Verizon Wireless Wants You To Hook Up Everything You’ve Got With New Shared Data Plans

In what could be a shift that heralds a major change in the way we do wireless, Verizon Wireless has rolled out new shared data service plans that include unlimited calls and texts. It also allows for customers to share their data allowance among multiple devices, so you can be online and hooked in, consuming data all the darn time.

As it stands right now, most customers opt to only use data plans for their cell phones, and rely on limited range Wi-Fi wireless at home or elsewhere to use the Internet on tablets and other gadgets. Who wants to pay a second data subscription? Probably not many people — which is where Verizon’s shared data plans come in.

Reuters reports that Verizon has been considering this revamp for more than a year, and is an attempt to increase revenue by having more connected devices using its network.

This new price revamping will likely shake up the wireless industry — if it works out, other carriers could follow suit. It makes sense, as wireless customers are already turning more and more to using data to send email and other messages, increasing their data usage and slowing down on voice calls and texts.

This has led to increasing data prices and lower voice call rates, which, as we pointed out last week, could push everyone to unlimited voice plans eventually.

The new shared plans will come with a higher fee per gigabyte of data, but Verizon hopes that throwing in unlimited voice and texting, as well as the ability to share data across devices, could prove to make customers happy.

“What I’m doing is giving you the flexibility to share the data you’ve paid for,” Chief Marketing Officer Tami Erwin told Reuters. “Customers who are using more than one device will very quickly see the value in this.”

The new plans become available starting June 28, wherein a smartphone customer will pay a monthly access fee of $40 for the unlimited calls and texts, along with a $60 price for two gigabytes of data that can be shared with up to 10 devices. Each additional device after 10 costs extra — $10 for a tablet and $20 for a laptop.

Currently, Verizon customers shell out $30 for 2 gigabytes of data and $40 for the cheapest voice plan with 450 minutes, and $20 for unlimited text messages. Any other connected device costs $30 extra per month.

Time to sit back and see who follows suit next. Ahem, AT&T.

Verizon Wireless unveils shared data plans; rivals may follow [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.