AT&T joins Verizon in offering ’shared data plans’

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

AT&T is joining the “shared data plan” bandwagon.

The company is following Verizon’s lead, announced in June, in allowing customers to bundle devices under one data plan. The cost benefit, however, will depend on the number of devices.

Sometime in August, new AT&T customers will have to choose a shared plan, but existing customers can keep their current plan, even if they upgrade their phones. Verizon customers who currently have an unlimited data plan and who want to upgrade to a new device must switch to the company’s Shared Everything or tiered data plans unless they buy the new device at full price.

AT&T’s Mobile Share plans – there are six -  will allow customers with a smartphone to add up to nine other devices, including tablets, gaming devices, feature phones, laptops, netbooks and external broadband cards. You’ll pay a monthly data fee, a monthly smartphone fee and monthly fees for every extra connected device.

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