for a synopsis on where each of the big carriers stands on shared data, so you can compare and contrast them.**
The nation’s four biggest wireless carriers are going in opposite directions when it comes to data bundles.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless have expressed an interest in shared data plans while Sprint and T-Mobile USA are clearly opposed to such packages for businesses and families.
“Current competitor data pricing on smartphones is already complex, driving customer worries about incurring data overage,” Sprint spokeswoman Kristin Wallace told us in an email. “The concept of sharing a monthly data allowance across a family of devices significantly increases the potential of a surprise monthly bill due to data overage charges and driving greater customer dissatisfaction.”
T-Mobile USA feels similarly. “Do families really want to keep track of each other’s data consumption? We don’t think so,” a T-Mobile executive wrote earlier this month in a blog. “Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment.”
Sprint’s Wallace said customers don’t have to worry about data overcharge charges because the carrier offers unlimited data plans that start at $79.99 per month. Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless provider, doesn’t reveal the number of customers on its unlimited data plans.
Verizon Wireless has revealed plans to unveil a shared data plan this summer while AT&T also has expressed interest but has been less forthcoming about any specific plans. Verizon Wireless believes the plan will enable it to continue to increase its average revenue per user while giving customers a greater incentive to connect additional devices.