Verizon Wireless and AT&T have both introduced new shared data plans. Verizon completely ditched its old options while AT&T decided to hang on to its standard plans while offering the shared data options as an alternative. Sprint, for its part, still thinks its unlimited offering is the way to go. We can’t blame the carrier, it’s certainly a differentiator in the U.S. wireless market.
In an effort to show consumer’s the benefits of unlimited data, Sprint has launched a new “Dare to Compare” website, FierceWireless noted on Thursday. The site shows that its unlimited data plans start at $79.99 per month with 450 minutes and unlimited messaging, while AT&T’s data plans cap out at $89.99 per month for 3GB of data with 450 minutes and unlimited messaging. Verizon’s 2GB data with unlimited voice and messaging starts at a much more expensive $100 per month but includes mobile hotspot connectivity for sharing your 4G LTE connection with other devices. AT&T and Verizon both charge overage fees of $10 and $15, respectively, for each additional 1GB of data, too, while Sprint does not.
The shared data plans from Verizon and AT&T, however, include the aforementioned free mobile hotspot usage and unlimited text messaging and minutes, which can offer savings for families or anyone with several mobile devices. To the credit of Verizon and AT&T, both carriers also offer much more expansive 4G LTE networks. So if speed is your thing, then the extra monthly payment is worth it. Plus, AT&T has found that most of its customers use less than 2GB of data, so unlimited isn’t really up everyone’s alley.
Sprint’s plans will certainly be much more competitive once its 4G LTE network is up to snuff, but who knows, maybe it’ll jack its prices at that point. The same goes for T-Mobile, which has criticized Verizon and AT&T’s new pricing schemes. T-Mobile offers a “4G” HSPA+ network but it still has yet to roll out 4G LTE to a U.S. market.
Still, if you need unlimited and want the comfort of never having to worry about overage fees, then Sprint’s new tool will useful way to see how much money you’ll save every month by making the switch.