This month I dropped both my unlimited data plans in favor of a shared data plan on both Verizon (Galaxy Note 2) and ATT (Nokia 920).
What I paid before the plan change and what I pay after is about the same with the exception that the shared data plans allow me to add low data users (such as my Mom) to my contract without buying them a separate data plan (for data they’re likely to not fully consume).
There are some other reasons –
- Unless you’re regularly watching video via 3G/4G – you shouldn’t be coming close to going over any type of limit (I rarely went over 1 GB)
- Shared data plans allow you to add up to 10 people who all share the data
- Tablets can be added – typically for $10 per month (no contract so you can remove them at any time)
- The shared plans on Verizon and ATT allow you to use your phone as a WIFI hotspot for NO extra charge. Yes, the data is all charged to your account but as someone who does not use that much data I find it VERY handy to be able to sometimes use my phone as a hotspot without having to pay $20-$30 extra per month for a separate plan.
- The shared data plans also offer unlimited phone/text
- With my ATT plan the cost was really close to the same as my shared data (4 GB) which is about $110/mo + fees.
- LTE speeds on Verizon and ATT are now well over the speed of my home Internet (again YMMV for those who are blessed with fiber). Using these phones as a wifi hotspot is now very reliable and fast. Definitely a plus if you bring your laptop to a customer site.
- Most of the “unlimited” plans have some type of soft cap in place where they have the right to throttle you somewhere in the 5 GB range. This doesn’t always happen but don’t fool yourself into thinking that unlimited means unlimited. There are lots of gotchas which mean you are probably not going to be tethering your unlimited plan phone from home and using 20 GB streaming HULU.