Verizon Wireless store in New York City(image credit Justin Sullivan/Getty)
NEW YORK (AP) - Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cellphone company, says it's dropping nearly all of its phone plans in favor of a pricing scheme that lets consumers share data usage among up to ten phones and other devices.
In the biggest overhaul of wireless pricing in years -and one that's likely to be copied by competitors- Verizon's new policies will let individuals combine non-phone devices like tablets and laptops, as well as phones of family members, into a single plan.
The change takes effect June 28. AT&T Inc. has already said it's looking at introducing shared-data plans soon.
Verizon's new "Share Everything" plans include unlimited phone calls and texting, and will start at $90 per month for one smartphone and 1 gigabyte of data.
- The base cost is a monthly data allowance, shared among all the devices:
1 gigabyte $50
2 gigabytes $60
4 gigabytes $70
6 gigabytes $80
8 gigabytes $90
10 gigabytes $100
- Verizon allows up to 10 devices on each plan. This is the cost of adding each device:
Smartphone $40 (With unlimited calling and texting)
Non-smartphone $30 (With unlimited calling and texting)
Laptop, USB data stick or "mobile hotspot" device $20
- Here's how the Share Everything Plan stacks up against some current plans.
One smartphone with unlimited data, texting and 2 gigabytes of data.
Current Nationwide single-line plan: $120 per month
Share Everything: $100 per month
Cheapest single-smartphone plans, each for $80 per month:
Current Nationwide Plan: One smartphone with 450 minutes of calling, 1,000 text messages and 2 gigabytes of data.
Share Everything: One smartphone with unlimited calling, unlimited messages and 300 megabytes of data (Up to nine non-smartphones can be added to this plan for $30 each, sharing the data allowance)
Two smartphones with unlimited data, texting and 4 gigabytes of data (shared under new plan, 2 gigabytes for each phone under old plan)
Current Family SharePlan: $210 per month
Share Everything: $150 per month
Cheapest two-smartphone plans:
Current Family SharePlan: $150 for two smartphones with 700 shared minutes of calling, 1,000 text messages per line and 2 gigabytes of data per line.
Share Everything: $130 for two smartphones with unlimited calling and texting, and 1 gigabyte of data, shared.