U.S. Cellular is jumping on the shared data plan bandwagon.
The wireless carrier on Monday introduced shared data plans for consumers and small businesses. The plans line up with similar ones offered by larger carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T. These latest offerings also spell an end to U.S. Cellular's unlimited data plan.
Shared data plans have proven effective in getting multiple family members to sign up with the same carrier and in limiting the amount of data each member can consume. Consumers can share data among up to 10 devices, while businesses can get up to 25 devices connected to a single plan.
U.S. Cellular said existing users can keep their grandfathered unlimited data. But with U.S. Cellular moving to capped plans, only T-Mobile and Sprint offer truly unlimited data plans.
Like the Verizon and AT&T plans, the voice minutes and text messages are unlimited, but the plans get pricier as the tiers go up. Data plans and their monthly prices include 300MB for $40, 1GB for $50, 2GB for $60, and 10GB for $100. In addition to the data, users have to spend $40 a month to connect a smartphone, $30 for a basic phone, $20 for hotspots and wireless modems, and $10 for tablets. Data tethering is included in all the plans.