Wednesday, May 09, 2012

AT&T family data plans coming, but when?

We already knew that Verizon was planning to release a Family Data Plan by mid-summer, and now it appears the AT&T will be joining it with a similar deal.

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega made the statement in an interview with C|Net, ahead of the CTIA wireless trade show happening this week.

This is a 180-degree turn from just a few months ago. Then, de la Vega said he was uncertain about any implementation of family data plans. Now, however, he said that the company knows how to structure the Family Data Plan.

He did not, however, provide any specific details on timing or pricing.

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A family data plan for any carrier would be similar to the way that families can share calling minutes. It makes sense, as in the new age of smartphones, minutes are becoming less important to end users than megabytes.

The assumption would be that a family data plan would cost less than several data plans paid for, one-off, for each device.

One thing to remember, however, is that if you are already on a "grandfathered" unlimited data plan, any change your data plan structure will mean losing that unlimited data plan. That would include either of these family data packages (Verizon or AT&T).

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