Thursday, June 28, 2012

Verizon 'Share Everything' plans begin today, as unlimited plans begin dying out

It's June 28. If you are a Verizon customer on an unlimited data plan, and you missed the earlier news, guess what? You can no longer update your devices - at least with carrier subsidy - and keep that plan.

Verizon's new initiative is called Share Everything. It sounds good, as just as Family Plans do with minutes, you share data. However, it's clear to us and to carriers as well that data - not minutes - are the most valuable resource in cellular plans, and that's where Verizon gets you.

Also, these new plans all come with unlimited talk and text. That also sounds good. However, not everyone needs unlimited talk and text (we're not just speaking of Verizon, here, by the way). For unlimited texting, there's always Google Voice. For unlimited talk, there's always the friends and family lists many carriers provide, or unlimited talk to cellular numbers.

And, with Share Everything, not only is Verizon forcibly upselling you to unlimited talk and text, it's also sticking you with data charges that seem pricey.

The data tiers are (and don't forget the Line Access Fees, which run $40 a month for smartphones, $30 for basic phones, $20 for Jetpacks/USB modems/Notebooks/Netbooks, and $10 for tablets):
  • 1 GB - $50
  • 2 GB - $60
  • 4 GB - $70
  • 6 GB - $80
  • 8 GB - $90
  • 10 GB - $100
A Share Everything plan covers up to 10 devices. Consumers will receive text and e-message alerts when the shared data usage hits 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of the tier. They can also buy an extra 2 GB of data for $10 or receive an overage fee of $15 per GB.

All the devices on a Share Everything plan receive free hotspot capability. Once again, however, that's a forced upsell, as while it sounds good, not everyone needs or wants such capability - at least not on EVERY device.

There is a way, albeit expensive, to hold onto your unlimited data plan even if you get a new device. To do so, you have to buy a device sans subsidy. That could be quite expensive, as an iPhone that costs $199 with a subsidy would then cost $649.

There is also no guarantee that Verizon won't take that right away in the future, as well.

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