US Cellular announced its own version of shared data plans this morning, joining Verizon and AT&T in one of the most often criticized new wireless trends of the last couple of years. As with the others, US Cellular claims that having giant pots of data that can be shared between family members and employees is much easier to manage. Of course, no one was actually asking for this type of easy management until the industry took unlimited data away from us all and realized that they could bank off of GBs just like they once did with minute and text overages.
So what are US Cellular’s new shared data plans? They look something like this:
- Unlimited talk and text
- Each smartphone will cost you $40 per month; feature phones are $30 per month
- Tablets are $10; hotspots are $20
- 1GB data – $50
- 2GB data – $60
- 4GB data – $70
- 6GB data – $80
- 8GB data – $90
- 10GB data – $100
If you have a single line smartphone, with a 2GB data package, you are looking at a monthly bill of $100, which includes unlimited talk and text. With a family of 3, all smartphones, and a 8GB data package, you are looking at a monthly bill of $210.
The plans and pricing are identical to Verizon’s, so yes, they probably look familiar.
US Cellular has said that they will not force existing customers onto these shared data plans.
U.S. CELLULAR UNVEILS SHARED DATA PLANS FOR CONSUMERS AND BUSINESS
Consumers can share data on up to 10 devices; businesses can share on up to 25 devices
CHICAGO (Oct. 14, 2013) – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) is making it easy for customers to manage their data, voice and messaging services with its new Shared Data plans for consumers and small businesses. With these new plans, customers can build the plan that best meets the wireless needs of their families or employees without having to keep track of multiple plans or accounts. These plans are available now, and existing customers are not required to change to a Shared Data plan.
U.S. Cellular’s Shared Data plans include unlimited minutes and messaging and provide customers flexibility in choosing a data plan to match how they use their wireless devices. Customers can share a single bucket of data among their smartphones, basic phones, tablets, hotspots and wireless modems. U.S. Cellular offers the most Shared Data options of any carrier and its plans are the only ones in the marketplace that come with a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty.
“At U.S. Cellular, providing an exceptional wireless experience is our number one goal, and we strive to provide it through our high-quality network along with devices and plans that meet our customers’ needs,” said Joe Settimi, vice president of products, pricing and innovation for U.S. Cellular. “Our Shared Data plans are designed to simplify the way our customers manage their wireless usage and provide choice and flexibility when deciding what is right for them.”
Customers can start by selecting the devices, up to 10, that they want on their Shared Data plan. They can then choose the amount of data that matches up with their usage on those devices from plans that start at 300 MB for $40 and go up to 75 GB for $560 per month. Business customers can select up to 25 devices to share up to 100 GB of data for $750 per month. Tethering is included on all plans. Smartphones have a monthly device connection charge of $40, basic phones are $30, hotspots and wireless modems are $20 and tablets can be added for $10 per month.
The following chart shows a sampling of some of the Shared Data plans that customers can choose from.
Data only plans are available for tablets, hotspots and modems that start at $10 per month for 1 GB of data. The same monthly device connection charges as above apply. For customers with basic phones, U.S. Cellular is offering “Talk and Text Only Plans” that include 450 minutes and unlimited messaging for individuals for $50 and 1000 minutes and unlimited messaging for families at $100 for two lines and $20 for each additional line.
For a limited time, customers that add a tablet, hotspot or modem to their Shared Data plan get the monthly device connection charge waived until the end of 2013. For more information on U.S. Cellular’s Shared Data plans, visit uscellular.com.
Additional terms, conditions and/or charges may apply. See uscellular.com for details.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, 61 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds and nearly 90 percent will have access by the end of 2013. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2012 for the second year in a row. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.