**Editor's Note: Is shared data a good or bad idea? Click here for a war of words in this hot debate.**
Verizon Wireless will make its shared data plan available to small businesses for the first time later this month.
The carrier's "Share Everything Plan for Small Business" will debut Jan. 24. It gives companies up to 25 lines of unlimited minutes, texts, picture and video messages with an allowance of 30 GB ($225 per month), 40 GB ($300) and 50 GB ($375), plus the monthly per-line access cost based on the type of device activated. Customers can also get data-only plans if they so choose, and for those who do a lot of international calling, a plan that includes minutes to Canada and Mexico.
It's available to both new and existing customers who can add just about any device to their Share Everything account. Verizon says Mobile Hotspot/Mobile Broadband Connect is included at no additional charge on all capable devices.
Like general consumers, companies will get usage alerts when their account is approaching its data limits.
Existing business customers who are comfortable with their current price plans do not need to change to the new shared data options.
The debate rages on as to whether shared-data plans actually benefit customers or if they complicate their lives and potentially cost them more. AT&T and VzW both offer these types of plans, while Sprint and T-Mobile have chosen not to.
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