T-Mobile Says ‘No Thanks’ To Family Shared Data Plans

As Verizon ramped up their own planned shared data plans earlier this week, T-Mobile’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Andrew Sherrard has taken to T-Mobile’s own blog to lay down the company’s position on shared family data plans. According to Sherrard’s posting, we shouldn’t expect to see shared family data plans on T-Mobile anytime soon and that’s just fine with me.

It’s an interesting position and yet, Sherrard brings up some key points about why T-Mobile wants data plans to be purchased on an individual basis. First and foremost, do families really want to be responsible for one data plan? It’s impossible to say they are truly a bad idea without knowing what kind of pricing Verizon and T-Mobile would consider, but given the carriers view on rising data costs, it’s likely that shared family data plans with enough data allotment would end up being more expensive than purchasing on an individual basis.

“Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption?” Sherrard says. “We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment.”

T-Mobile acknowledges that data usage and bandwidth are limited resources, but doesn’t believe that shared data is the way to approach the problem of smartphone data usage. I for one, agree. Do you?

 

Full Statement:

By Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing, T-Mobile

It’s an undisputed fact that mobile data adoption is on the rise. For example, in just the last five years, we have 146 times more data crossing our network. However, what is still up for debate is how we, as an industry, should evolve our rate plans in a world where people carry more than one wireless device and where tablets are becoming the new family computer.

Some of our competitors are backing away from simple, unlimited data and moving to family shared data plans. But would this approach actually deliver a better value to consumers?  Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption? We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment.

T-Mobile believes that consumers today do not want a ‘one size fits all’ approach to shared family data plans, nor would they benefit from that model.  So, what is the right way to price data for customers who want affordable, unlimited access to what, unfortunately, is a limited resource?

Here’s how we see it:

Data plans should be flexible and affordable. At T-Mobile, customers have the option of only paying for the amount of data each member of the family believes they will need. Customers can choose affordable, no-annual-contract data for tablets and other data-only products they share – paying every month or buying in daily or weekly installments.

Data should be worry-free. With our unlimited data plans, there is no surprise data cap or bill shock. Customers simply pay each month for the amount of high-speed data they select and (in contrast to our competitors) T-Mobile customers can continue to use mobile data on their device at reduced speeds after they reach their limit without incurring overage charges.

Customers who pay more, should get more. T-Mobile smartphone customers with 5GB or 10GB data plans also get our Smartphone Mobile Hotspot feature included. This means, with a capable T-Mobile smartphone (most are), customers can power up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices with fast, 4G data. So rather than needing to account for each device on a shared family data plan, customers can use their existing data plan to power multiple devices, while still saving hundreds of dollars annually.

While some in the wireless industry explore potentially complicated and expensive shared data plans, T-Mobile will continue to deliver affordable 4G data with flexible pricing on America’s Largest 4G Network.

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  • Deon Davis

    I agree, family data is not the way to go!

    • perfectalpha

      Care to elaborate on why?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710725095 Jason Crumbley
        • perfectalpha

          And this is exactly why T-Mobile needs to be getting on board with increasing the revenue per user. Listen, they can still be a “value leader” if you will, but the whole point is to connect all your devices to the web, using one service provider.

          Jason, just like the move was to get families on unlimited minutes/text messages, the same will be the future of data except T-Mobile will be behind the times. You don’t think folks are going to spend more money on data? It is the future and T-Mobile will miss the ship.

          In case you haven’t realized, a lot of folks are being sent packing at T-Mobile as of late. You think this is nickel and diming you, how bout charging you for a handset exchange 20 bucks unless you have insurance? Trust me, it doesn’t include the shipping…I would know. I perform them on a daily basis. To me, this is just logical to keep families and businesses in the T-Mobile family, and not pursuing other options that will appear easier elsewhere.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710725095 Jason Crumbley

          I have insurance on my phone. I always do. I still had to pay almost 600 dollars out of pocket for a working phone because T-Mobile sold me a defective phone and wouldn’t stand behind it other than giving me another defective phone (G2x). <- That drives customers away. 

          A business on a shared data plan would be a nightmare for the business. Plain and simple. It would be too complicated to manage for the end user and would have to be micro managed. Families don't want to have to deal with that either. It's too complicated. Why do you think the iPhone does so well? It's simple to understand and easy to use. I myself am an Android user. 
          Would it make T-Mobile more money? In the short term, yes. In the long term, it would drive businesses away from phones and plans that would require data use and T-Mobile would lose money. How do I know this? I hear it every day at work. Some people already don't like having to pay for data in the first place. They are persuaded into buying these phones without realizing the cost of ownership. Especially small businesses like the one I work for. 

          People are being sent packing due to DT's mismanagement of  
          T-Mobile. The marketing is horrible and never focuses on what it should. If the At&t buyout had been approved, there would have been a hell of a lot more layoffs that are going on right now. T-Mobile can thrive and grow without having to do this to their users if they run the company properly. 

        • perfectalpha

          Jason, it comes down to vision…this is the ultimate root cause of the mismanagement. There has been a focus on simply trying to get in the green, rather than trying to attract consumers to use more mobile products with T-Mobile.

          I take calls on a daily basis, customer dissatisfaction is at an all time high because T-Mobile doesn’t offer an experience a user feels they should be getting (especially for the price). This is the main reason why we’re losing tons of postpaid customers per quarter.

          Personally, as somebody who is being sent packing (and my wife as well if you care to know)….T-Mobile needs to get people addicted to using this type of data. You want to use your mobile phone and tablet, and you’re going to want to use it on T-Mobile service. 

          What you’re suggesting is rather puzzling for your small business. I don’t want to call your small business into question, but perhaps they need to look into some of the BYOD methods that will help reduce the overhead for the business. Many businesses are turning to data devices and tablets (as you can see by some of AT&T’s new commercials and how it is impacting small businesses around the country), but that is neither here nor there.

          Bottom line is innovative services and solutions with devices, plans, and service are what put a company on the path for growth. This is just a missed opportunity to get folks on board with how T-Mobile can help keep their family connected. Mark my words, this year will be another year of large customer loss for T-Mobile.

    • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

      Then get rid of Family minutes and Family SMS.

      otherwise T-Mo’s just being hypocritical.

      • ctkatz

        not really.  text messaging and phone calls can be somewhat managed.  data?  notsomuch.  how many apps now consume a lot of data traffic, some of which is in the background and unknown to the user?

      • http://www.netvibes.com/AshTR Timothy L.

        They don’t have any Family SMS options anymore except unlimited, which actually is unlimited. You can get 150 messages, but that’s only per line.

        • xmiro

          there’s no such thing as unlimited. Voice is limited to calls between two lines only, and up to ~3000 minutes a month with the option for the carrier to kick you out if you talk too much

        • http://www.netvibes.com/AshTR Timothy L.

          I never said anything about voice, only SMS.

          Family minutes are the only true limited option shared across lines.

        • xmiro

          there’s no such thing as unlimited. Voice is limited to calls between two lines only, and up to ~3000 minutes a month with the option for the carrier to kick you out if you talk too much

  • perfectalpha

    I guess…it’s a noble idea, but personally I believe the bigger picture is being missed. The name of the game is to transition folks onto data devices and get them using data. If this is a means to generate extra revenue per user, then it absolutely has to be an option that is explored.

    Also, this is a fantastic way for T-Mobile to get tablets out the window. Yes they are selling, but this is something that would make people want to jump on the bandwagon. Yeah, get a smartphone and a tablet. Win/Win from a revenue/company standpoint and can appear like a win/win for consumers too. Get them buying YOUR tablets and wanting to use YOUR TABLETS!

    Also, for families who only have one person with a data plan, this would encourage them to get their family using the data as well. This can increase the revenue per account.This means less folks will be getting laid off in the future.

    To me, it just shows lack of vision.

  • Bhanna69

    So family shared minutes is a good idea, but not data?  I’m paying $10/month for 200 mb, but if I could pay $20 for 2 GB and share it w/ my wife and son, how is that not a good idea? They don’t have data on their phones because it would cost $30/month for just 600 mb of data.  Plus, if we had 2 GB that was shared and went over, we would be charged for the extra, not cut off.  If someone has a child that streams an HD movie and uses all their monthly data, that’s easily handled within the family.  Why should T-Mobile care if the 2 GB is used by one person, or three?  It the same amount of data.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Isn’t it only $10/mo for 2GB of data on the Value plans, now? And aside from the 200MB plan, all data plans have no overages.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Isn’t it only $10/mo for 2GB of data on the Value plans, now? And aside from the 200MB plan, all data plans have no overages.

    • UMA_Fan

      From what we’ve seen so far from the leaks of Verizon shared data plans, it’s STILL $10 per line JUST to share data before getting into costs of the allotment of data.

      $10 for 2GB on value plans is great deal.  $25 for 5GB with free tethering on T-Mobile is even better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710725095 Jason Crumbley

    I am glad to be a T-Mobile customer at this moment. 

  • James

    Agree that family shared data willEd be a mess. T-Mobile’s worry free plans are better. No overages, no surprises. Verizon is just hoping to cash in overages. There will always be someone in the family that will go over.

  • dethduck

    The only data plan I want to see is one without a damn data cap or throttling.

  • http://twitter.com/RudyFlyer4 CJ

    I pay $60 dollars for internet on 2 phones that is more than comcast. Honestly I feel they need to do something because that is just crazy. Why not give each family 10 gb and be done. I am sick of the throttling also.

  • TMOSince2003

    Well, drat.

    For those of you not on family plans, We Need This. Sick of paying for 2Gb on an line that uses 500 Mb maybe and again on a line that uses 900 Mb tops. They could share 2gb and save me a couple bucks, and I might say yes to a tablet on 4G.

    They probably ran the numbers, figured out that some customers might save money and chose to not add a feature that would draw in new ones. Those customers who saved are just as likely to add devices and pay more if they felt they were getting use of all they pay for.

    I hope someone sues over data expiration on prepaid data. If I paid for 2 Gb what does it matter when I use it? Should be like a gift card.

    Can’t wait to escape my contact.

  • Guest 2012

    Either having shared family data or rollover data would be great ideas. You would only use what you need. Not prepaying for data and losing the data you didn’t use. 

    • hudxc

      I don’t care about family data plans but rollover data plans would be awesome.

  • alfonzso

    I agree that sharing a data plan could be the mess described. However, that is not T-Mobile’s problem. That is the family’s problem. I think giving people the option might be a better route. You want shared, you got it! You want individual, you got it! Anyway, kudos to T-Mobile for standing up what they believe in.

    • perfectalpha

       Kudos to them believing in NOT maximizing their data money. That is how I see it.

    • xmiro

      most people just think that data would cost less since it would be bundled but I doubt the AT&Ts and Verizons would be so generous, perhaps $5 less maybe but I don’t see it

      • Edy6401

        Until I hear how much Verizon and AT&T are going to charch for the new data plans, I will hold my comments. Most people are doing the math and jumping to conclusions on price already. Thinking, hey, its a bundle, so we will save money. Remember, we are talking about Verizon and. AT&T. They will probably charge an ARM, a leg and both eyes for it. Only time will tell.

    • xmiro

      most people just think that data would cost less since it would be bundled but I doubt the AT&Ts and Verizons would be so generous, perhaps $5 less maybe but I don’t see it

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    Re-posting from my long rant from Google+ (http://bit.ly/KlOsM3)

    ———————————————–

    Right now my family has 4 lines with 3 data plans, two of those being
    unlimited and the third (for my wife) being the 200MB plan. We pay a
    relatively reasonable total of $60 for those 3 data plans.

    But here’s the thing, in total my family has never used even 2GB in a single month and usually we are well under 1GB combined.

    Right now the 4th line is a data capable android device without a data plan It’s my son’s phone and I know he’d use more than 200MB and there’s no way I’m spending $30/mo for an unlimited plan.

    Likewise
    I might want to get a 3G capable tablet or a mobile broadband device
    but I’m not going to buy a full priced data plan just to have one, no
    way-no how am I paying for more than one data plan for the stuff that I
    carry around.

    Shared data plans have the promise of eliminating
    all those roadblocks. Imagine a 5GB bucket o’ data for say $50 or even
    $60 a month, add additional devices to that bucket for $5/mo and you
    will see device adds skyrocket. I’d totally add data to that 4th line
    and I’d probably pick up a MiFi just to have it, when I was buying my
    next tablet it’s quite likely it would be a data capable one instead of a
    WiFi only version.

    T-Mobile may think they are getting more
    money by forcing people to get a separate expensive data plan for each
    device, but they could see MANY more devices and by extension more total
    revenue if they lowered the cost of entry

    • Tmobileguy

      If you have 3 data plans (2-2GB plans “Unlimited”  a 1-200mb plan) then your data costs are $50 per month not $60 unless you are on some old plan in which you would save money by being on the newer classic plans

      2gb “Unlimited Plan” is $20 per month and the 200mb plan is $10 per month

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

        We are on old family shared plan, for data we have me on a grandfathered G1 data plan ($25), my son has a loyalty plan ($20), in theory we’d each be throttled at5GB but it might as well be 5TB with the amount of data we use, and my wife has the 200Mb plan for $15.

        The 2GB plans didn’t exist yet the last time we upgraded a line and we wont be eligible to change plans until early next year but honestly we wouldn’t renew now even if we could because we are likely leaving TMO because their coverage has gone way downhill in the last year or so (since they started rolling out HSPA+).

  • UMA_Fan

    T-Mobile really brings up a lot of good points.  Shared data might sound like a good deal but will probably lead to great customer dissatisfaction in the long run.  Especially with kids on the family plan hogging it all.  I think most people will want to keep their data personal.

    • ChrisRS

      Customers can choose vindividual or shated plans. KIds using too much – allow them to be limited. This is all doable and would be great for many families.

  • michael costello

    Why has no carrier adopted ‘off-peak data’? Perhaps different buckets of peak and off-peak allotments. That would seem to go a long way toward addressing a lot of issues related to the high cost of data.

  • BigMixxx

    Very good points but he is missing the overall point.  It’s the fact that, on a line with let’s say 3 phones, it’s a minimum of 20 dollars per line for data.  That’s 60 bucks.  you can bundle that into 35 dollars and get 5 gig of shared data. 

    I don’t think it’s that difficult to to say “shared family plans” are in effect.  The key thing he says is ‘Here is how we see it’…take a moment to ask your customers, especially when everything is becoming more and more data centeric. 
    Alas, the gold mine is data though. 

    • xmiro

      you’re assuming that a shared family data plan will cost less than buying a data plan for each line. I would guess family data would work like a voice plan add-a-line, a certain allotment plus a fee for each line per month

    • xmiro

      you’re assuming that a shared family data plan will cost less than buying a data plan for each line. I would guess family data would work like a voice plan add-a-line, a certain allotment plus a fee for each line per month

    • jessejames111981

       who says 5gb of “shared” data would cost the sme as 5gb of single line data? I’m sure they realize on most family lines have 2gb data plans on it with a lot of unused data at the end of the month with maybe 1 user who uses a lot of data.

    • Est6401

      but who said that you can get 5gig of bundle data for 35 dollars? we don’t know what those bundle prices would be. nobody should expect them to be the same as they are now.

  • Amit193

    It really depends on personal need. I do use a lot of internet but that  is mostly on Wi-fi. My wife does not use as much but she had to get one because she upgraded her phone. With this “Family Shared” feature it would be nice to have just one plan.

    “Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son
    watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment”

    Now I did not get this. How this could be true when there is no Data cap ?

     

    • ChrisRS

      If the family data plan were to throtle, you would be correct. If  T-Mobile chooses to charge for overages or cut off services, like the 200MB plan, it could be a problem.

      The $10/month 200MB (not GB) plan is not unlimted.  “Customers will incur overages of $0.10 per MB when they exceed 200MB of data ($10 for 10MB) up to a maximum monthly payment of $40 with Value plans or $45 with Classic plans for data including the 200 MB add-on fee.”

      This of course is the pricing set by T-mobile and is totally in their control.

  • Bratty

    This is a mistake. Family data makes sense for many and I would not be suprised if ATT also implements this. Once again, Tmobile will end up playing catch up. There is no point in being a value leader if customers dont see value. Atleast offer it as an option. Showing data consumption per device in an app is not hard. It may actually encourage people to upgrade their data plans due to lil johnny watching movies.

    • xmiro

      don’t go thinking family data would cost less than buying a separate line for each line

      • Bratty

        Totally agree. It may not cost less but it is the perception that Verizon allows families to share while others dont. Oh well. Time will tell.

      • Bratty

        Totally agree. It may not cost less but it is the perception that Verizon allows families to share while others dont. Oh well. Time will tell.

      • Nick

        5 gigs is 5 gigs regardless of how many lines consume that data. but I’m sure there would be a surcharge

        • ChrisRS

          Probably not a surcharge for the the bucket and first 2 users, but certainly a monthly charge for users 3 through 5.  

      • ChrisRS

        Can’t tell untill a plan is released.

  • Purenupe1

    I don’t think you should pay more for the data plans on your mobile devices than for your home connection. Families consisting of more than 2 data plan users under T-mobiles current pricing model should look into finding a cheaper alternative

  • Corepreacher

    Value 2gb data is $10
    5 lines with 2gb each is 10GB for $50 with no overage. what better family plan could you need

    • ChrisRS

      Value 200MB (not GB) is $10
      5 loines with 200MB is 1GB WITH OVEWRAGE CHARGE fro $50 – NO Thanks.

       “Customers will incur overages of $0.10 per MB when they exceed 200MB of data ($10 for 10MB) up to a maximum monthly payment of $40 with Value plans or $45 with Classic plans for data including the 200 MB add-on fee.”

    • http://jeremyperez.com Jeremy

      One that lets me use 6GB of the allotted 10, while my wife and mom barely break 2GB, for the same $50…

  • iTried

    I remember when I was a rep and customer asked for this pretty often and I thought it was a good idea, but seeing the direction carriers like AT&T and Verizon are taking with their data plans I know for a fact it’s not going to be in the best interest of the customer. I think t-mobile is smart to stick to the way it is rather then follow the rest and I think it will probably be beneficial when people see exactly how other carriers will handle it.

  • achusaysblessyou

    I’d like it because my parents don’t use data that much, but it’s nice to at least allow them the ability to do so on my plan. Rather than paying $10 for 200mb for them when they don’t regularly use data. In this case, I can have both my parents share my 2GB plan and if it’s not enough data, we’ll get the 5GB. It’s good for giving family members data access even if they don’t necessarily need it

  • achusaysblessyou

    I’d like it because my parents don’t use data that much, but it’s nice to at least allow them the ability to do so on my plan. Rather than paying $10 for 200mb for them when they don’t regularly use data. In this case, I can have both my parents share my 2GB plan and if it’s not enough data, we’ll get the 5GB. It’s good for giving family members data access even if they don’t necessarily need it

  • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

    I think for smartphones the current 2 or 5GB plans are fine, although should perhaps be cheaper – but it boggles my mind as to why 2,5,or 10GB plans are sold with tablets, hotspots or tethering add-ons.  These caps are utterly inappropriate for those uses.  Forget Youtube, forget Netflix.  Totally unworkable with such caps.  It’s great that T-Mobile throttles instead of charges overages, but then your awesome hotspot becomes useful for nothing more than email.  I’d like to see T-Mobile introduce the option to pay for additional high-speed data instead of having to settle for throttling, for users who might want that.  Or better yet, get rid of caps and pay for speed.

    • jessejames111981

      i like pay for speed not data. I doubt that would be as profitable but I think its better for a consumer. but then I’d be outraged if I pay for 10mbs and in my home I could only pull 6mbs off their network due to some conditions.

  • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

    I think for smartphones the current 2 or 5GB plans are fine, although should perhaps be cheaper – but it boggles my mind as to why 2,5,or 10GB plans are sold with tablets, hotspots or tethering add-ons.  These caps are utterly inappropriate for those uses.  Forget Youtube, forget Netflix.  Totally unworkable with such caps.  It’s great that T-Mobile throttles instead of charges overages, but then your awesome hotspot becomes useful for nothing more than email.  I’d like to see T-Mobile introduce the option to pay for additional high-speed data instead of having to settle for throttling, for users who might want that.  Or better yet, get rid of caps and pay for speed.

  • MK Terra

    Bull.  What stops the teenage daughter from consuming the family’s minutes?  Same deal.

    Plus, with T-Mo’s “unlimited” data, that hypothetical email would still load for Mom, albeit at 2G speeds.

    • ChrisRS

      That assumes a “unlimited” throttling plan rather than an overage plan, like the $10 200MB per month plan.

      THe o verage plan wopuld be a disaster.

      I agree that the 2G throtling is adequate for email and navagation – the only possible real “NEEDS”.
      Fast browsing, YouTube Net flick etc are “WANTS” that can wait for the next billing cycle.

  • tommy

    Cellular data ought to be a thing of the past. Just use WiFi off of wired internet.
    I can understand how TMO does not want the hassle of figuring out shared data. But with shared everything else, sort of silly arguments.

    • jessejames111981

       not everyone has wifi all around them all day. I shouldn’t have to rely on wifi when I’m already paying for data for my phone

      • TechAce01

        Infinity +1!

      • Boston

        Yeah wifi doesnt work when you’re in your car driving or when you’re in a restaurant or store that doesnt have wifi..THeres room for both – and again different people have different needs.  Also just cuz one person’s workplace has wifi, doesnt mean anthers does

  • FILA

    only thing T-Mobile would have to do is offer a online way to control what numbers on the family plan get what data. If you want the kids to get 200MB each then set that, then everything else for the parents phone. not hard. did you think of that T-Mobile. come on, jump the gun once in a while and advertise this shit instead of being so far behind

    • MrRadar4G

      They already have Family Allowance to manage minutes to each line n then send notifications of overage + temporarily disconnect/discontinue usage until next billing cycle or until givind more minutes…so, IF TMO were to go Shared Data, IMO, I think they would revamp the Family Allowance feature for families. :)

    • loueradun

      In addition, Android’s new data management feature in Ice Cream Sandwich will completely manage all data usage with 5 minutes setup time… T-Mobile sounds like it is underestimating its customers intelligence… we have been sharing minutes for years and never go over… I think I can manage data as well.

  • Nick

    He gives BS reasons so that they can sell multiple data plans to each account.

    thanks for deciding for me that my wife and I aren’t smart enough to manage data between ourselves.

    How about selling smartphones without having them tied to data plans

    • TMOTECH

      A smart Phone without data would be useless. 

      • Aaron Peromsik

        Ever hear of wifi?

        • Kugel

          Amen…The other good thing for new users about having a smartphone without forcing them to pay an extra amount for a data plan they won’t need or use is that this is a way to slowly get people to move from a feature phone to a smartphone.  Many people don’t want to commit to these extra fees for 2 years or to buy a new phone for $500…but that is a way to expose them to smartphones and hopefully they’ll see the advantages and maybe down the line will realize they could use it at times when they’re not on wifi and then you’ll have converted them to a higher priced plan.  I didn’t get a smartphone for a while cuz I knew I wouldn’t need to use the ‘smart’ part a lot for where I am now in my life and didn’t want to commit to those extra fees…but now Ive seen first hand what a smart phone can do and it helped me dip my toe in the smartphone waters and eventually will  probably get a data plan – but sadly most likely not with Tmo cuz their service has been terrible, the device has been mediocre and Im tempted to go with iPhone because most everyone I know has one and I know Apple provides great support 

        • TMOTECH

          Yea and I always have WI-Fi at my disposal. If I had WiFi Why would I be looking at web pages on my handset when I could be using my laptop? 

        • RichyRich

          A lot of reasons.  Just because it doesnt affect you, doesnt mean it doesnt affect other people.  I have wifi and often use my phone which is right near me for convenience vs having to go to another part of my house and get my laptop.  I can also use wifi to download games and other apps, and I can use the wifi connection to play social games like Wordfeud which I can’t do on my laptop

        • Aaron Peromsik

          I am sure I am not the only one who spends 80-90% of my time within range of wifi. I used to use 4G for reading email in line at Wal-Mart, but the one I usually visit recently added wifi.

          For a quick email check without getting sucked in for longer than I intended, the smartphone wins over the laptop– which I don’t carry to Walmart anyway.

          I am on the 1500/30MB prepaid plan, and this month, which ends tomorrow, I have used 4MB of T-mobile data. There are more apps I would sometimes use if more data came at the same price and/or if there were flexible ways to add data as-needed instead of having to guess at the start of the month what my needs will be. Also I would use more data if the $15 tethering fee was dropper or if it included an extra 300MB or more. Right now when I need data for the laptop on the run, I use other carriers.

      • Kugel

        Not true…again different people have different needs.  I have a plan right now with no data but I have a smartphone. Im on wifi most of the day so I can use all the features when on wifi.  I can also download many apps and games which work fine when Im not on wifi..in fact they often work better cuz I don’t have to see all the ads.  What a lot of you don’t realize is that everyone doesnt have the same needs, budgets, expertise, wants etc that you do.  Just cuz you use 2gb or 5gb doesnt mean everyone else does.  Just cuz you can’t imagine life without 4G, that doesnt mean others aren’t happy with 3G.  Just cuz some of you are happy with the Walmart plan with only 100 minutes, doesnt mean that others don’t need more minutes cuz they use the phone as a primary phone and maybe even a work & home line combined.  The main thing is to be customer focused and realize that the more choice and flexibility you offer a customer, the better it will be.  And that means various choices in terms of rate plans, minutes, data, texting but also devices – including the iPhone.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

         That’s exactly what my youngest son has, he reports he has access to WiFi most places plus I’ve got two different phones (work and personal) he can tether off if needed.

        An inconvenience yes, useless no.

    • Brandon

       We do, it’s called the Value Plan

  • Well

    galaxy s II can tether/hotspot up to eight devices.

  • jessejames111981

    Since my wife uses about 500mb a month and I pay for 2gb a month on her line. I have asked To multipe times where are shared family data plans. 

  • gwhyte01

    I’ll pass on them, got a loyalty plan. I’m rockin with that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ethan-Heyne/100000193150624 Ethan Heyne

    T-mo betrays their own reasoning by not offering family shared data plans. Who are they to know if people would use them or not? There are people it would be perfect for, but for the others, let them keep their existing individual data plans. 

    • perfectalpha

      Listen, if T-Mobile knew what customers wanted they wouldn’t be losing half a million postpaid accounts quarterly. You’re totally correct too.

  • Cort1969

    Man you people are sheep…..what, just beacause Verizon says they are going to offer family data that means its going to be more affordable??? They are the most expensive carrier out there and if you think that will change just because they offer shared data, then you are not from this planet. Logic does suggest that a shared data plan should he cheaper but there will still be tiers where you will pay for how much data you think your family will use instead of an individual but the issue of one person using up all the data and leaving little for the other users which will not be a good customer experience….oh and by the way, they will still charge you for going over which T-Mobile doesn’t do. So before everyone starts flying off the handle just wait and see what Verizon’s pricing is and we will see how good of a deal it is.

    • ChrisRS

      Are you on a family plan? I have 6 phones on 2 plans. I’d love to see a family plan. Once I see what it is I can decide if it ia agood idea. T-Mobile would HAVE to offer a better priced plan than Verzon.

      • CRT24

        Have you compared Verizon’s current family plans to T-Mobile’s……..they are close double in most cases and more than double in others. That’s not going to change just because they offer family data.

        • ChrisRS

          thst’s why I am with t-mobile. I’d still like to see a t-mobvile family data plan.

      • Juanellobo

        Every body wants a good deal this is the deal you got a smart phone with a crapy internet phone is ussless get 50 bucks for everything unlimited and that’s it most people have metro pcs cause they don’t ask for credit if tmo don’t ask for credit bye bye metro pcs and other companies people will get tmo you pay half of att and more then half of verison even if you put thetering you still pay less.

    • Subi

      tmo does charge extra on the 200mb plan…and probably eventually will do that with others.  Why can’t you people accept that different strokes for different folks.  All these carriers are in the business to make money but offering more options to the consumer is always better

  • Deceptivesmiles

    smh, I would love a family shared data plan. I pay $90 for the data plan alone on my 3 lines.

  • Corepreacher

    I sell value plans all the time customers love the 2
    GB for each line because it comes with 6GB of data total for three lines and it costs $30 a month which is the same price Verizon charges for one line to have 2GB of data. who are we kidding here. tmobile is doing everything possible to be the value leaders in cellular data

    • ChrisRS

      Can you guide me to where this plan is listd? All I can find is 200MB for $10/month. (Is this the walmart plan?)

      • getsome

        Key word, “VALUE PLAN” start over again.

  • oneiopen

    “Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption?” Sherrard says. “We don’t think so…” tmo has been out of touch with their customer base for years so this isnt surprising

    • Tlovett7

      Yes, they are constantly refusing to offer extremely profitable services that their customers are begging for. I think they do it on purpose, just to punish the general public and make certain that they don’t make any more money than is absolutely necessary!

  • OldPro

    Really stupid argument, kind of like “just imagine Mom not being able to call the dentist because son used all the minutes talking to his girl friend”.   Why does tMobile still offer plans with limited family minutes?  Just like talk minutes, not everyone needs unlimited data (or 5Gig data).  I realized it’s difficult for the regulars on this site to understand, but there’s a lot of folks out there that could easily fit a family of four in a 2 gig plan, but would have to buy a 1 gig data plan for each line if they ever upgraded to smart phones.  I guess it will depend on what the pricing is from Verizon and AT&T, if TMobile winds up being the most expensive option for a family of three or four, maybe they will finally wake up.

    • Sam Jackson

      Families will ditch TMobile for this option because it makes buying a new plan easier to understand. You have to account for the way families buy, often the “tech advisor” and the “family treasurer” are two different people. Those two people need to agree before a purchase can occur.

      Shared data makes a family of smartphones an easier concept to understand (i.e. home internet) therefore, this plan will help families agree on the purchase by meeting them where they are vs the challenger (challenged)sounding approach of telling your customers that havin an option like that will just get them into trouble.

      Isnt this just an additional option for families? I dont think they are forcing families to share their data? Sherrard, sounds like this one caught you off gaurd,no? Its ok if you dont come up with every great idea! Thats just “pride f#$*in’ with ya” – sam jackson Instead, celebrate, join the party, heck- throw your own shared data party and make entry less expensive. Thats ALL your customers expect from you- to give them the options they want at a price that they can afford.

      • Texas Pro

        it is painfully obvious Sam  Jackson and Old pro do not keep up, Verizon announced they will force all to go to a shared family plan. IT IS NOT AN OPTION. It would be great for an option, but me as a family man want mine separate,I used my ph for business as well as personal and the last thing I want is to be out of data. Both my kids are on my plan and as all teenagers they burn thru data every month, they each average 3-3.5g. I pay the extra, but I do not want them having access to share. The thought of the data using when college starts in couple of years well I say no to data sharing.

  • MarcusDW

    So do we have confirmation that the Exynos quad can run HSPA+42? I mean the I9300 only goes up to 21

  • Moneyman

    I dont think this story really deserves to generate any Point of views until all the facts are shown. Tmobile is jist saying no right now but if other carriers offer it, they will be forced to change; Its part of competition. Verizon/Att are all about money so of course they’ll never offer “no overages.” Tmobile will wait and see how customers align with familt data before making any moves.

    • Peepinmofo

      Why wait? Why not do it for the customers NOW instead of playing the wait and see, and making their decision based off of other carriers sucess/failures?

  • gargoyle999

    I don’t agree.  My wife uses voice and I use data.  Give me a family plan for everything please.

    • AVI

      Thats exactly the point gargoyle…give customers more choice.  Thats what everyone wants, right?  Its funny that many of the people defending Tmo in this situation are the same ones that always hate on Apple for thinking they know best and telling users what to do…baah baah…Yet similarly here Tmobile is telling you that they know better and that you don’t need or want shared data.  Well some people don’t, but others do…so why not give people the option.  Everyone is in a different situation – single, married, kids, some use voice more or data more; some have various devices…Similar to your example, a couple might use 800 MB per month but with todays plans are forced to buy a 2gb plan each…They would be the type of people who’d prefer to just buy one 2gb plan they could share – assuming it would save them money.  Customers want options to pick a plan that suits them the best…why not give it to them vs telling you ‘we know best’ so were not giving you that option…but Tmo loves telling customers to switch carriers…They told my roommate that a few weeks ago when he called about a problem with his phone…THey didn’t want to troubleshoot and told that 10-year customer to find another carrier if he wasnt satisfied.  “Theres nothing we can do.”  Then they wonder why people keep leaving.  Keep blaming the iPhone and sticking your head in the sand

      • Tlovett7

        It makes zero difference how many choices you are given. There will ALWAYS be somebody who wants more choices or whose usage doesn’t fit into any of the available options. At $20.00 for a 2 gb data plan with no overage, it’s not going to get a lot cheaper. Given that you can put 5 lines on an account, you can effectively have a shared data plan for $100.00/ 5 lines, $80.00/ 4 lines, $60.00/ 3 lines, or $40.00/ 2 lines. Everyone gets the first 2gb at 4g speed and nobody gets cut off or charged for overage. So, what’s the gripe? That you can’t get 5 free $600.00 phones and all share a $20.00 data plan? I hate to burst your bubble, but it IS a business and ideally, businesses make a profit. There are so many options that I won’t bother to list them all…. classic plans, value plans, prepaid plans, and options within those for individual plans, family plans, and at least 5 levels of different data plans within those, AND you can mix and match them as you please within one account. If THAT’S not enough for you, you can have multiple accounts where you can mix and match those too, yet you whine about not enough choices??? That’s laughable. You prove my point. It is impossible to please everyone. Maybe you should start your own cell company and as a business model, you can just have people call in and tell you what they want EXACTLY in minutes, texts, and data, and then tell you what their bill is going to be and what phones you will be sending them for free. I bet you would be number one in no time flat!!!

  • Winski

    It just seems to be getting worse and worse at T-Mumble…. Just recently the CIO gets blowed up real good; you can bet your last $3.00 that Humm’s job is hanging off the side of a hundred story building by tissue paper; AND, now you got Andrew Sherrard jumping in telling the consumer what his company won’t do except make the consumer’s life more chaotic…. Just what we need.. Hasse has the right idea although he implemented it a little weird…. Unlimited-Period.

    This is NOT brain surgery….

    • Rache

      if tmobile would do unlimited period – even try a one-day promotion from time to time -they would explode…sprint has the unlimited plan but a poor network which scares many away…but i often find other carriers prices comparable or even better than tmo – it just depends on what you need or use…why pay for minutes you don’t use?  On sprint – with a coupon code you can easily find online – you can get unlimited everything for 69.99 ($10 a month off the regular price for unlimited talk/text/data)…If you use a free texting service over data (so you can avoid ATT $20 fee), you can get 450 min with ROLLOVER – which is a huge plus for many – and 3g of data for $70 plus taxes/fees….

  • ChrisRS

    Thanks, guys. I am on classic plan so no dice. Maybe I can witch over in a year or so.

  • Jay Free

    T-mobile does not have to change anything.  The company has the best data plans of the big four cellular companies.  It doesn’t get better than unlimited.  Sure the speed may be reduced, but I’d rather my speed be reduced than have my wallet reduced b/c I’ve went over my alloted data.

    Verizon and At&t are leaches sucking as much out of their customers as they can.  There is no way that they will put together a family plan that will benefit the customer….don’t hold your breath if you think this is for the customer.  Their ppl know that familes will go over their allotted data and the fees will add up very quickly. 

    • You’re a tool

      Best data plan?  Last I checked Sprint has TRULY UNLIMITED DATA.  I’m thinking that’s better than having your speeds reduced when you reach some magical cap that T-Mo wants to put on you.

      • http://www.thegadgetgurus.net Vic

        You would think so, until you realize that Sprint’s horrible data speeds are equivalent to T-Mobile’s capped speeds.

        • guest

          MAGICAL CAP? I think they are pretty up front about how much high speed you get for your dollar.

  • Grammatica di Polizia

    These data plan money-grab gimmicks and machinations are not the way of the future. Prepaid is. And prepaid pricing is the way of the future, not imposition of data overage charges, like AT&T is now doing (exceed your $20 250 MB limit, you are automatically incur an overage charge).

    Verizon and AT&T are just being hard-headed and greedy. It appears T-Mobile is being level-headed and going in the opposite direction of Verizon and AT&T. Smart move.

    Verizon’s shared data plan is as stupid – “Stupid” defined as anyone who bought Facebook stock.  

    • Why

      and i don’t know in these times how they insist on charging $20 for unlimited text or .20 per text when everything Ive read says a text message costs the carrier nearly nothing.  But customers keep paying.  The thing with postpaid too is that you have all these mysterious fees and taxes …When I used to have a plan with just phone calling – the fees/taxes amounted to 20% of my rate plan.  Now I have a prepaid plan with calls, text, data and my fees/taxes are two-tenths of one percent.  And aside from Tmo, the other major three charge you the same rate plans whether you bring your own phone or not…at least Tmo gives you a little discount (although value plans require a 2 year contract anyway) or prepaid option.  The whole cell industry in the US sucks and its all in the carriers benefit.  Im not a techie but why do we have both cdma and gsm; don’t most other countries have one or the other…All these unlocked contract free phones you can get online or from google are great but they’re usually gsm, no?  So tmo or att are your only choices.  I still don’t understand how Tmo is behind Sprint where everything I read about Sprints data is that its horrific and slow …but it must be good in certain markets because they have more customers than TMO…

  • TmoUSPloyee

    Cough, Verizon and ATT posers Cough Cough to anyone who really thinks family shared data is a great idea.  FYI it’s just a good way for Verizon and ATT to charge you overages, based upon current models they’re betting their money that you will incur overages every month.  Such as starting a plan for 20 then obviously you won’t be able to keep great tabs on your family members and then BAM! 10 or 15$ overage each couple hundred megabytes or gigabytes.  Besides, if you have a smart phone what’s the point of having it if you don’t want to use it for it’s potential?  It’s no logical, can’t believe anyone would seriously complain about paying less for more so that some companies marketing can tell them how to think and how to use their web.  

    • Guest

      What if i got my smartphone from someone else and thus to many other points below (not for everyone); however, I could still bring it to T-mobile’s network (Value Plan) and get great pricing.  So, if you are a front-line employee, kindly keep your mind open and realize there are instances in which we want subscribers to have a Smartphone without data.  

  • Manusferrera

     “We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable
    because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the
    family’s data allotment.”

    or just imagine you and your significant other only use about 2gb combined and wouldnt mind paying for a shared 2gb rather than 2gb seperate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.h.vallejo Andrew Hayes Vallejo

      Thats true but I highly doubt that they would start at a 2gb shared data plan. Most likely it would start with a 5 gb plan. Just like now you couldnt find a new 500 minute shared plan, it starts at 1000s minute shared.

  • Churnbot2012

    I agree with some of what they’re saying but Im always in favor of choice – give customers the option – it may work for some but not for others.  Personally, Im single so I wouldn’t go for it in a family plan with a teenager but if I were a customer who had a phone and a tablet, then maybe I would want to share the data between devices.

    • Tlovett7

      If you have a 5 gb data plan, you can share data between up to 5 devices. As for fsmily data plans, it’s simple and it already exists. For $100.00 you get unlimited data on 5 lines on your family plan with the first 2 gb on each device being at 4g speed. Decrease that $100.00 by $20.00 for each device under 5 that you have on your account, and there’s your family data plan.

  • Dakotasimpson

    single users never get any love….try to lock in the young customers and build loyalty so they’ll stay with you for a long time

    • Tlovett7

      Who are you kidding? Nobody stays with anybody for a long time. They’ll stay there for their contract and then they’ll go someplace else that offers them a shiny new free phone…… rinse….repeat.

  • Dav316

    Fair yet flexible – The “Family” data plan should have a plan ceiling and the account owner should be able to allocate a percentage of the ceiling on each device up to the plan ceiling. T-Mobile would throttle devices that hit their individual limit. Excessive changes to the allocation should have an associated service charge which would be a profit center for T-Mobile. 

  • Guest

    so that seems like $30 (or $10 per line) no matter which way you cut it.  Single Lines have the same pricing, they do pay a higher rate in the core rate plan (Voice + Messaging).  Two lines will always get better pricing due to volume.

  • IamDefiler

    Let me fix that title for you.

    T-Mobile Says ‘No Thanks’ To Family Shared Data Plans and Good Marketing.