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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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That's okay, he's an idiot
By MeesterNid on 5/19/2012 10:51:10 PM , Rating: 1
Let's see, my wife and I have two separate data plans right now. She uses next to nothing and I almost always hit the wall by the end of the billing cycle. Having a pool to draw from would be a huge plus for me and I imagine many others in a similar situation.

The fact is that it's dead simple to let people set quotas so they don't use up the entire pool by themselves.

He should stop talking and instead work on getting the company out of the toilet where they lose customer every quarter.

RE: That's okay, he's an idiot
By Brandon Hill on 5/19/2012 11:16:45 PM , Rating: 5
I'm eager to see how these share plans work out. My wife and I both have grandfathered unlimited plans on AT&T paying $60 a month total for data.

She uses maybe 300-400MB a month and I use between 500MB to 800MB. However, when I tether using MyWi, I can hit a monthly high of around 3 to 4GB. But that's maybe only once or twice a year when we're at the beach.

If we can pool a reasonable amount of data for less than our current $60, I'll bite.

RE: That's okay, he's an idiot
By mevans336 on 5/20/2012 10:53:32 AM , Rating: 3
I'm with you Brandon, however, I am very doubtful the plans will benefit folks like you and me who only pay for 2 data plans. I'm betting they are going to target the higher ARPU customers who have 4 or 5 phones on their family plan.

I have a feeling it will play out something like this; 1GB for $30, 5GB for $60, 10GB for $80, and so on.

While I could drop both data plans and stay within 1GB of usage, we would definitely have to watch our data usage much more closely, as (combined) the two phones on my family plan use a little more or a little less than 1GB each month.

They definitely don't want to lose revenue per device, so they're going to structure it so the least amount of people can downgrade and save money, the most amount of people keep paying what they currently are, and a small portion will bump up to something they *think* they need at the moment. As data usage increases, everyone will have to bump up tiers and spend more anyway.

RE: That's okay, he's an idiot
By Jaybus on 5/21/2012 3:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
I too am grandfathered on an unlimited plan, but I have doubts as to how much longer they will let us stay grandfathered. I'm sure that eventually we'll lose the unlimited whether we like it or not.

RE: That's okay, he's an idiot
By Samus on 5/21/2012 4:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
My wife and I have have a plan sharing minutes, text and data across 3 lines with Ting. It's ideal for people who are not data heavy, and just need it for surfing, mapping, email, etc, because your not stuck paying $10-$20 per line for 200mb of data like you are on T-mobile, and instead just pay $6-$24 for 500-2000mb across all three.

RE: That's okay, he's an idiot
By cigar3tte on 5/21/2012 1:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt it. Consider the fact that tiered data at 2GB ceiling came out at the same price as unlimited data used to be.

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