After completing his keynote speech at CES 2012 today, AT&T President and CEO Ralph de la Vega participated in an interview in which he was asked about shared data plans. These plans would allow multiple AT&T customers with smartphones to all grab from a monthly pool of gigabytes of data. His response? Well, it’s still a work in progress.
“We’re still working on that,” de la Vega said specifically in the interview. “It just takes a little more time than we all would want it to take. But sometimes it’s better to make sure you take your time and get it right.”
It’s urgent that the carriers get on top of this soon. As more customers move from regular cell phones to smartphones, they will begin to question why there isn’t a family data plan just like there is calling and texting family plans. Smartphone-equipped families are already paying nearly $100 per month on data alone when each individual plan is added together.
Last year at the AllThingsD D9 conference, Ralph de la Vega’s comments on the launch of shared data plans were similarly vague. “It will be soon,” he said. “I can’t comment on a [launch] quarter but it will be soon.” Verizon is also said to be looking into implementing shared data plans.