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

June 12, 2012 12:38 PM ET

Are there any bonuses to these plans? Depending on what you consider a bonus, the new Share Everything Plans include mobile hotspot service on all the devices at no added charge.

What does this mean for my net service costs each month? It's hard to say what an average user would pay for all services across a variety of devices, but Verizon has given some clues. Verizon says that the average customer uses 1 GB to 2 GB per month. In an example, Verizon said two smartphones at $40 each under the plan would be $80 for line access. Adding in one basic phone for $30 a month for line access, plus 4 GB per month of shared data for $70 (which allows unlimited talk and text), the total would be $180 for monthly access.

Is Verizon's move likely to affect what AT&T does with data sharing? Some analysts said AT&T will take some time to evaluate the effect of these plans on Verizon's customer base and revenues. There's no question that customers want to share data across devices, and Sprint already offers the service with certain voice plans.

Can I sign up my co-workers, friends and family for sharing this data and unlimited voice and text? Verizon clearly says the shared devices must be registered on one account. A spokeswoman said that if a small business wants to have all of its workers on a shared plan, they would need to be on one account. Transferring workers or friends from other existing contracts would be subject to penalties for breaking a contract, the spokeswoman confirmed. If many co-workers have separate contracts, it might not make sense to pay the penalties to break the contracts to get the benefits of sharing, as many work groups have said they hope to do.

How does the new Share Everything Plan compare to Verizon's existing services? In one example of the new program, service for two smartphones, plus 2 GB of shared data per month would cost $140. The customer will have unlimited voice and text services under that plan.

Under Verizon's current plans, a single smartphone with unlimited talk, text and 1 GB of data per month costs $80 per month, or $160 per month for two.

covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt's RSS feed. His email address is

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