We have confirmation! Verizon Wireless gave notice today that shared data plans for families with smartphones will launch this summer, making it one of the first main carriers in the United States to offer them.
We’ve known for a while that Verizon was gearing up to release these data plans. The carrier first confirmed back in December that they would launch some time in 2012. Then in February that time span was narrowed down to mid-2012. Although summer is still technically mid-2012, a lot can happen between February and now that could have delayed Verizon’s plans. Luckily, it looks like all the preparations are going swimmingly.
There’s no details just yet on pricing or specific data caps on each plan. The only hint the public has gotten was not from Verizon, but instead from a leaked screenshot of a data usage calculator for families. It goes all the way up to 30GB, which could possibly be the maximum amount Verizon is planning to offer. As far as pricing is concerned, well there’s no question that it’ll be fairly costly, but for families with each member already equipped with a smartphone — which is a continuously growing number, I’d imagine the shared plans will provide some relief in terms of both expenses and billing efficiency.
Meanwhile, over in Dallas, AT&T still hasn’t quite figured out what to do about all of this shared-data-plans-to-please-the-customers malarkey. As of January, CEO Ralph de la Vega was quoted as saying “We’re still working on that,” and the carrier has yet to announce anything else on the topic.