By Stephen Schenck | July 18, 2012 10:54 AM
It was only a matter of time: with Verizon announcing its own shared data plans late last month, another major US carrier was sure to follow suit. Indeed, today AT&T reveals its own stab at this sort of data pooling, which it’s dubbing its Mobile Share plans. How do they stack-up against Verizon’s offerings?
Like Verizon’s plan, with Mobile Share you’d pay one monthly rate for the data package you want, and then a per-device fee. Unlike Verizon’s system, though, here the per-device fees change based on the data tier you choose. That makes it difficult to directly compare plans between the carriers at a glance (one wonders if that’s intentional).
With Verizon, every smartphone carried a $40 fee. On AT&T, it’s only $30 per phone on 10GB or larger plans, but 1GB, 4GB, and 6GB plans have a per-device fee of $45, $40, and $35, respectively. Confused yet?
As for the data packages themselves, consult the above chart. Instead of directly scaling along the assortment of options, AT&T starts out slightly cheaper, but ends up more expensive. Those per-device fees also help jack-up actual costs down on the low end, and offer hidden savings at the high end, so keep those differences in mind.
This all comes with unlimited voice and text, just like on Verizon. Additionally, both carriers charge a $10 monthly fee for tablets, instead of the higher smartphone rate. Unlike Verizon’s shared plans, AT&T’s will be purely optional.