T-Mobile isn't jumping on the shared-data plan bandwagon

T-Mobile USA isn't planning to offer shared data plans to its customers like its competitors Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T). In a blog post, T-Mobile USA's Senior Vice President of Marketing Andrew Sherrard said that the company doesn't think that consumers want a "one size fits all" approach to shared family data plans, nor would they benefit from that model.

T-Mobile is clearly trying to capitalize on the uproar caused by Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo earlier this week. Shammo told investors at a J.P. Morgan conference that the company plans to migrate 3G customers who were "grandfathered" into the carrier's $30 per month unlimited data plan to the company's data-share plan (which Verizon plans to launch in mid-summer) when those customers upgrade to an LTE device. Verizon later clarified Shammo's comments by saying that customers with unlimited plans will get to keep their unlimited plans--however, when shared data plans become available, the unlimited option will no longer be available to customers who buy a new device at a subsidized price, which usually happens with a two-year service contract. Those customers who purchase their device for full price can keep their unlimited data plan.  

At the same conference, AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph de la Vega said that his company is working on a data-share plan. De la Vega said he believes AT&T can increase tablet sales by allowing customers to share a single data plan among multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Instead of introducing a data-share plan, T-Mobile is touting its new prepaid mobile broadband data plans for tablets, which let customers pay in daily, weekly or monthly installments starting at 300 MB per week for $15 and going up to 5 GB per month for $50. The company also offers "unlimited" data plans for smartphones that start at $10 for 200 MB per month and go up to $60 for 10 GB per month. The catch is that customers' data speeds are slowed when they surpass their monthly data allotment; customers can move to a higher tier in order to avoid having their speeds throttled.

For more:
- see this blog post

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