I know I haven't exactly been kind to +T-Mobile lately. Their network coverage, (which was never that good) has been going downhill, their device selection has been going downhill, they are WAY behind everyone else when it comes to an LTE strategy and they seem to be spending almost all of their efforts trying to convince me that their HSPA+ network is "4G" (a strategy that relies on me being ignorant and/or gullible)

To be sure they are a good value (would have in the past said they are a great value), especially with the grandfathered plan we have been on for the past ~8 years but the gaps in service and capability are getting harder to ignore.

When +Verizon Wireless first started talking about shared data plans last year I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea, and to be honest I just assumed that the other post-paid carriers would follow suit with TMO, with it's emphasis on value, being among the first.

Right now my family has 4 lines with 3 data plans, two of those being unlimited and the third (for my wife) being the 200MB plan. We pay a relatively reasonable total of $60 for those 3 data plans.

But here's the thing, in total my family has never used even 2GB in a single month and usually we are well under 1GB combined.

Right now the 4th line is a data capable android device without a data plan It's my son's phone and I know he'd use more than 200MB and there's no way I'm spending $30/mo for an unlimited plan.

Likewise I might want to get a 3G capable tablet or a mobile broadband device but I'm not going to buy a full priced data plan just to have one, no way-no how am I paying for more than one data plan for the stuff that I carry around.

Shared data plans have the promise of eliminating all those roadblocks. Imagine a 5GB bucket o' data for say $50 or even $60 a month, add additional devices to that bucket for $5/mo and you will see device adds skyrocket. I'd totally add data to that 4th line and I'd probably pick up a MiFi just to have it, when I was buying my next tablet it's quite likely it would be a data capable one instead of a WiFi only version.

T-Mobile may think they are getting more money by forcing people to get a separate expensive data plan for each device, but they could see MANY more devices and by extension more total revenue if they lowered the cost of entry.

cc: +Allan Kintz
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