Ready to start sharing?
It hasn't been much of a secret that AT&T's going to start offering up data sharing plans for families looking to combine texts, mobile minutes, and data under a single umbrella instead of paying a la carte data costs for each family member's device.
AT&T first announced its shared intentions in July of this year – specific on the details, but vague when it came to announcing when AT&T Mobile Share was actually going to go live.
However, AT&T revealed last week that the company intends to flip the switch on Mobile Share on August 23.
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With the move just on the horizon, AT&T's also launching a "Mobile Share Planner" tool to assist those looking to benefit from AT&T's new pooled plans.
Mobile Share, explained
For the uninformed, here's how Mobile Share works.
A family signing up for the plan receives unlimited texting and mobile minutes for all devices.
However, the cost of plans is split by the amount of data you want to assign to the universal pool that each device can draw from, as well as the number of smartphones, laptops, or tablets you want to add into the mix.
For example, sharing a 10-gigabyte pool of data costs a base price of $120, and each smartphone thrown into the mix costs $30.
Jumping down to a one-gigabyte data pool reduces that base cost to just $40, but the cost to add each smartphone to the family Mobile Share plan jumps up to $45.
Adding a "basic" or "quick messaging" phone to a Mobile Share plan costs a flat rate of $30, per device, per month.
Tablets can be throw into the mix for a $10 monthly fee per device; laptops, $20.
And, should the family go over the allotted amount of data, it'll incur a flat fee of $15 per gigabyte regardless of how big the original "data pool" might have been.
Planning your package
AT&T's listed out all the different Mobile Share options on a handy Web page.
Users can play around with AT&T's dynamic tool for charting out Mobile Share plans by clicking on the large "Estimate My Usage" button on the Mobile Share Planner page.