For large companies needing more than 25 lines, Verizon is initiating new Nationwide for Business Data Packages and Plans that are compatible with existing nationwide business talk and talk-and-text sharing plans. Larger businesses will be able to buy the new data-sharing plan without already having a talk or text plan, however, Macchia said in an interview.
The Verizon Web site describes the large business data sharing costs as $20 a month for 300MB; $30 for 2GB; $50 for 5GB; and $80 for 10GB shared over all lines on the nationwide plan. For this plan, there is no separate device charge per month.
Businesses seeking more than 10GB to share will need to speak to Verizon to arrange a customized plan, Macchia said.
Verizon for years has arranged customized data sharing for very large business, he said.
Many businesses with hundreds of workers will probably want far more than 10GB a month to share, Macchia conceded. But the new Nationwide for Business Data package attempts to meet the needs of businesses that have more than 25 lines, but are still small enough that they haven't yet set up a customized plan.
The data overage charge is $15 per 1GB shared for all the lines on an account under the new nationwide plan.
Verizon knew that business customers wanted shared data plans, and Macchia predicted they will become popular.
"Regarding why we didn't do this sooner, we carefully evaluate programs and listen to customers and do our research," he said. "And that's how we finally decided to move forward first with Share Everything, which has been great for consumers and now it makes sense for business."
Small and medium-sized businesses who will be served the most by these new plans are "very cost conscious," he said.
As for whether other carriers will follow Verizon's lead, just as AT&T did with a shared data plan announced last summer, Macchia said: "It's always nice to be emulated."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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