In the next few years, there will be the beginning of a price war in the family shared data plan market between U.S. carriers. To stay ahead, we are likely to see the carriers embrace truly flexible and affordable shared data plans in the U.S for smartphones, tablets and next-gen connected devices alike.
AT&T Mobility announced new pricing options for business users on its shared data plans, giving enterprise customers access to larger buckets of data. The action is a response to similar pricing moves for business users by Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA.
AT&T Mobility believes that customers' shift toward its Mobile Share shared data plans and a new emphasis on services such as its Digital Life home automation offering will lead to lower churn and additional revenues, according to a senior AT&T executive.
More than 50 percent of U.S. smartphone owners who say they have unlimited data showed interest in plans that allow customization, speed guarantees, or sharing of data on family plans for multiple devices, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.
LAS VEGAS--Shared data plans have helped to grow the connected device space, argued Nicholas DiCarlo, vice president of product planning and product marketing for Samsung in the United States. "Shared data plans are important enablers," he said, noting that such plans could make it easier for customers to purchase and use Samsung's 3G-capable digital cameras.
AT&T Mobility is on track to have a "record" quarter in the fourth quarter in terms of smartphone sales, according to AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. He said that in the first two months of the fourth quarter the carrier sold 6.4 million smartphones, more than the 6.1 million it sold in all of the third quarter.
C Spire Wireless said it will launch shared data plans starting Dec. 3, becoming the third U.S. carrier to do so after Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. The plans are similar in pricing to those of the two Tier 1 carriers, but regional operator C Spire said that it will allow customers to top up their data buckets mid-month with a range of "passes" so they do not incur overage charges for exceeding their limit.
AT&T Mobility is launching a promotion that will give customers a $100 discount on a tablet if they sign a two-year contract for data services.
AT&T Mobility said it will offer Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge to customers using LTE devices. For example, iPhone 5 customers without Mobile Share data plans will soon be able to use the service without an additional fee.
Verizon Wireless' Share Everything shared data plans may have caused some confusion and consternation when they were introduced in late June, but the operator will likely be rewarded with higher ARPU when it reports third-quarter earnings tomorrow.