Verizon Wireless kills voice minutes, makes data shareable among devices

“As the number of smartphones, tablets and connected gizmos per household explodes, the way you pay for all those gadgets is about to change dramatically,” David Goldman reports for CNNMoney.

“Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced its new ‘Share Everything’ plan, allowing customers to share data allotments across multiple devices. Starting June 28, individuals and families will be able to buy one data plan encompassing all of their smartphones, feature phones, tablets, netbooks, USB modems and Mi-Fi devices,” Goldman reports. “That means some customers — particularly those on low-priced plans who don’t have multiple devices — are going to have to pay more.”

“As part of its revised pricing structure, Verizon gave tiered voice and texting plans the boot. All plans now have unlimited voice and texts. That makes the monthly data allotment (and the number of devices they choose to connect) the only measure that customers can control to raise or lower their monthly bill,” Goldman reports. “Here’s how it works: An individual user with a smartphone and an iPad would be able to choose a data allotment — say 4 GB per month — and every download on every device would count against that shared 4 GB. A family of four could buy a plan with 8 GB per month and share that allotment across all their phones and connected gadgets.”

Goldman reports, “That convenience comes with a higher entry-level price tag. The cheapest possible monthly bill for a Verizon Wireless smartphone customer will become $90, which includes unlimited voice, texts and 1 GB of data. Today, Verizon’s lowest-priced smartphone plan is $70, consisting of 450 voice minutes, no texts and 2 GB of data… Verizon’s rivals are expected to follow suit and unveil their own data-sharing plans.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Data is data. Finally, at least one carrier gets it now, too (even if their pricing needs work).

Thanks, Apple. iMessage probably helped the dumb pipes arrive at their ultimate destination that much more quickly.

Verizon has an online calculator to help existing customers find out what they’d pay under the new set of plans here. Good luck!


  1. “Verizon’s rivals are expected to follow suit and unveil their own data-sharing plans.”

    ATT will figure out some way to screw us if they do, while trying to make it sound like it is a good thing.

    1. And Verizon isn’t out to screw the customer. And Sprint will of course be looking out for the customers’ wallets.

      Meanwhile T-Mobile will still be on the outside, looking in – while screwing their Android customers.

  2. AT&T will follow with something nearly identical. AT&T and Verizon are not cunsumer friendly in terms of value. This is basically a punch in the face to low voice users.

    1. These plans are a punch in the face to both those who use few minutes for talk, few or no texts, and low cellular data volume. These plans are an extreme case of the conservative user carrying water for the liberal user.

      It is the high volume user that creates the most stress on the infrastructure and should pay proportionately more in fees. Low volume users are getting screwed by these pricing plans.

      1. Low volume data users have *always* been screwed by the pricing system because they subsidized the massive data consumers. That is why all-you-can-eat data plans quickly disappeared. They encouraged data gluttony without the a commensurately satisfying bloat of profits in the abdomen of the wireless carriers.

        The only way to “win” is to avoid the data aspect completely. That is why I don’t have a smartphone (although, if I did have a smartphone, it would most definitely be an iPhone 4S). If it gets any worse, I might consider going pre-paid. I am damn tired of jacking with wireless carriers – Sprint, Cingular, T-Mobile…they are all out to gouge consumers to the maximum extent possible.

    1. Enough small points of attack to feel like a cloud of piranha; only such pricks of pain, incessant and increasing, could make those carriers, bloated as hippos, begrudgingly effect any sort of change.

  3. MDN is right that data is data. But it is wron that Verizon finally gets it. Everything On iPhones is digital. Texting I data use. Voice is data use. Data is data use. Yet Verizon wants to bill you $40 for voice and text, and then $50 for 1GB (lol) random data. Want to add a device to share the same measly data you are allotted for the $90 base price? That’ll be another $40. For the same data! Wtf are they thinking?

    Think about it. You pay for what you use–no more games! It also makes it more straightforward to compare carriers on price and accelerates their transformation into the “dumb pipes” they are meant to be. I don’t mean to be harsh, but only a fool or freeloader would criticize something this rational. And if ATT doesn’t follow suit SOON, this 10+ year Cingular/ATT customer is switching to Verizon.

        1. @Truth Upside Your Head,
          That was a cheap shot, without any facts. I posted I was wrong on this one.
          Is it all those whacks you received “upside the head”?

      1. @iRobot,
        OK, I was wrong to trust MDN’s summary of Verizon’s new plan. I looked it up and you are 100% correct that it does NOT treat all data the same. I think “unlimited” plans are a dishonest marketing gimmick, but this plan is not progress.

        1. Your iPhone is and always had been using data for voice, text, and Internet access. If data = data, then why the price hike? Why the differentiation between voice/text and Internet? It’s a marketing gimmick at best, and a gauging scam at worst.

  5. If “Data is Data” (are) then we wouldn’t be having the net neutrality debate. Clearly, some data is move valued in the eyes of the “dumb pipes.”

  6. Someday, some provider will come along who will charge based on data usage rather than hitting us with a price for different tiers of potential usage when we have no real idea how much data we may need to use for any given period of time. When that happens, that provider will get my business. The rest of this is just the data carriers ripping us off. Can you imagine if we had to pay for water, or electricity, or any other utility in this manner? It’s the same deal for television. Charge me for what I watch, not for some package from which I watch 5% in any given month.

    1. Someday you will realize that dumb pipes should be dumb pipes.

      Data usage based pricing sucks. It varies, everything and everyone is pushing to the cloud. The corporate suits know this and now they want to gouge you.

      Charge a fee for a connection speed, offer speed tiers. That is reasonable, and understandable by most people. Arbitrary data limits imposed by some stiff looking at a spread sheet are dumb. I will pay more for faster access, I will not pay more so my data can be metered like power. Advocates of this method are not thinking things through. Moving forward EVERYONE is going to use more data, now is not the time for backwards movement and price gouging. Fix your damn pipes, throttle speeds relative to plans and call it good. Enough with the byte counting nonsense.

      1. @Truth Upside Your Head,
        Total bandwith usage, not just speed, increases costs. If they don’t charge for it, we’re left with stupid gimmicks like “throttling” that can make the internet nearly unusable even for users willing to pay for their usage.
        Sounds like you’re a data hog who wants believes bandwith capacity grows on trees, or you want others to subsidize your high usage–hopefully, the companies will gouge you up the wazoo till your face turns blue.
        Have a nice day!

        1. I think a lot more people would be happy if telcos would treat all data as equal, and price it as such. That is the main complaint. If Verizon wants to charge $10/1GB, that’s fine, but don’t make me buy 1GB for $50, when you charge 10GB for $100. This is why people are pissed. Plus we techies know that voice and text are data too and use very small amounts of bandwith. So since everytiing is data anyway, why not just have data only plans, $10/1GB, and then $10 ea additional GB? I would be a lifelong customer. No throttling. Over-consumption is then also regulated by cost if you overdo it, since you pay for each GB you use. I think that would be fair to all, and would make Cerizon money too. This is just greed what they published today.

      2. So you’d like to suggest that the speed at which data is transmitted (from where to where along its journey, I wonder) is more important to the pricing of the delivery than the amount of data. I would suggest that the pipes over which the data travels are not all owned by the same entity, and therefore the speed at which that data travels cannot be insured by the provider. The only measurable element here is the amount of data you consume/produce. Given the nature of the distribution mechanism, I would argue that if you consume/produce more data than I, and if the speed at which I can consume/produce data is thereby impacted, then you ought to pay more than I do for the service.

    2. No, they won’t. First, the telcos need to have a consistent and planned-for amount of revenue coming in. Thus your minimum monthly fees for phone/data usage.

      Second, they also figured out that if you just pay for what you use, they make less money because many people won’t use their phone if they know they will be charged for it. Instead of searching for something just for fun, they will avoid looking it up on the go and either look it up at home or simply pass on it. So no overage charges, etc.

  7. Love this site, but you’re all wet regarding the Verizon pricing. They want $40/month per smartphone, just for unlimited voice & text, plus an additional $60/month for 2 GB shared data. So we’re talking $140/month for my wife and I to share a measley 2 GB with our iPhones. This is a ripoff. Wake up, dude!!!!!!

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