AT&T prepping systems for shared data plans

By on February 13, 2012, 4:30 PM

AT&T is preparing their systems for new data plans that will allow customers to share data across all of their wireless devices. The move comes just a few months after rival Verizon Wireless announced intentions to introduce family data plans in 2012, although neither company has come forward with a launch date.

An internal memo picked up by Engadget reveals that Telegence, the system that AT&T employees use to manage customer accounts, has been updated to include a Data node for Group Level Services. The memo indicates that while the Data node will be visible, it will not be functional at this time. The leak further states that the launch date for Shared Data has yet to be determined.

Despite no pending launch date, the inclusion of the feature could very well mean that it is nearing completion and has perhaps reached a test phase.

A shared data plan will benefit both the wireless provider and the consumer. The provider will be able to sell more smartphones, tablets and Wi-Fi hotspot devices simply because the customer won’t be required to purchase separate and often expensive data plans with each new purchase.

It remains to be seen which provider will be the first to offer shared data to their customers. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo mentioned the possibility of shared data plans last year and similar leaked images from the company’s internal training software suggests we could see plans launch in the near future.

Would you be more likely to buy extra connected devices if you could share data from gadgets you already own?

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