AT&T rolled out a new plan last week called Mobile Share.
Instead of paying for each minutes, texting and data separately, all of these are bundled together into one base price and a price per device. For instance, we were paying $80 for 1400 minutes, $30 for unlimited text messaging, and $15 to $20 per phone for a small bucket of data (200-300 MB). We have three phones, one each for my wife and I and another phone that used to be Infinity Softworks’ primary line . The total bill, excluding taxes and fees but including the extra device charges, is $180.
My phone and my wife’s are both iPhones. The company line is an Android phone. I had to buy a data plan for the Android phone even though it never leaves the house. That’s 300 MB per month that goes unused. My wife also doesn’t use much data on the go and I am routinely pushing up against my 200 MB limit, especially if I travel at all during the month. I sometimes pay an extra $15 in a month to get more data even though as a family we never go over the total 700 MB per month allotted between the three phones . Most months we are also right around the 1400 minutes for calls, slightly above or slightly below. Luckily, AT&T’s rollover minutes keep us from paying per minute.
With the new Mobile Share plan, we get unlimited telephone, unlimited messaging and the choice of shared data. The base price goes up and the cost to add a device goes down depending on the allotment of data. For instance a 1GB (1024MB) shared plan is $45 base plus $40 per phone, the 4GB shared plan is $70 base plus $40 per phone, and the 6GB plan is $90 base plus $35 per phone.
The more phones the more effective the pricing gets. At 1GB, we will pay $165 per month for the three phones. Not only do we save $15 per month but it is far less likely that we will have to pay extra for data and I no longer have to think at all about voice call minutes. In addition we can use FaceTime over 3G now if we want (which the tech press is having a cow over but whatever). When the next iPad ships I can add it, too, for $10, which saves me another $10 per month as the current plan for its own data bucket is $20.
All in all, a nice plan. We switched this weekend.
 We keep it around to tell people to send an email. Plus I like the idea of having an extra phone around the house in case of an emergency.
 700 MB doesn’t seem like a lot but it is when on-the-go stuff is mostly focused on email, web searches, etc. In other words, I only do text-based stuff. I don’t download apps and don’t watch videos. The largest thing I do on the go is download maps and occasionally use the GPS system. Of course, most of my time is spent under a wifi umbrella…