Verizon announced its new “Share Everything” plan which will be available on June 28. This lets families with multiple devices share unlimited voice, unlimited texting, and (for the first time) a fixed amount of data. Previously each device needed its own data plan. Whether this saves you money or not depends upon your personal situation.
One catch is that the shared data plan only offers unlimited voice and unlimited texting. You cannot choose a smaller number of minutes or text messages for a smaller fee. You can only choose how much data you would like to share.
A benefit of “shared everything” is that data tethering (aka “personal hotspot”) is allowed for any device that supports it without any extra charge. Tethering charges never made sense to me because I think that if I am paying for data it should not matter how I use that data. Tethering charges just seemed like a way for carriers to squeeze more money out of smartphone users.
Pricing depends upon the devices used (up to 10) and how much data you want.
|Cost per device||Cost for data|
Here are some examples of what pricing would be and if it is a better deal than the current pricing model.
Under the Shared Everything plan, one smartphone with 2GB of data would cost:
$40 (1 smartphone) + $60 (2GB data) = $100/month
Under current pricing one smartphone with 450 minutes (a reasonable amount), unlimited texting, and 2GB data is:
$40 (450 minutes) + $20 (unlimited texting) + $30 (2GB data) = $90/month
So if you have one smartphone, you would not want to go this way as you would pay $10 more per month.
If you have two smartphones it works out better. On the old plan each would be $90 and that would be $180 per month.
With the shared plan, two smartphones sharing 4GB would cost:
$80 (2 smartphones) + $70 (4GB data) = $150/month
Here the shared plan saves you $30/month and gives you unlimited voice for the two. You also have some flexibility in data usage with the Shared Everything plan. For example, in the case where smartphone1 uses 2.1GB of data and smartphone2 uses 1.5GB you have not exceeded your limit of 4GB. Under the old separate plans, smartphone1 would be charged an extra $10 for the overage.
One Smartphone and One Tablet
Assuming you want 2GB per device, the shared plan in this case would be:
$40 (1 smartphone) + $10 (1 tablet) + $70 (4GB data) = $120/month
The non-shared plan would be:
$90 (2GB smartphone plan) + $30 (2GB tablet plan) = $120
In this case the cost is the same for either plans but the shared plan has the benefits of unlimited calling, data tethering, and the data flexibility explained earlier.
For a multi-device family this plan could save you a few dollars per month plus give you extra functionality like mobile hotspot. You do have to do the homework for yourself to see which plans work best for you.
I would expect to see very similar pricing plans from AT&T within the coming months.
Over at the Verge, they think Verizon is charging too much for additional devices.
Also, see BGR’s comparison of Verizon’s Share Everything plan to T-Mobile’s Classic Unlimited plans (Spoiler: T-Mobile is not better and in some cases more expensive).