AT&T introduces shared data plans

AT&T Store
By Adam Zeis on 18 Jul 2012 08:56 am EDT

AT&T has become the next carrier to announce shared data plans for wireless customers. Verizon did it a few weeks back to mixed reviews, and AT&T will be dropping their plans next month. The up side is that AT&T is not forcing anyone to change plans - so you can jump on the shared ship if you'd like, or you can keep your single plans as is. Up to 10 devices can be used on a plan with at least one being a smartphone. Plans start as low as $40 for 1GB of data and run up to $200 for 20GB. Will you be taking advantage of these plans? Let us know in the comments!

Keep reading for the full press release.


New Mobile Share Plans Allow Customers to Easily Share Data Across Smartphones, Tablets and Other Devices

New and Current Customers Not Required To Choose or Switch to Shared Plans

DALLAS, JULY 18, 2012 - AT&T* customers will soon have more options in choosing the plan that's right for them and their mobile devices. With new AT&T Mobile Share plans, available in late August, new and existing customers can share a single bucket of data acrosssmartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. AT&T Mobile Share plans make it easy for customers to manage their data, voice minutes and texting, without needing to keep track of multiple plans.

Customers can select one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T's existing individual or family plans. Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T's device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T's best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers.

With AT&T Mobile Share plans, customers start by choosing how much data they want each month, then choose up to 10 devices to attach to their shared plan, one of which must be a smartphone. Each plan includes tethering and unlimited domestic calls and texts for smartphones and basic or quick messaging phones. The larger the data bucket you choose, the less you pay per gigabyte and the less you pay for each smartphone added to the shared plan.

 Data in Plan
 Cost for Data
 Cost per Device
 $40  $45  $85
 4GB  $70  $40  $110
 8GB  $90  $35  $125
 10GB  $120  $30  $150
 15GB  $160  $30  $190
 20GB  $200  $30  $230

AT&T Mobile Share allows customers to essentially build a plan to fit their devices and usage. Customers who are more data-centric can choose a larger data bucket. Customers who typically use more voice than data can add multiple smartphones and basic phones and opt for a smaller data bucket.

"We offer customers a broad choice and the best lineup of plans, now enhanced by Mobile Share," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. "With these new plans, the more you share, the more you save. They'll be a good fit for a variety of new and existing customers. But if customers want to stay on their current plan or choose from our existing plans, they can do that, too. It's their choice.

"Today we think of people's smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we'll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet," said Christopher. "Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices."

Mobile Share plans give customers more control over how, where and on what device they use data - which has become more important as people use more data devices. You can choose to use more of your data bucket on your tablet, for example, or tap into your databucket only when needed for devices you use occassionally. And by consolidating data plans, you can take advantage of any data you currently have unused each month by efficiently sharing it across devices.

"The ‘more you share, the more you save' concept is one that will resonate well with customers because of the value provided through the Mobile Share data plans themselves and in smartphone connection fees," said Roger Entner, Founder and Lead Analyst of Recon Analytics. "AT&T also is providing its customers with flexibility and choice by keeping its existing data plans and not requiring customers to move to Mobile Share unless they want to. It's a win-win for both AT&T and its customers."

To help customers track their data usage, AT&T keeps users informed with courtesy alerts as they near their data allowance for the month. Also, customers can check their usage at anytime online, through the myAT&T mobile app, or by calling *DATA# from their mobile phone.

Each data plan also includes access to more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots - the nation's largest Wi-Fi network** among wireless carriers - at no additional charge. Wi-Fi usage at public hotspots, home or office does not count toward the monthly wireless data plan usage.

Customers can learn more about the new plans and determine which plan is best for them at

Source: Android Central 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

AT&T introduces shared data plans


There are ppl paying $80 for 300mb right now, and they're not getting unlimited mins. So its inline with their normal plans as far as price.

I'm shocked how expensive this is.

If i wouldn't have a BB and could choose the best plan here I could get a unlimited voice for 20 Euro + 5 Euro for text (sms) + 10 Euro for 1GB Dataplan, but only upgradeable up to 5GB data. My current plan due to BIS limitation is not half as good... ;)

You would need to have 5 or more devices attached to start seeing any savings.
But then you would need to share such small amounts of data across 5 or more devices.

I think the kids call this a "fail"

I stand corrected.

AT&T Mobile Share plans include a monthly data charge plus a monthly charge for each device you add up to a total of 10 devices.

At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group.

Includes Unlimited Talk & Text for all phones, FREE Mobile Hotspot for capable smartphones and tablets, and no roaming or long distance charges nationwide!

Additional terms and restrictions apply.

I think there's a typo and is missing the word "not":

Original: "The up side is that AT&T is forcing anyone to change plans"

Edited: "The up side is that AT&T is NOT forcing anyone to change plans"

I am better off staying on my family plan with individual data plans. That's cheaper than this and I get more data. This is a gimmick, in the end AT&T charges more but tries to convince its customers that this is good for them.

BTW, same thing with the new Verizon shared data plan.

I agree. Its only helpful if yiu dont use data a lot, but talk all day. Glad I still have unlimited data, because im the reverse.

I agree... 2 smartphones (1 with unlimited data and one with smallest data plan) and 2 feature phones ...all with unlimited texting and pretty much unlimited calling is running me about $180-$200 a month... The 4GB shared plan would START at $200+ and that doesn't even include the taxes and fees.

If a single person uses 1G of data/mo they may not on a BB and/or may have way too much free time. With so many hot spots for WiFi, I'm actually curious how many BB users have gone over 500Mb.

I recently read on iMore that some US carriers are thinking about charging for FaceTime when data is used. All of this is a good thing for BB.

"If a single person uses 1G of data/mo they may not on a BB and/or may have way too much free time. With so many hot spots for WiFi, I'm actually curious how many BB users have gone over 500Mb.

I recently read on iMore that some US carriers are thinking about charging for FaceTime when data is used. All of this is a good thing for BB."

I'm at 434.21 MB of data with 4 more days before the end of my billing cycle and I have two daughters who would wipe me out with data usage...its better for me to stay separate and on my unlimited!

The most I've ever used is 8GB of data -- but usually rang around 3GB to 5GB of data [unlimited with Verizon] & have wifi @ work & use Tether for my laptop while @ home .......

Holy crap!!! That's awful! I pay $30/month for 6gb of data with Telus. Which includes wifi hotspot!!!

So i can use my iPad and Playbook on a wifi connection without any problems!

That pricing is insane!!!!

AT&T and Verizon should be investigated for collusion and manipulating the mobile market. I'm almost positive that AT&T and Verizon CEO's get together to see in which way they can screw their customers and profit from it. It's become a game of monkey see monkey do, you can be assured if one company does one thing the other will follow. The only objective of shared data is not to save you money, it's to get you off unlimited data and put more money in the pockets of AT&T and Verizon

For the first time, you've got a valid point there. I am so glad I don't use AT&T or that CDMA Verizon. They ain't getting any of my money.

Unlike Big Red, ATT is not forcing me to move from my grandfathered unlimited data for my phone. These plans would work for some people and not work for others. At least you have a choice with ATT, for now. Just checked my data for the month, and have only used son's iPhone uses twice what my 9810 uses. My wife wants and iPhone...but she can't upgrade until after BB10 comes out. Hopefully I can get her to seriously consider it and keep my data usage low in case we eventually have to give up the unlimited data plan.

I switched my VZW 9930 to a share everything plan last month. Just on my phone alone, I'll save $15/mo. When I switch my wife from ATT to VZW when the new iPhone comes out, we'll save about $40/mo. This will work for us.

yeah.very contrast, Indonesia, just pay $20 and u will get unlimited data plan for a month...interesting right?

Wow! just wow! I'm in the Dominican Republic (and trust me, taxes for wireless communications in my country are high) and I pay around US$39 for 5GB, when I spend my 5GB data package Orange just shrink my data speed to 128kbps (yep I know, surf the web at that speed is horrible), but still is cheaper than this "new" plan.

May the force be with you.

There are enough free wifi hotspots around for my needs, Plus the one at home.

You practically get nothing for theses plans for what you pay.

Okay, so right now I have 3 people on my plan, two are smart phones with 2G of data one is a regular phone. We pay right now about 50 for data, a bit less because of our discounts. Now, when you put this "deal" together, we get what, 70 dollars for 4G and then add 80 for a total of two smart phones, or is it 120 because we have three devices?

So we would pay 190 for what we have????

Dont forget this comes with unlimited Voice and Text - you have to consider what you are currently paying now for that as part of the equation.

I'll probably be getting the 10GB data I have unlimited but I keep getting throttled (usually do around 6-7GB of data a month ) thus will be about as much as I currently pay for my 5 (3 with data that use maybe 500mb a month) lines and our hotspot... We actually will save money sounds good to me.

All you people complaining about paying this much forget that you can always go with like Boost Mobile and pay $50/month for *everything*. So why don't you? Oh wait, the phones and much lower quality and not subsidized (for starters).

Say what you want about this, but on my plan we have an iPhone and two BBs and this stands to save us about $30/month (using the 4GB plan). I think the only people not going to benefit much from this are people on the age-old unlimited data. Otherwise if you have smartphones a plenty on your plan, this seems to benefit you, even if you're a heavy talker.

I just figured out what it would me for me (2 BB, 1 Android, 1 LTE tab) I think this would be about a $80 a month savings for me at 10GB, $40 at 15GB. I would try the 10 and see if we went over, I am sure they will let you tweak over time. I like the added tethering - which of course I am doing already with work arounds. Hopefully it would finally mean that AT&T BB's wouldn't need to use the work around for the bridge any more.

I just checked my last 12 months of data usage on my plan analyzer, and across all three lines, the most I have used in a month is 400MB total. This plan would save me a boat-load of cash over the Sprint plan I'm on now (thanks to their "premium data" charges on my smartphones). Never thought I'd see AT&T be cheaper at something. Now I'm torn between switching to Verizon or AT&T when BB10 comes out....

This will probably be good for me because I don't use a whole lot of data so the 4gb plan for my 3 blackberry would save me about 25 dollars a month.

OK I was waiting to see what other people said before commenting in case I was wrong - but BOY is this NOT a big saving! Right now I have a BB with 2gb of data, my daughter has a "feature phone" (no data), and we share minutes and unlimited texting, and I pay a total of about $125 a month including taxes etc. When she gets a data phone, if I'm understanding this correctly, sharing 4gb of data (because 1gb won't be enough for two of us I don't think) will be $150 plus taxes...which will probably be about the same as upgrading her phone to 'smart' and getting a gb or so of data just for her. I guess the more phones you add maybe the bigger savings you get...

So i would have to pay more money for something I dont want. What If I dont need unlimited talk or 1gb of data? this sucks

Simple, stay with what you have. For now AT&T has their present plans and the new data sharing ones. It's choice and I like it. If I did not have an AT&T line with unlimited data I'd jump on this, I still may.

These share plans are horse crap.

I get data from my ISP they aren't charging me for another frigging port on the router. Does anyone have a sensible data plan or does every carrier just treat their airwaves and lines like they output gold out your end?

I currently pay 217 USD per month which includes unlimted texts, 750 minutes and taxes. I have 4 blackberries (1) unlimited data and (3) with 200 megabytes and (1) dumbphone. After doing the math I would be paying 40 for data and 180 for the blackberries and 12 for the dumbphone. That's 232 before taxes. Did ATT give this any thought? With all 4 blackberries in my home we consume an average total of 700megabytes per month. Thanks but no thanks ATT.

Um, you neglected to mention if you have texting and how many voice minutes. Remember, it includes unlimited voice and text.