Verizon brings shared data to business accounts

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) announced that it will offer shared data to its business users, thereby expanding the addressable market for the shared data push the carrier launched last year with consumers.

Verizon's Share Everything Plan for Small Business gives companies up to 25 lines of service. The plan provides unlimited talking and messaging and a shareable allowance of 30 GB ($225), 40 GB ($300) and 50 GB ($375). Users must also pay the monthly per-line access fee, which costs $40 for smartphones and $10 for tablets.

Verizon said new and existing customers can move to the plans, and the carrier said the plans would simplify businesses' wireless expenses.

For businesses with more than 25 lines, Verizon announced its Nationwide for Business Talk and Talk & Text share plans. The plans allow businesses of any size to create their own shareable data allowances via a single account. Under these plans, shareable data starts at $30 for 2 GB per smartphone or tablet and $50 for 5 GB per Jetpack or USB modem. A larger $80 for 10 GB package is also available for heavy data users. Basic phones can share data starting at $20 for 300 MB per device.

For its part, an AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) spokeswoman said the carrier does not currently offer shared data for businesses and declined to comment on whether it would do so in the future.

Verizon's shared data plans for business are relatively similar to the pricing options it offers consumers. For consumers, Verizon charges between $50 for 1 GB of shared data and $100 for 10 GB of shared data, with device costs ranging from $40 for smartphones to $10 for tablets.

Verizon and AT&T overhauled their data pricing strategies last year to allow families and other groups of users to share data, as they do with minutes, with the goal of simplifying customer billing and increasing data revenues. Verizon said in October that more than 13 percent of its customer base had opted for the new shared data plans, higher than it expected. Regional wireless carrier C Spire Wireless jointed the two carriers in November with its own shared data services.

However, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile currently offer unlimited data services to smartphone users, arguing that shared data is too complex and unnecessary.

For more:
- see this Verizon post

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