeds were as slow as AT&T EDGE!!! Of that’s IF I had coverage at all.

  • Booboolala2000

    I can easily share 10 gigs between my three lines and the XOOM. Save me about $40 if priced currently.

  • Darcmasta

    I personally don’t need more than 5GB for a family plan. I use almost 3-4GB a month and the other line uses 1GB and that’s the max. $40 for 5GB sounds fair in my book.

  • jnt

    This will be another way for them to drop the unlimited user (UU).

    UU: Hi – my wife and I have unlimited data but $30 each.  Can we do in together?
    VZW: Sure, but you’ll have to opt for a tiered plan.  You could do any of the following choices…
    UU: So we’d lose unlimited?
    VZW: Yes, but you’ll be paying less per month by moving to the family tiered plan… 
    UU: Then sign me up!
    VZW: Ok great… (VZW gods laughing in the background)

    • jnt

      goodness…
      *but PAY $30 each
      *GO in together

    • capecodcarl

      It’ll probably be $60/month for 4 GB of shared data knowing Verizon. :-/

  • KleenDroid

    I don’t think Verizon will ever match the $10 per line for unlimited data deal that we all got by reading Droid Life last year. I have 5 lines with unlimited data and don’t mind the $50 bucks total, but would hate paying $150 for just data….

    I feel bad for those that pay up to $30 per line and don’t even get unlimited data.

    • ipodmypants

      after getting on this deal I cant imagine ever paying 30 for data ever again.  sure it took me several tries and multiple CS reps, but it was time well spent. spending 2 hours to save over $60 a month? thats a no brainer. 

      • KleenDroid

        I agree. I also got several of my friends on this deal back then. It’s a good thing everyone on this board jumped on this deal since it is obvious Verizon will never offer such a good deal ever again. 

        • Ugene

          I hope they remove it

          • El Big CHRIS

            At the time I didnt know this site existed. I called in for something unrelated and the Rep offered it to me. I was like really $40 for 4 lines of unlimited data? Sign me in! Oh and some rep a few months told me that the discount is to expire in something like 2038  :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

            It is good as long as we keep the plan. That is what they told us when we signed up. And I am on the 5-line plan and saving $100/month on data.

    • Bunklung

       Can you link this post with the details for the deal? I know it’s past tense, but I have never heard of it.

  • Rob Becker

    Who wants to bet it will be linear at best? For example currently it’s $30/5GB… family will be $60/10GB for 2 people … 

    No way they’ll actually make anything CHEAPER. It’s Verizon!

    • Cchoncek

      That’s silly. They will want families to buy into this so they’ll provide an incentive for doing so. 

    • Apostrafee

      Well it would have to be cheaper…their goal is for every person to have a smartphone in their hands and unless they drop that price it will not happen, though the guys in the ivory towers at Big Red seem to have no grasp on reality and what people can actually afford….it will be interesting.

      • nicotinic

        People can afford plenty. It’s just not convenient and comfortable. If we can pay to eat out, movies, Internet in your home and on your phone, and other non-essentials and/or entertainment we can afford a $30.00 data plan.

        I don’t like Verizon’s gouging anymore than the next guy but a lack of affordability is not the issue. Most bums don’t have smartphones because “they” can’t afford it.

        • Apostrafee

          I suppose can’t and won’t are two different things. I do work for an indirect Verizon store and day in and day out people WON’T pay for data for themselves or kids. I think it may be generational, the parents don’t see or understand paying $30 extra for a “phone”. Of course it takes a little explaining as to what these”phones” can do. But you are correct they can afford it….it always makes me laugh when someone comes in complaining about the data package but drives off in a new bmw and wearing a new louis vutton bag kids decked out in northface and all that….

  • Michael_NM

    “overpriced and undersized” This VZW we’re talking about. It’s more likely that the iPhon’t 5 will use ICS instead of iOS than VZW will introduce fair-priced family data plans.

    • Jacob121791

      I think Verizon will keep their current pricing scale for the family plan and then jack up the price of a single line…..

  • moelsen8

    it’s verizon.. definitely going to be overpriced and undersized.  i’m sure they’ll be able to rob lots of unsuspecting families

  • Guest

    Unless it’s at least 10 GB, it’ll be a joke.

  • Mmoreimi

    I have unlimited data too…but if the price is right, I guess I can deal with that.  Right now I have 2 lines with data on my plan with a 3rd person wanting data as well.  90 for 3 data users is kind of ridiculous.

    • capecodcarl

      What I think will be more important is if there is no limit on the number of devices you can have on the shared data plan, or at least some high limit.  You may have 3 smartphone users, but a few may have a tablet or netbook and want mobile broadband on those.  Why not let you share you pool of minutes between all the devices in your family?  Data is data so why should I need multiple lines of service for a new device I just bought?

  • T4rd

    My only fear with this is that they force us Grandfathered Unlimited users into these shared plans.  If they do that, then I’m gone to Sprint. Unless they transfer us from Unlimited to their highest tier shared plan (hopefully at least 20 GBs). I should be good with that.

    • Apostrafee

      I would assume that would be the case…if you wanna take advantage of the “better/cheaper” pricing you will have to drop it…but the choice will of course be the customers. How much data do you use monthly?

      • Cchoncek

        Since Wifi is significantly slower than 4G,  with 4G, I’m easily using 7-8 GB/month (streaming music, movies and downloading eats it up quickly). 

        • Apostrafee

          Damn that’s quite a bit

          • nicotinic

            Yeah but smartphones have begun to replace computers as the primary access point for the Internet even at home.
            The faster the connection and device the more the user relies on the phone. I was doing that on the 3g Droid X, now I have a Rezound and I’ll probably be using it more. X avg about 3-4gb.

        • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

          What WiFi are you on? my home connection has a 100mb down and 5 up.  4G around here can’t touch that.  That and the closest 4G is an hour and a half drive.

      • T4rd

         If they give me the option, I will keep unlimited no matter how cheap they make their tiered plans.  I’m only paying $135/month for unlimited everything (besides 1400 mins/month) on two phones after taxes/fees.  I couldn’t imagine it being much, if any cheaper than that.

        I don’t use much over 1-2 GBs when I’m near home.  But I travel for work sometimes and like to tether instead of using Hotels slow WiFi connections.  When I travel, I use at least 5 GBs or so, depends on how long I’m gone though.  Here soon I have a 10 week class in another state, so I’m sure I’ll be using at least 10-20 GBs those months, hah.

        • Apostrafee

          True it probably won’t be much cheaper but will they allow family shares to take advantage if only say 2 out of 4 of the people on the plan have a smartphone? Or will everyone need to have a smartphone to take advantage? Well if it is the former then they would have to allow people to upgrade out of nowhere….there are a lot of factoers that will come into play which is why i think it is taking so long for them to come up with the right formula to make money and provide a cheaper format

  • WrinkledForeskin

    So I can share my unimited data? :) 

    • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

      Most important question here :)

      • ERIFNOMI

        Also dumbest question here. Of course not.

    • Guest

      Yeah, and the Pope is Jewish.

      • http://boardsandbrews.wordpress.com Enzy

        No he’s not, don’t be ridiculous.

        • TomDevCorben200

          Someone told me that Jesus was Jewish… is this info still correct as of today?

          • http://boardsandbrews.wordpress.com Enzy

            I’ve checked with my sources, and can now say with certainty that yes, Jesus was Jewish, sent to die for the sins of the people that believe in a religion that did not exist at the time of his death.

    • Butters619

      The whole shared family plan idea was probably to offer plans to get people to trade in their unlimited data.  Same with AT&T’s tiered plan pricing scheme.

      • Noyfb

        You can have my unlimited data when you pry it from my cold dead hands…..or when they just cancel it, and then I go to sprint. 

        • Butters619

          I would rather have a data cap than go to sprint.

    • biggz

      no unlimited data will be no more you will have to share a limited data, so if you had 2 phones that both had unlimited. you will now have 2 phones and say 2gbs of data a month.

      I have 10 phones on my account all with unlimited data and if verizon wants drop the unlimited and go to shared…. I will be leaving and going to another provider