Verizon to launch shared data plans June 28; part of voice, text sharing plans

Shared data plan will work across 10 Verizon devices, starting at 1GB for $50, plus a monthly line access fee per device

After years of study, Verizon Wireless on Tuesday unveiled a shared data plan that works across 10 Verizon devices.

The data plan is folded into Verizon's new Share Everything Plans that are slated to roll out June 28 for new and existing customers.

The Share Everything Plans will offer unlimited voice minutes, text, video and picture messaging for 10 Verizon Wireless mobile devices, the company said in a statement.

The plans call for customers to pick a monthly access fee per device, ranging from $10 for tablets up to $40 for smartphones. Each device must be added to an account.

The next step for a customer is to choose a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages and a shared data allowance plan that starts at 1 GB for $50 a month. The shared data plans range from the 1 GB for $50 to 10 GB for $100.

Existing Verizon customers are free to keep their existing plans, but can move to the new Share Everything Plans for no added fee or contract extension, Verizon said.

Verizon didn't disclose the length of the new Share Everything Plans for new customers -- the company's current plans last for two years.

Verizon did say that tablets can be added to a Share Everything Plan for $10 per month with no long-term requirement.

Verizon has created a Web page to explain the service.

Verizon called the move an industry first, and similar options are also being weighed by AT&T. Sprint has a family plan that offers unlimited text and data on some plans with shared voice minutes, but does not share data for hotspots and other data access devices.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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