Look for Verizon Wireless customers to be able to take advantage of shared data plans as early as next year.
That’s the word from Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who told attendees of an investor conference Wednesday, “We’ve been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.”
Data sharing seems like a positive for consumers and carriers. For the carrier, it means easier billing and data tracking for its business and family plans. Measuring data usage in this consolidated way would be much simpler than tracking all of those individual users and sending out multiple bills. After all, this has been done with voice minutes for years. And there would be incentive for customers who were grandfathered in to their unlimited plans when Verizon dumped unlimited data to migrate off of those plans.
For the customer, it could mean choosing a single plan with an amount of data that fits their needs, likely saving them money, particularly for those who don’t need 2GB per month. Or even if there aren’t multiple tiers from which to choose, you have to figure it would come out to less than $30 per month per person, which most families and businesses are paying now.
McAdam wasn’t specific on a timeline for shared data, only that it was likely in 2012. Sprint and AT&T previously have broached the topic as well.