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AT&T CEO Says Shared Data Plans Are Still Coming

Group of smiling friends standing against white background with Santa Claus

If there is one thing I am hoping carriers do in 2012 it is proper shared data plans. It is starting to get ridiculous where I have three smartphones and a data card on a family plan and each one now has a separate data bucket. Each smartphone has 2GB and the data card has 5GB. It gets even worse if you want to tether to your BlackBerry where you are expected to pony up more money per phone to be able to use 4GBs with tethering. Once we moved off unlimited there is no reason at all that data from a tethered connection should be any different than a smartphone or a PlayBook over bridge. Better yet I want all of my gadgets like my camera and laptop to be able to use that same data bucket without more monthly fees.

We have been hearing that both Verizon and AT&T are working on shared data plans but so far we have seen diddly squat. AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega just reconfirmed to AllThingsD this week that AT&T is still working on that “It just takes a little more time than we all would want it to take. But sometimes it’s better to make sure you take your time and get it right.”

What do you think? Are carriers just dragging their feet because they have not found a way to charge us even more for shared data plans?

10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. System-wide changes are never easy, so I imagine that development-wise, it’s taking them some time internally.

    I’m just glad that there’s still competition in the market to some degree — without it, neither Verizon nor AT&T would have taken this step since the *only* thing it will do for them is cost them revenue.

    It’s just that it’s not going to be as much revenue as they’d lose if the competition did it and started stealing customers…

    • Yeah but if they wanted it badly enough it would be done by now. Something tells me they are only doing it because its the inevitable. What do you think?

      • Hard to say. I recall one project – a credit card product you see advertised a lot now – that took a year to implement. And by “year” I mean something like 60,000 development hours over the course of a calendar year in our department alone.

        I don’t think this change is as big as that project, but it’s also not trivial. Something like this would require a lot of legacy systems (mostly COBOL) to be updated, as well as all of the layers built on top of it, all the way up the stack to the web site and the software that the call center reps use to service your account.

        On the other hand, if Verizon announces it then AT&T does a week later, you’ll know you were right 🙂

  2. Where AT&T is concerned they usually find a way to stick it to the customer. I’m sure shared plans will probably only be offered in amounts that make it easy to go over like 2GB and 5GB.

  3. I just upgraded to a 9900 and the AT&T rep told me I still have my unlimited data plan…would love it if the price stays the same and they just sharing, $30 for unlimited plan w/sharing!

  4. just *add* sharing….

    I know that won’t ever happen though.

    Maybe someone can confirm this for me, 9700 is 3G, the 9900 is 4G…I was fully expecting AT&T to tell me there is an extra cost for 4G but sales rep said no, the data portion of me bill will remain $30 a month. The carriers (or AT&T at least) aren’t charging for 4G?

  5. Oh. That explains it. At least it seems to be faster than 3G my 9700 was on and since my price didn’t change…I can live with faux 4G lol

  6. Although it won’t really benefit me at all I would like to see it forthe people that it will. And I’m sure there are many, many, many!

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