Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) followed competitor AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) in offering a lower-cost option on its shared data plans, though the new offering is more expensive per month than AT&T's cheapest shared data plan.
Verizon will start offering a Share Everything plan that comes with unlimited voice, texting and 500 MB of data for $40 per month. Adding a smartphone to the line brings the total cost up to $80. Customers can add more devices to the plan from there, $10 per month for tablets and $30 for feature phones.
The plan contrasts with AT&T's recently introduced 300 MB plan on its Mobile Share offerings, which, while offering less data than Verizon's plan, is $10 cheaper per month, at $70 when paired with a smartphone. The average U.S. consumer used 733 MB of data per month in the first quarter, according to Nielsen, which indicates that the new offerings from AT&T and Verizon likely are intended to get customers to try an inexpensive option and upgrade to higher, more expensive tiers later on.
The Verizon and AT&T plans are also more expensive than comparable offerings from Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), which do not offer shared data plans for individual customers.
T-Mobile's entry level Simple Choice plan offers unlimited voice, messaging and 500 MB of data for $50 per month (if customers exceed 500 MB their data speeds are slowed until their next billing cycle).
Meantime, Sprint's new Unlimited, My Way plan offers unlimited voice, texting and 1 GB of data for $70 per month, and unlimited voice, texting and data for $80 per month.
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