On Tuesday, Verizon Wireless made the formal announcement of its "Share Everything" line of family plans, which gave family plans more flexibility in the way they used them by allowing every component of the plan – voice minutes, text messages and data minutes – to be shared among the rest of the family.
The plans are meant to work with a wide array of Verizon devices – tablets and smartphones – and come in a wide range of prices depending on the desired level of service. In every case, however, users will receive unlimited voice minutes and unlimited text messages, so the only real difference between them is just what device is being used, and how much data is desired.
Smartphones, for example, pay a $40-per-month access fee, while basic phones pay $30, notebooks, netbooks, Jetpacks and USBs pay $20, and tablets pay just $10. Data plans come in one gig, two gig, four gig, six gig, eight gig and ultimately 10 gig sizes, with prices starting at $50 per month, and climbing ten dollars per successive level until the 10-gig mark is reached for $100 a month.
Verizon won't be charging any fees, or requiring contract extensions, for those users who want to change from their current plan to a Share Everything plan, which will come available for offer starting June 28.
Verizon calls the plans both "groundbreaking" and an "industry first," and from the look of things they're quite right on both fronts. For many families, this will work out comparatively well, as some users will use more data on their data plans than others will. And since the data caps don't roll over, allowing those who use more data to use the data access of those who use less is an idea that many will likely welcome.
But this is actually only the beginning; newly released information indicates having a sharable family plan like this will, at some point, allow for other controls to be placed on the plan's data usage. Since families can route their data to specific devices, they will likely one day be able to modify the plan further to indicate times of day when specific sites should be under restricted access, like Facebook or YouTube during school hours.
Conversely, families could use their routing capabilities to selectively offer access to speed boosts or increased volumes as rewards for desired behavior in other segments, or even lift all restrictions during certain times of the day.
Of course, the overall caps are still almost painfully low, but that's a phenomenon likely to continue for some time. But for those families wanting more flexibility in their plans, and for those looking to the potential future benefits of such plans, this is a welcome move. It will probably serve as a step in the right direction even for those who are looking for more flexibility in a single user plan as well.
Contributing TechZone360 Writer
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