AT&T's shared data plans launch in August

Get ready to pool your data with a Mobile Share plan

Mobile Share plans

AT&T announced today that its shared data plans, known as Mobile Share plans, will become available to customers in August.

The Mobile Share plans will allow customers to access a single "bucket" of data from multiple devices, so that a separate data plan will no longer be required for every mobile data-enabled gadget they possess.

The plans will also include unlimited talk and text messages, as well as tethering, and will be offered to business customers, too.

AT&T's new shared data plans may be a good idea for individuals or families with multiple data-ready devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices (like Sony's PS Vita).

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But there are a few options to consider before making the jump to the new Mobile Share plans.

The nitty-gritty

AT&T's existing plans will remain available for the time being, but customers jumping to the new plans won't even have to extend their contracts, making the Mobile Share plans all the more attractive.

Customers can first choose how much data they want per month; 1GB for $40, 4GB for $70, 6GB for $90, 10GB for $120, 15GB for $160, or 20GB for $200.

Then customers can add up to 10 devices, and each comes with a different price tag.

For those with the 1GB plan, adding a smartphone will cost an additional $45 per month. But a smartphone costs only $40 on the 4GB plan, $35 on the 6GB plan, or $30 with 10-20GB.

Non-smartphones will cost $30 monthly to add, laptops et al are $20, and tablets and gaming devices will be $10.

"Today we think of people's smartphones and tablets sharing a bucket of data. But in the future we'll see health care monitors, connected cars, security systems and other devices in the home all connected to the mobile Internet," AT&T Mobility's Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher said in a statement.

"Our Mobile Share plans are simple, easy and a great value for individuals or families with multiple mobile Internet devices."

AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson said last month that mobile plans will be data-only within two years, meaning all voice and text will be carried over data connections.

Shortly after that, Verizon announced their own shared data plans, which also allows customers to connect up to 10 devices to one "data bucket."

But customers on any carrier who are still "grandfathered" into unlimited data plans should always be wary when switching plans, because many carriers take every opportunity to eliminate unlimited data.

Via PC Mag