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Verizon's new Share Everything Plans: The devil's in the details

Some insights buried in footnotes could help customers decide

June 12, 2012 12:38 PM ET

Computerworld - There are a lot of details in Verizon's new Share Everything data, voice and text sharing plans, some of which are mentioned in footnotes on Verizon's Web site (pdf format).

Here, Computerworld attempts to explain it for you.

What's new? In simple terms, Verizon will launch on June 28 Share Everything Plans that share unlimited voice and texting across all the devices on a customer's account. Data will also be shared for up to 10 of those devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Why is Verizon doing this? Customers have asked Verizon and other carriers to combine data charges across many devices. They want to be able to buy a tablet in addition to a smartphone, for example, without incurring two monthly service costs. Verizon says its new approach simplifies billing with its Share Everything Plans, although that is debatable, according to analysts who've seen the new plan.

How much will this cost? Verizon will charge a monthly line access charge per device, ranging from $10 for a tablet to $40 for a smartphone. Basic cell phones will be $30 a month, while Wi-Fi access devices, netbooks and notebooks will be $20 a month.

On top of that, data service will be charged at a rate starting at $50 for 1 GB per month, which can be shared across 10 devices. The rates go up as follows: 2GB for $60; 4 GB for $70; 6 GB for $80; 8 GB for $90 and 10 GB for $100. There is an overage charge of $15 for each 1 GB of data service.

What if I need more than 10 GB of data per month? This is one place where reading the footnotes helps. Verizon has said it will add 2 GB for $10 a month over the first 10 GB. To receive that premium, customers must log in to My Verizon at verizonwireless.com.

What about corporate users? Verizon has indicated that most corporate email access will cost $15 more per month, per device, than for access to Web-based email accounts. However, Exchange ActiveSync and Lotus Notes Traveler email access will now be free, a spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, server-based corporate email, such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Good for Enterprise, "or a similar secure connection" will cost $15 more per month, per device.

Anything else? Not everything about the new plans seems to be explained on Verizon's Web site. For example, existing and new customers can qualify for the Share Everything plans with no penalty for switching from an existing plan. New customers who buy phones and devices at a discounted price will still be required to sign up for a two-year agreement. However, customers can also purchase a device at full price without a contract, a spokeswoman said.



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