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AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega confirmed today at the D9 conference that the carrier is “working on” a shared data plan that would allow consumers to use multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets and netbooks, on a single pool of mobile data and minutes.
Don’t get too excited, though. De la Vega wouldn’t commit to any time frame, so it will likely be years before we actually see shared data plans on AT&T. His comments were likely driven by recent Verizon comments that it’s working on “shared mega plans” for multiple devices.
Such a move would be a major shift for consumers and the mobile industry as a whole. For years users have been counting their precious mobile minutes, and over the past few years the rise of smartphones has made mobile data just as valuable. But with so many devices adding mobile broadband capabilities now, it seems inevitable that many users would appreciate a streamlined way to juggle their mobile data.
We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.