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AT&T Considers Shared Data Plans, Reduced Subsidies to Increase Margins

by Brandon Russell | May 18, 2012May 18, 2012 4:45 pm PST

Ralph de la VegaWould you like the good news or the bad news first?

Good: To help quell declining customer growth, AT&T is entertaining the idea of introducing linked data plans between smartphones and tablets. Basically, one plan to rule them all. Rather than requiring folks to have separate plans for each of their devices, AT&T would instead let tablets sip off the same data a smartphone uses. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T, believes the move will “increase revenue and provide more value for customers.”

Bad: De la Vega also wants to reduce device subsidies, meaning you and I might have to pay $300, or even $400, for our next device. According to WallStCheatSheet, the AT&T CEO is “pushing for reduced subsidies… If de la Vega gets his wish, the [carrier] will reduce this subsidy in order to increase margins.”

Reducing subsidies sounds counter intuitive to gaining more customers, no? The ideas are currently being mulled over behind the scenes at AT&T,  so nothing is a certainty yet. Let’s hope the carrier doesn’t ever pull the trigger on reduced subsidies. If it does, can we at least get shared family data plans?

[via WallStCheatSheet]

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...