I have seen some news stories describe this as a price reduction -- perhaps for some, but it will be a price increase for many.
For some customers, the unlimited voice & text isn't a real benefit. If they own both a smartphone and a tablet, their real concern is data -- how much data and how much does it cost every month?
Today with Verizon, $30/month buys 2GB for a 3G smartphone or 4GB for an LTE smartphone, under contract. For my iPad, in the months when I am traveling I get 1GB for $20 on the prepaid plan. So every month I spend at least $30 on data, but some months it's $50.
So with the new data sharing plan, I want at least 2GB to share between the phone & tablet, and maybe I really want 3GB. If I'm an LTE smartphone customer, I want at least 4GB to share, maybe 5GB.
So how does the math work out? $60 for 2GB shared. But the next 2GB is only $10.
So unlike my present situation where data every month is at least $30 and some months $50, my new options are to pay $60 for what used to cost only $30, or pay $70 if I expect my phone data usage to stay the same, but I want some tablet data usage too -- an option that used to cost me only $50.
Either way I'm paying $20 or $30 more than before.
It's even worse for those with LTE phones who also own tablets. Their monthly data charges so far have been exactly the same as mine, but they get and use twice as much data on their smartphones for the same $30 I pay for 3G service.
Under the new plan, those customers will be paying $70 for what used to cost only $30, and if they want to add extra data to allow for tablet usage, the price goes to $80 -- and extra $30-$40/month.
Too bad they took this route. Sharing data plans could have been a great way to encourage customers to connect all those iPads and Android tablets to the 3G or LTE networks a lot more often than they do now. But with this pricing, it will likely have exactly the opposite effect.
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