AT&T to launch Mobile Share shared data plans Aug. 23

New planner tool helps customers pick from six tiers of data up to 20GB

AT&T's new voluntary Mobile Share data-sharing plans for consumers and business customers will be available Aug. 23, the carrier announced today.

AT&T first described the plans on July 18. They allow unlimited voice and texting nationwide, plus sharing of data across 10 smartphones, tablets and other devices.

AT&T created a Mobile Share planner tool to help users "pick the plan that works best for you," AT&T's Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher wrote in a blog.

The tool is designed to help customers estimate their current data usage on each device, and totals what the data would be across up to 10 devices. Then it recommends the right plan from 1GB to 20GB, with the estimated cost for the recommended plan.

With the first tier, a 1GB option, shared data will cost $40 per month, plus $45 for each smartphone each month. The top tier plan, which offers 20GB of shared data, will cost $200 a month, plus $30 for each smartphone.

Verizon Wireless also set up shared data service plans in June, with the major distinction that its Share Everything plans are required for new and upgrading customers -- a point that angered some customers.

AT&T emphasized that its coming Mobile Share plans are voluntary, and that customers can keep their existing plans if they want.

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 email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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