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T-Mobile's SVP of Marketing thinks that AT&T and Verizon are barking up the wrong tree with family data plans

AT&T and Verizon Wireless are planning to introduce new family data plans this summer in order to simplify data management across multiple devices. Numerous wireless devices would share a single pool of data per month instead of being charged a fixed amount per month for each device.
 
T-Mobile, however, isn't keen on this change in direction by the two largest wireless carriers in the United States. According to Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile's senior vice president of marketing, family data plans are bad for customers. Sherrard feels that having multiple people (or devices) on family data share plans will lead to customers constantly fearing that they will go over their data allotment.
 
"Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption," Sherrard questioned. "We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment."

T-Mobile believes that consumers today do not want a ‘one size fits all’ approach to shared family data plans, nor would they benefit from that model."
 
So if family data plans aren't the answer, what is T-Mobile's alternative? The company feels that it offers the right balance for customers with no-annual-contract data plans (daily, weekly, or monthly) for tablets, "unlimited" data plans (in T-Mobile's case, unlimited means full speed data access until you hit your monthly threshold, then reduced speeds until the end of your billing cycle), and the addition of mobile hotspot functionality with 5GB and 10GB data plans.
 
However, until AT&T and Verizon Wireless announce pricing for their respective family data plans, we won't know which solution offers the best value for customers. And even when pricing is revealed, no one solution is going to be perfect for every family or situation. 

Source: T-Mobile Blog



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It's 2012, people
By Solandri on 5/19/2012 7:13:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption," Sherrard questioned. "We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment."

Each phone has a unique ID and its data use can be tracked and throttled separately. The family plan is simply a billing mechanism.

All you have to do is give families tools to manage their data use, much like disk quotas on shared filesystems back in the 1970s. If the family plan allows 5 GB/mo, you could allocate 1GB to each of 4 family members, and 1 shared GB as overage. So if Billy eats up his 1GB and all of the 1GB overage, as long as mom isn't close to 1GB she's still good to go.

At the end of the money, the family reviews their data usage. Billy gets scolded for eating up 2GB, gets his quota lowered to 0.5GB and his shared overage privileges revoked for a month.

It's 2012. If these types of management tools don't exist yet, families should be demanding them. They should've been created back around 2000 when family plans were first introduced.




RE: It's 2012, people
By Trisped on 5/20/2012 2:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
Parental controls already allow parents to control how many minutes can be used and texts sent from a phone. I have not looked recently, but I expect that controlling data usage on a per-phone bases will be included with the new family plans.

Personally I think the new family plans sound great. I barely use my phone, so why pay full price for a plan I barely use when other people in the family are constantly going over on theirs?


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