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Verizon to offer tiered family plans for data devices

Will Verizon be the first to jump onto the bundled family plan for data devices? Either way, it comes at the demise of flat-rate data plans for smartphones.

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We already knew that Verizon Wireless is promising to convert flat rate smartphone data plans into tiered data plans by summer, a move the carrier has worked toward since adding pricing tiers last autumn. Big Red will also attempt to ease the new financial burden for heavy smartphone data users by introducing family plans as well, said Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo at Reuters Global Technology Summit.

Under a family data plan, individual members would presumably be able to use their smartphones, tablets, and mobile hot spots while paying a one-time monthly fee.

"I think it's safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family," Shammo said. "That's just a logical progression."

Tiered pricing is one way to manage heavy usage that can choke the network's data speeds, while also generating revenue for the company.

Although there are no official dates in play yet, the bundled device data plan is one we've been anticipating at CNET for some time.

(via Reuters)

Related: Verizon CFO hints at global 'iPhone 5,' talks LTE