Verizon Wireless is running a new commercial for the Share Everything plans. It makes it seem like it's all wonderful deal. However, what the family is actually sharing is higher costs for data. It is the data that is being shared not the voice minutes or the texts with smartphone plans because for each smartphon voice and text are unlimited. We calculated the recommended plans from Verizon for such a family and gave our own recommendations.
In this day and age when even preteens have to have a smartphone the most highly used feature is data. Yes, Verizon Wireless has the greatest coverage and some of the best speeds for 4G LTE, but depending on usage could be the most expensive.
When Verizon switched to the Share Everything plans, they stated that they would no longer subsidize smartphones with unlimited data. Heavy data users rushed to get their last smartphone in time. Unsubsidized smartphone's can run as much as $600 for the latest model. Without being a math major and spending hours with a calculator the best deal is to keep the unlimited data. We'll explain why. One data hog could blow throw data very quickly in the family even before overages cost at around $70 per smartphone per month (basic phones are only slightly less expensive).
We looked at the family in the commercial that has a teenage girl and a preteen boy. Yes adding a smartphone will be only $40 a month but what happens during the summer when teenagers are bored?
We're looking at the family of a husband, wife, preteen son and teenage daughter.
Maybe they could get away with three smartphones and one basic phone. We went through the Verizon buying plan calculator that recommended 6GB of data for the family which is $230 a month or $59 per phone provided that no one goes over the data usage. There could be as much as 15% taxes added on to total around $264.50 which then ends up costing $66.13 a phone and junior doesn't have a smartphone, yet. Mom and Dad will probably forgo their data for a while until Mom gets bored at the soccer match and decides to do some work with the free mobile hotpsot included. That's for around $3174 a year!
When Junior gets a smartphone 8GB are recommended which will cost $250 a month and 8GB of data totalling $250 added taxes approximately $287.50 around $72 a phone per month. That's for around $3450 a year. On top of that, overages are $15 per GB a month. You can pay $4.99 for the parental data controls a month and then listen to a lot of whinning. See how we calculated teenage usage which we have confirmed by stories of some parents.
Verizon reccomends a bucket of 4G of data for streaming video that will run to watch 300 minutes of video. At a recent concert, the teenagers were not listening but looking a their smartphones gobbling up data.
Verizon claims that 90% of Verizon's' smartphone or tablet owners use less then 2GB of data per month. This however is growing rapidly. We checked the data usage calculator for the average teenager in a metropolitan city like Los Angeles:
- 100 e-mails a day = 29.3MB a month.
- Viewing 100 webpages a day = 1.14GB a month..
- Steaming one hour of music a day and downloading 30 audio tracks a month = 1.96GB.
- Streaming 1 hour of 4G video streaming a day, and 10 minutes of 3G video a day = 11.47GB a month.
- Upload and download 2 photos per day = 180MB a month.
We didn't use navigation because we assumed the teen doesn't drive yet. The total usage is in fact 14 GB a month which will blow out the $100 month 10GB option. If you can even calculate what data will be used in advance its $10 per 2GB more or you'll pay $15 per GB for overages.
So the bottom line is that any one in your family is a data hog (average teenager) do whatever possible to keep unlimited data for that smartphone, even if it means buying a used few-month old Verizon smartphone. Along as you buy a Verizon authorized smartphone you can keep the unlimited data. We will be exploring cheap options in the future.
If you obtain a Verizon approved device from a source other than Verizon Wireless, you can keep your current Verizon plan including unlimited data. It is not considered an upgrade,” Verizon spokesman Albert Aydin told WiMo News.
For little kids its dreamy when they share toys, for families to share all their data could be nightmare.
Some analysts contend that the share plans will "keep service revenues rising" and take busienss away from carriers that don't allow sharing of data. We think that at some point in the saturated market that some users will look for better deals with other carriers after the divorce from unlimited data.
There are even those who propose to not tell Verizon when a family member dies in order to keep the unlimited data plan. When the Droid RAZR was launched in November it cost $299 subsidized, we've found where you can buy a used one for less than the original price. The Droid RAZR is being updated to the Android 4.0 ICS with global roaming and is one of the top best smartphones on the Verizon network
Author's Note: A few months ago, I bought a gently used dual-core Android smartphone from CowBoom for $200 and put my SIM in it it worked fine. Currently, Cowboom is selling used a Droid Charge for $99.99 and a Droid RAZR for $289.99. A Droid Bionic on acution was close to $100. CowBoom sells the smartphones returned to Best Buy stores and have an excellent return policy for 30 days. We've even seen new smartphones for around $200 about 9 months after introduction. To most important thing though is that if an item is used you must make sure that it works properly when you get it. Sometimes the package does not include the charger which can be bought for as low as $6.00.
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