updated 12:30 pm EDT, Tue March 20, 2012
Verizon readies online shared data calculator
More evidence that Verizon is near launching its shared mobile data plans has surfaced in the form of a screen capture put online by PhoneArena. It shows a configurable calculator that will help families decide whether the shared plans are a good fit. The calculator will ask users how many e-mails they send per a specific amount of time, how many websites they visit over a set time period, and how many minutes or hours of online gaming they perform, among others, in an attempt to estimate how much data they need per month.
The data plans are likely to sell more hardware rather than result in any significant amount of cost savings for users. While the plans will have caps, the plans may move customers away from unlimited plans, from which Verizon can't make any more money. Earlier leaks suggest that each extra line on the shared plan will have a $10 fee associated with it.
AT&T is also set to introduce shared data plans of its own sometime this year. Both carriers are bringing such plans to get more customers on to data contracts and help shore up profits.