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The plans allow customers to add up to 10 devices to a single data plan with unlimited talk and text as well

AT&T is following in the footsteps of Verizon by unveiling Mobile Share plans, which offers customers another choice in the way of data, talk and text.

AT&T's Mobile Share plans aim to allow customers to share a single plate of data across various devices like smartphones and tablets. Unlimited talk and text are added to that chunk of data as well.

The idea behind the new plans is to give customers better control over what device they choose to use with their data bucket, and how they choose to use it. These plans consolidate data and give customers the option to use their one large chunk of data on any mobile device.

“We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They’ll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It’s their choice. 

“Today we think of people’s smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we’ll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet,” said Christopher. “Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices.”

Customers can choose one of the new Mobile Share plans without having to sign a contract extension, but they are not required to switch to one of these plans. For those that do want to switch, all they have to do is choose how much data they want per month and tie up to 10 devices (one must be a smartphone) to their new Mobile Share plan. Each Mobile Share plan includes unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones or basic messaging phones. They also include tethering.

Here is the pricing table for Mobile Share plans:


The new Mobile Share plans will be available in late August.

Just last month, Verizon revealed its "Share Everything" plans, which is basically the same exact idea as AT&T's Mobile Share plans. Customers can purchase "buckets" of data and add various mobile devices to the plan with unlimited talk and text.

Source: AT&T



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This Just In
By kleinma on 7/18/2012 11:23:34 AM , Rating: 5
AT&T announces its new "bend over for everyone" plans to match Verizon's earlier move, when they rolled out their "whole family take it up the rear" data share plans.

I remember when dial up was pay per minute, then unlimited
I remember when cell voice calls were pay per minute, then unlimited
I remember when txt messages were pay per each, now unlimited.

Data magically went from unlimited to crippled, amazingly at the same time the companies roll out their advanced networks for people to consume more data..




RE: This Just In
By FITCamaro on 7/18/2012 11:46:21 AM , Rating: 1
Do you have a wireless network that can handle unlimited data to tens of millions of people simultaneously? Neither do AT&T, Verizon, or anyone else.

Until you do, either pay for it or don't.


RE: This Just In
By BSMonitor on 7/18/2012 11:52:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Do you have a wireless network that can handle unlimited data to tens of millions of people simultaneously? Neither do AT&T, Verizon, or anyone else.


Except that tens of millions are not simultaneously streaming their entire 4GB or 6GB or unlimited data allocations all at once.

http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/T

http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/VZ

Clearly with 5% and 4% dividend yields. Both companies trading at record highs. Clearly neither has the capital to improve their service instead of charging customers more for less.


RE: This Just In
By FITCamaro on 7/18/2012 2:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you forget just how expensive it is to expand a network. Furthermore, the ability to pay for it isn't the only issue. They can't just go out and build a new tower wherever they want.


RE: This Just In
By tekzor on 7/18/2012 3:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
and yet they still rake in millions of $ in profit.
Where is the money going?


RE: This Just In
By Arsynic on 7/18/2012 12:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for pointing out that the data rates are priced so as to convince you not to use it.


RE: This Just In
By nafhan on 7/18/2012 12:06:12 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah... except that "can they provide unlimited?" is not the concern here. Obviously, every network is going to have a maximum limit on capacity. These new plans appear to primarily be designed around increasing prices while misleading customers regarding what they are getting.

If network capacity was the real concern, they could offer unlimited plans at are a reasonable price with the understanding that the heaviest users will be the first to get throttled on a network segment that is near capacity.

Instead, they are charging people more for similar (or less) service, while trying to convince the customers that they are getting a good deal (and it's for their own benefit!). That's the problem.

Obviously, the carriers can (generally) charge whatever they like for the service they provide. It's just worth pointing out that their stated reasons for doing so are mostly lies with just enough truth to make the lies plausible.

Anyway, like you said, not much in the way of alternatives, so I'll probably continue paying :(


RE: This Just In
By FITCamaro on 7/18/2012 2:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
They're offering less access for more because every day, new smartphones which use data are added to their network. They're trying to control how fast that data usage is growing because they can't keep up with demand.

Don't get me wrong, I think the prices are high. But ultimately, you have the choice to decide if it's worth it. Either you do and continue paying for it, or you don't.

quote:
Obviously, the carriers can (generally) charge whatever they like for the service they provide.


Except we have people on here who want the government to step in and tell carriers what they can charge for data.


RE: This Just In
By nafhan on 7/18/2012 4:42:26 PM , Rating: 1
Right. Again, "less for more" isn't really the problem so much as the lying about the reasons why they're doing this.
quote:
They're offering less access for more because every day, new smartphones which use data are added to their network. They're trying to control how fast that data usage is growing because they can't keep up with demand.
Actually, that's just what they're saying is happening. I'm not convinced that the demand growth is exceeding availability in a way that warrants this kind of action. My opinion is that there are other actions they could take if the only goal was to ensure adequate throughput over the network, and that they're making these changes mostly because they think it's a good balance between bringing in more money and not driving to many customers away.

Regardless, the only thing we can say with certainty about this situation is that prices are going up for most users of these services.


RE: This Just In
By nolisi on 7/18/2012 12:24:40 PM , Rating: 5
You don't increase wireless access speeds and release a fleet of handsets to take advantage of it if your infrastructure can't handle it.

Monthly data caps do nothing to preserve service if all your users overwhelm your infrastructure at once. The problem is gigabytes/second rather than gigabytes. AT&T is telling you they have to charge for gigabytes in order to preserve service. But AT&T will be forced to throttle speeds if enough users start transferring enough gigabytes/second to cripple their infrastructure. They're charging you as if they're storing the data (not their business) rather than just transferring the data.

If preserving bandwidth capacity is the concern, you limit speeds (as T-Mobile does) rather than charging more.


RE: This Just In
By michael2k on 7/18/2012 1:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? That's what AT&T did, after all.


RE: This Just In
By FITCamaro on 7/18/2012 2:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You don't increase wireless access speeds and release a fleet of handsets to take advantage of it if your infrastructure can't handle it.


Except that's exactly what they've done.


RE: This Just In
By nolisi on 7/18/2012 6:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except that's exactly what they've done.


Do you have hard numbers on AT&T's bandwidth limits in each cellular market? Cuz I'd love to see them. Or are you just believing whatever AT&T's press releases say? You don't trust politicians or government, but you're ready and willing to believe anything business says to you. Brilliant.

I happen to be typing this from inside an AT&T data center where my company (who builds telecommunications infrastructure for both AT&T and Verizon, including cell towers). I've worked in 3 AT&T datacenters in 2 geographically disparate locations. When it comes to things like power and bandwidth, they plan plenty of overhead and manage growth well.


RE: This Just In
By tayb on 7/18/2012 12:30:21 PM , Rating: 4
I can't believe people still make this argument as it makes absolutely no sense and never did.

The network can already service tens of millions of people simultaneously or it would crash every single day during peak data usage hours. It doesn't matter if you cap usage at 2GB...the data is still being used simultaneously up until the cap is reached.

If the network can't handle that many people simultaneously accessing it the answer is throttling during peak hours or more network buildup. Capping data usage doesn't do a single thing to solve this issue.

AT&T and Verizon are both greedy bags of shit. They print money, pound the table in negotiations with their employees, and rip off consumers all in the name of generating more shareholder wealth. And they have an almost complete duopoly on the market and abuse the hell out of that position. Fuck them. Both should be broken up in anti-trust court.

I dropped AT&T because they sucked ass and went to Verizon. I canceled Verizon because they ended unlimited plans. If more people actually did something as opposed to having a circle jerk about how much they hate these guys the industry would actually change. Fat chance, Americans love getting pounded in the ass and whining about it.


RE: This Just In
By FITCamaro on 7/18/2012 2:18:16 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, yes they can handle devices pinging their network. But they can't handle everyone with a smart phone pulling down lots of data all day. In highly populated areas, we've seen the results of that.

Second, I'm not commenting on whether or not they're greedy. I'm saying if you don't like the price, don't pay for it. You will not die due to the lack of a smartphone. How are they violating anti-trust laws? Because they're all doing the same thing since they're all similar businesses trying to solve similar issues (tons of devices with a network not capable of being able to adequately service them all if used as they're able to be).

If you had Verizon with an unlimited plan and didn't change your plan, you wouldn't have lost your unlimited plan. So if you canceled simply because they stopped offering unlimited plans, that's your fault. You still had one until you tried to change.


RE: This Just In
By tayb on 7/18/2012 3:10:24 PM , Rating: 5
Do you think that capping the number of miles an individual could drive per month would alleviate morning and afternoon traffic? Or do you think it would just mean less overall driving, mostly on nights and weekends, with no net effect at all on morning/afternoon traffic? That's data caps for you. An illogical answer to the question "How do we handle network congestion?"

quote:
First of all, yes they can handle devices pinging their network. But they can't handle everyone with a smart phone pulling down lots of data all day.


This already happens. Tons of devices are hitting their networks all day already with or without data caps. What do you think happens to network congestion in the morning when everyone wakes up or at lunch time during the week day? Do you think capping overall data usage changes behavior patterns for millions of users?

quote:
How are they violating anti-trust laws? Because they're all doing the same thing since they're all similar businesses trying to solve similar issues (tons of devices with a network not capable of being able to adequately service them all if used as they're able to be).


Two companies who have a virtual duopoly on the cell market making anti-consumer moves almost in concert with one another despite no technical reasoning to make those moves in efforts to protect other areas of their business from competitors sounds like anti-trust to me. The network IS capable of servicing all of them or it would crash every single day. Literally, every single day.

quote:
If you had Verizon with an unlimited plan and didn't change your plan, you wouldn't have lost your unlimited plan. So if you canceled simply because they stopped offering unlimited plans, that's your fault. You still had one until you tried to change.


Why would I want to further lock myself into an anti-consumer business knowing that down the line I'll be stuck with whatever nonsense policies they roll out? No thanks. I gave Verizon the big ole finger just as I gave it to AT&T. If more people whined less and did more these two god awful companies would either change their policies or cease to exist. I am fully aware I could have retained my unlimited data for a single upgrade but why should I continue funding these clowns? No thanks.

And why the hell are you sitting here defending this nonsense? You, as a consumer, should be pissed off. Yet here you sit defending these anti-consumer BS policies. Why? Unless you have shares in AT&T and Verizon you're doing nothing but bending over for insertion yet here you sit applauding the entrance into your butthole.


RE: This Just In
By MadMan007 on 7/18/2012 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's the per GB charges where the charges are excessive. $10 (classic plans) or $15 (share plans) over the plan allotment per GB is insane. I'd almost rather have a throttled connection, or maybe some option for throttling or lower throughput than those charges.

Sprint does right by the customer in that regard, too bad their coverage and network is the worst. I suppose the two are linked, without crazy per GB rates they can't afford to build as good a network (WiMax failure aside.)


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