Print 18 comment(s) - last by Dark Legion.. on Dec 10 at 12:47 PM

Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless  (Source:
The shared, pooled, or family data plans would allow multiple users to share one batch of data for various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and USB modems for laptops

Verizon Wireless has announced that it will offer family data plans for wireless users with various devices as soon as 2012.

Currently, users are allowed to share voice minutes across multiple phones and users through family plans, but data usage is charged on a device-by-device basis. According to Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications CEO, Verizon wants to change this by offering one data plan for multiple devices.

The shared, pooled, or family data plans would allow multiple users to share one batch of data for various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and USB modems for laptops.

Verizon Wireless didn't specify how the plans would work, but pointed out that they may be available as soon as 2012.

"I think in 2012 we will see it," said McAdam. "We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal."

In other Verizon-related news, McAdam discussed both the $3.6 billion deal to buy SpectrumCo's AWS spectrum licenses as well as Verizon's mobile payment venture Isis, which it shares with AT&T and T-Mobile.

Verizon is puchasing the spectrum licenses in order to allow Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Bright House Networks to resell Verizon's services and vice versa. According to McAdam, the idea behind the deal is to increase Verizon's LTE capacity. Oddly enough, Verizon Communications, the sister company of Verizon Wireless, just announced that it's planning a video streaming service that will rival traditional cable TV services.

As far as Isis goes, McAdam says it's expected to hit the market in late 2012.

Sources: PCMag, Fierce Wireless

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Almost excited
By Lanister on 12/7/2011 5:24:35 PM , Rating: 4
I would be excited about this plan if I didn’t believe they are simply going to make the family data plan about the same price as having them all individual. They simply wouldn’t be doing this if it would save its customers money.

RE: Almost excited
By rzrshrp on 12/7/2011 5:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still hopeful. If priced right, it could still make Verizon money and be a good deal. I refuse to pay for 3g on anything but a phone because it's so much, but I'd pay an extra ten bucks or so to get a tablet or laptop online as well. For people like me, they'd gain revenue with a reasonable price structure.

RE: Almost excited
By KentState on 12/7/2011 6:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. This would be the only way I'd pay for 4g service on my Xoom.

RE: Almost excited
By DanNeely on 12/7/2011 7:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
Disagree. Based on the reported relative sales numbers for smart vs feature phones I suspect at this point they've largely converted most of the people who feel adding smart phones is worth an extra $30/line. To keep going they need to convince parents who're currently balking at going from $10 to $40/mo/kid to upgrade. They're not going to do that without making getting kids on smartphones cheaper. My guess would be $10/line extra before adding on more data. That's $360/line/contract term more which is should be enough to cover the higher device subsidies.

If they leave extra data at $10/GB/mo as people do more data hungry stuff on their phones they should be able to minimize the losses from childless couples switching to the new plans. It's much easier to forbid your kids from using streaming video/audio except on wifi than it is to do the same to your spouse afterall. :D

RE: Almost excited
By dsquare86 on 12/8/2011 6:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
Agree with you. I ponder regularly why there are two smartphones on our account and we only use roughly 2MB out of 2GB on each one of these lines. Data connection is 1x and so Wifi is utilized frequently. $60 for that? Insanity.

RE: Almost excited
By FITCamaro on 12/8/2011 7:40:16 AM , Rating: 1
So why not drop data? Seems to me you're stupidly paying for something you don't use.

RE: Almost excited
By quiksilvr on 12/8/2011 9:15:42 AM , Rating: 4
People tied to CDMA phones don't have the luxury to get a smartphone on their own and stick their SIM card in it, thus bypassing the "MUST HAVE 3G TO HAZ PHONE KTHXBAI" clause.

RE: Almost excited
By Dark Legion on 12/10/2011 12:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
That is why there are people that change ESN #s. =)

Why is it 1x though, and what's the point of having smartphones if you're not using data on the go anyway?

RE: Almost excited
By dsquare86 on 12/9/2011 10:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
So why not drop data? Seems to me you're stupidly paying for something you don't use.

Verizon will not allow you to activate a smartphone without a data plan. Stupid? You find me a carrier who isn't like this.

RE: Almost excited
By Dark Legion on 12/10/2011 12:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
It makes sense, one of the biggest features of a smartphone is to always have data/internet access. If you don't need it, there are so many other devices that still fulfill all other smartphone needs and only have WiFi. Id say the stupid part is to not use something you generally HAVE to pay for when buying such a device. Considering you already have the smartphones, just pay someone to change the ESN/make verizon think it's a feature phone, activate through the phone, and drop the data plan, done.

RE: Almost excited
By ctodd on 12/8/2011 9:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
Not bad if you have a wife with a smartphone that only uses email, text, kindle and a couple of games. All of that monthly allowance is wasted. Where as I eat the allowance quickly. Luckly I am unlimited on all of my phones w/ At&t.

One month after subscribing to the family plan
By Supa on 12/7/2011 10:50:43 PM , Rating: 3
... family members start to blame each others for exceeding the limit.


By FITCamaro on 12/8/2011 7:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
Fighting leads to anger.....anger leads to hate....hate leads to the dark side....the dark side bakes me cookies.

By Arsynic on 12/8/2011 9:39:59 AM , Rating: 2
Ah...the good old!

Come on over to Sprint
By Dr of crap on 12/8/2011 8:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
We've had the family share plan for over 6 years now.

We share minutes and UNLIMITED data on 4 phones, and no roaming charges or overage chrages!
Just one, the same, charge ever month.


RE: Come on over to Sprint
By ConcernedConsumer on 12/8/2011 9:49:57 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't Sprint just recently announce that they're converting all unlimited data plans to a model similar to Verizon and AT&T?

RE: Come on over to Sprint
By idiot77 on 12/8/2011 10:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
That applies only to tethering.

By MadDogMorgan on 12/8/2011 10:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
This will only be interesting if they increase their data cap massively. 5GB is simply a very, very sad joke.

Netflix, Hulu, Microsoft updates, Adobe updates, game updates, etc. 5GB wont even begin to do it. No, I am not torrenting at all.

Right now I have a 250GB cap on Comcast at 30Mb/s for $45/month. Verizon needs to compete with that. At least offer price tiered caps.

The latest Battlefield 3 update was 3.9GB. That's going to wreak a bit of havoc with your pathetic 5GB cap, eh?

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