Shared Data Plans Touching Down at AT&T on August 23rd

Paul Lilly

Following in the footsteps of Verizon Wireless, rival AT&T will be rolling out new Mobile Share plans starting Thursday, August 23, the company confirmed in a blog post today . The new plans offer unlimited talk time and texting plus anywhere from 1GB to 20GB of pooled data to share between multiple wireless devices, negating the need for little Johnny to carry his own data plan for his smartphone.

Like Big Red's plans, AT&T's Mobile Share plans can get expensive in a hurry, depending on how many devices you add. Here's how it breaks down:

  • 1GB/month: $40 + $45 per smartphone
  • 4GB/month: $70 + $40 per smartphone
  • 6GB/month: $90 + $35 per smartphone
  • 10GB/month: $120 + $30 per smartphone
  • 15GB/month: $160 + $30 per smartphone
  • 20GB/month: $200 + $30/smartphone

That's step 1. The next step is to add any other devices to your shared plan, like feature phones ($30/each per month); laptops, LaptopConnect, mobile hotspot devices, and netbooks ($20/each per month); and tablets and game devices ($10/each per month).

AT&T provides an example of two smartphones ($35/month for each one), a tablet ($10/month), and 6GB of shared data ($90/month), which works out to $170/month. That's not terrible, but throw a second tablet into the mix and a feature phone for junior, and you're now at $210 per month before taxes. Bump up the data cap and it gets more expensive.

"As families prepare to send students back to school, many are looking for a convenient way to connect tablets and laptops or add new smartphones. AT&T Mobile Share plans are a great option," AT&T said.

One thing that works in AT&T's favor versus VZW is that the wireless carrier isn't forcing its customers to choose a shared data plan; existing individual and family plans are still available. Unsure which is the best deal? AT&T has an online Mobile Share Planner tool to help estimate data usage across different devices.

What are your thoughts on AT&T's new shared data plans?

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