Tablets, Laptops, and Smartphone’s; these three toys are only a few devices in which people rely on for their daily mobile needs. Ten years ago, you would be surprised to find someone that had not only a home phone, but also a cell phone and a computer. Today, it is surprising to hear of someone that does not have, at the very least, a smartphone, tablet and a laptop or computer. In an economy so browbeaten, however, these are some luxuries that many just cannot afford.
The average monthly phone bill for a smartphone user with an unlimited plan is $111.00 (T-mobile, ATT, Verizon, & Sprint). Imagine adding nine additional lines to that plan, and paying a separate monthly charge for each service that device uses. Chances are good that most of your paycheck would be spent on cell phone charges alone. At this point, adding a tablet plan is probably out of the question, since you still need to save a little money for rent and food.
Throughout the years, Verizon has certainly cornered the market on “firsts” with their extensive 4g LTE network, 4g LTE smartphone, and 4g LTE tablet. Why shouldn’t we expect they would give us a solution to our growing needs as consumers, and provide us with a plan that allows using multiple devices under a single rate plan?
On Tuesday, Verizon announced a new plan that would be available on June 28th. The Share Everything Plan will allow consumers to share unlimited voice, text, and up to 10 GB of data, amongst up to 10 devices! A tech enthusiast under this plan may expect to pay $140/mth for unlimited talk/text and 4 GB shared data when adding their smartphone, tablet, and jetpack to their plan.
Of course with every new plan, come grandfather plans. Verizon is trying to phase out their old plans, but will allow current customers to keep their existing plans. If you do decide to make the switch, there will be no additional fees or extended contracts. While this new plan will come with many benefits to new and exhibiting customers, it could prove to be detrimental to those who do not require unlimited minutes and texts. Weston Henderek, principal analyst for wireless services at Current Analysis gave his two cents when he said “…all new postpaid Verizon Wireless customers who want a smartphone will need to buy the new plan. This means that they will be forced to take unlimited data and unlimited messaging even if they do not need that many minutes.”
While Verizon’s new plan sounds great for those with large families (or a fetish for shiny things), those who have little resources and only turn on their phones under special circumstances, may have to search for an alternative. But will there be an alternative? According to The Wall Street Journal, in an article published on the 5th, Verizon is not the only carrier that plans on grandfathering out budget plans, and offering only unlimited plans. It seems the entire mobile industry won’t be far behind Verizon’s tracks.
With this lack of options seemingly in our near future, customers like Grandpa Joe, who scrabble to make ends meet from his $800/mth SSI check, may have to reconsider purchasing the cell phone his doctor advised he get in case of emergencies. Henderek went on to analyse that this change “…will have huge impact across the board on a wide range of customers.” Is it really a wise idea that these mobile giants have in store for us lowly consumers? I will put my money on, NO.