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AT&T Mobile Share vs. Verizon Share Everything: Wireless plans compared

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At the end of June, Verizon Wireless launched its Share Everything plans, a completely new payment structure for its wireless service that essentially reverses everything about wireless service. Instead of paying for minutes, texts, and an unlimited supply of data, now users will be able to share one limited pool of data and pay a fee per device they wish to connect. If that doesn’t make sense, well calm down, it only gets more complex from here.

To 1up Verizon, AT&T Mobility has unveiled its own shared data plans called Mobile Share, which will be available in late August. It follows the same basic idea as Verizon’s plans, but is even more convoluted and complex.

Take some time and check out our picks for the best AT&T phones, as well as the best Verizon phones

Here are some helpful links:

So how do they stack up? To figure this out, I’ve decided to do some math. Below are comparison charts for a bunch of different scenarios. I’ve compared plans ranging from a single flip phone or smartphone all the way up to convoluted plans with 5 smartphones and many other devices. Find out who comes out cheaper below

Keep in mind that Verizon’s plans are mandatory for those who renew or sign up (if you want a subsidized phone). AT&T’s are not mandatory.


1 flip phone

To get a Mobile Share plan, you must have at least one smartphone on the account. Those with only flip phones or other types of devices will have to stick with their current AT&T plan. They are INELIGIBLE for Mobile Share.

 AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

INELIGIBLE

NOPE —- —-
     
 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$40

$00 – Flip phone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $40 – 0GB to share
     

 Verizon Wireless icon

Winner: Verizon


1 smartphone

We’ve declared AT&T the winner in this category, but it comes with one big caveat. If you need more than 1GB of data, AT&T requires you to buy 4GB, boosting your data price to $70. Under this scenario, AT&T will cost you $115 — much more than a 2GB plan from Verizon, which would clock in at $100.

 AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$85

$45 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $40 – 1GB
     
 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$90

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $50 – 1GB
     
AT&T icon

Winner: AT&T 


2 smartphones

This is your typical couple. I cannot imagine two people being able to share 1GB of data, so we’ve opted to give each 4GB. A typical user will need between 1 and 2GB of data a month, assuming he or she doesn’t go crazy streaming audio or video.

AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$150

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $70 – 4GB to share 
$40 – Smartphone 2     
 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$150

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $70 – 4GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
AT&T iconVerizon Wireless icon

 

Winner: TIE 


3 smartphones

Under a 3 smartphone scenario, both carriers come out roughly even, though AT&T has ever so small an edge.

AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$195

$35 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $90 – 6GB to share 
$35 – Smartphone 2     
$35 – Smartphone 3    
 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$200

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $80 – 6GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
$40 – Smartphone 3    

AT&T icon

Winner: AT&T 


4 smartphones

AT&T’s inflexibility in data plans means that you have to pay $120 for 10GB or $90 for 6GB. There is no inbetween. Verizon’s plan offers more options, though AT&T still has the edge on price.

AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$240

$30 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $120 – 10GB to share 
$30 – Smartphone 2    (AT&T doesn’t offer 8GB) 
$30 – Smartphone 3    
$30 – Smartphone 4    
 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$250

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $90 – 8GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
$40 – Smartphone 3    
$40 – Smartphone 4    

AT&T icon

Winner: AT&T 


5 smartphones

With five smartphones, you will need 10GB of data to share. if you don’t need that much, AT&T offers 6GB for $90 and Verizon offers 8GB for $90. 

 AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$270

$30 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $120 – 10GB to share
$30 – Smartphone 2     
$30 – Smartphone 3    
$30 – Smartphone 4    
$30 – Smartphone 5    

 

 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$300

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $100 – 10GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
$40 – Smartphone 3    
$40 – Smartphone 4    
$40 – Smartphone 5    

AT&T icon

 

Winner: AT&T 


2 smartphones + 2 flip phones

Families with a plan like this likely have parents who don’t want a smartphone yet (or ever) and two kids who are just the opposite. If you use Wi-Fi adequately, you could opt for 2GB shared plan on Verizon ($60), but we don’t recommend the 1GB plan on AT&T ($40). AT&T doesn’t offer 2GB or 3GB plans.

AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$210

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $70 – 4GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2     
$30 – Flip phone 1    
$30 – Flip phone 2     

 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$210

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $70 – 4GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
$30 – Flip phone 1    
$30 – Flip phone 2     
AT&T iconVerizon Wireless icon

Winner: TIE 


1 smartphone + 4 flip phones

 AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$205

$45 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $40 – 1GB to share
$30 – Flip phone 1     
$30 – Flip phone 2    
$30 – Flip phone 3    
$30 – Flip phone 4    

 

 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$210

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $50 – 1GB to share
$30 – Flip phone 1    
$30 – Flip phone 2    
$30 – Flip phone 3    
$30 – Flip phone 4    
AT&T icon

Winner: AT&T  


5 smartphones + 3 tablets + 1 hotspot + 1 flip phone

This plan is a wireless carrier’s wet dream. Both Verizon and AT&T’s plans top out at 10 devices and if they can get everyone to pay for 10 of them, their executives will be able to afford a new fleet of yachts to cruise around in (we don’t know the price to connect a yacht to Verizon or AT&T). 

 AT&T Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$430

$30 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $200 – 20GB to share
$30 – Smartphone 2     
$30 – Smartphone 3    
$30 – Smartphone 4    
$30 – Smartphone 5    
$10 – Tablet 1    
$10 – Tablet 2    
$10 – Tablet 3    
$20 – Hotspot 1    
$30 – Flip phone 1    

 

 Verizon Price Device Fee Minutes/Texts Data

$430

$40 – Smartphone 1 Unlimited/Unlimited $150 – 20GB to share
$40 – Smartphone 2    
$40 – Smartphone 3    
$40 – Smartphone 4    
$40 – Smartphone 5    
$10 – Tablet 1    
$10 – Tablet 2    
$10 – Tablet 3    
$20 – Hotspot 1    
$30 – Flip phone 1    
AT&T iconVerizon Wireless icon

Winner: TIE 


OVERALL WINNER: AT&T 

Both of these plans were designed by accountants, but thanks to the benefit of being second, AT&T has managed to complicate its plans a bit more to give itself ever so slight a pricing edge on Verizon. In most scenarios, AT&T’s Mobile Share plans were between $5 and $30 cheaper than Verizon’s. Verizon would theoretically win for anyone who doesn’t own a smartphone, however, since AT&T’s shared plans require at least 1 smartphone.

Winner by category:

  • 1 flip phone = VERIZON
  • 1 smartphone = AT&T
  • 2 smartphones = TIE
  • 3 smartphones = AT&T
  • 4 smartphones = AT&T
  • 5 smartphones = AT&T
  • 2 smartphones + 2 flip phones = TIE
  • 1 smartphone + 4 flip phones = AT&T
  • 2 smartphones + 2 tablets + 1 hotspot = TIE
  • 5 smartphones + 3 tablets + 1 hotspot + 1 flip phone = TIE

After spending so long learning about and comparing the two largest carriers’ plans, we have to say, you might be better off not opting for a Verizon Share Everything plan or an AT&T Mobile Share plan. Both carriers have gone to great lengths to confuse the hell out of you and me with these plans and if you do save any money by switching to one of these plans, it isn’t much. Many times, they are more expensive than older Individual and Family plans.

We really wish AT&T and Verizon would take a cue from Ting (a small Sprint MVNO) and let people pay for what they actually owe, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. As it stands, Ting is the only wireless operator that is honestly charging users for what they use. Check it out, if you haven’t yet. But if you are tied to a big carrier, you’ll currently save a small amount of money by switching to AT&T, most likely.