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U.S. Cellular Latest to Kill Unlimited, Offer Shared Data Plans
by Karl Bode 03:20PM Monday Oct 14 2013 Tipped by unoriginal See Profile
US Cellular today belatedly joined AT&T and Verizon in killing unlimited data plans for new users, instead offering mobile shared data plans that offer one pool of data for all devices on a subscription. According to a US Cellular press release, customers can add up to ten devices to the new creatively-named "Shared Data plans," which offers data allotment buckets starting at 300 MB a month for $40 -- going up to 75 GB per month for $560.

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As with other plans, users need to pay $40 a month to connect a smartphone, $30 a month to connect a basic phone, $20 a month to add a mobile hotspot or wireless modem, or $10 a month to connect a tablet.

Tethering is included for all of the plans, given that U.S. Cellular wants to encourage data usage. Data only plans are available for tablets, hotspots and modems that start at $10 per month for 1 GB of data.

"At U.S. Cellular, providing an exceptional wireless experience is our number one goal, and we strive to provide it through our high-quality network along with devices and plans that meet our customers' needs," the company said in a statement. "Our Shared Data plans are designed to simplify the way our customers manage their wireless usage and provide choice and flexibility when deciding what is right for them."

Traditionally, such plans may or may not provide more value depending on your specific household needs. You'll need to do the math for yourself.

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limegrass69
Here's my Posting tag

join:2008-05-28

Just curious...

"Our Shared Data plans are designed to simplify the way our customers manage their wireless usage and provide choice and flexibility when deciding what is right for them."
Isn't unlimited data simpler?
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: Just curious...

Seems simpler to me... also more flexible, just use whatever you need.

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by limegrass69:

"Our Shared Data plans are designed to SQUEEZE MORE MONEY OUT OF OUR CUSTOMERS and provide NO CHOICE OR FLEXIBILITY when deciding what is right for them."

FIFY

Blob
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snarf7

join:2013-08-31
Indeed

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Seems much simpler on both sides of the coin... Don't have to count bytes on provider side, don't have to worry on customer side.
Many users are willing to pay a premium to not worry about overages.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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Unlimited...

Capped data plans have been the norm with USC for quite awhile. They did have a promo (which lasted for quite awhile) to get unlimited data but officially, unlimited data was dead with them for at least 2+ years.

Didnt USC have billing platform issues that prevented them from offering this? From what i read things were quite fubar'd with them while the systems were upgraded.
--
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Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Unlimited...

Things are still messed up with their billing. People are getting double billed, and going there to the corporate store up in anger here.

Why exactly would anyone choose US Cellular anymore? The pricing sucks, the coverage sucks, the 200MB roaming cap applies when you leave their territory (which doesn't include any major cities), and for the Apple people, you still can't get an iPhone.

They really are just preparing themselves for the big sellout.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:6
Reviews:
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Re: Unlimited...

said by Os:

Why exactly would anyone choose US Cellular anymore? The pricing sucks, the coverage sucks, the 200MB roaming cap applies when you leave their territory (which doesn't include any major cities), and for the Apple people, you still can't get an iPhone.

I cant speak for other portions of their network but up here in Northern New England they have put a lot of money into building out and have ended up with a great network.

At least on my girlfriends plan, once we get out of their home territory, she roams on Verizon EVDO nationwide and probably other carriers as needed. She has a 5 gig cap though. Is there a roaming cap on these plans? I think it is called the "Belief Plan" and have been offered for quite awhile, at least since the formal death of unlimited.

iPhone was suppose to be coming this fall according to USC rep. Who knows though.

Personally, I want to see Sprint grab them to enhance their network footprint up here, and elsewhere where rural areas are not their strong point.
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Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Unlimited...

Their network is very good in Western Maryland, the best, in fact. The problem is if you travel at all, you will never see 4G, you'll roam on 3G at best with Verizon, and US Cellular will cut you off after 200MB. The 5GB is for US Cellular towers. A friend of mine was cut off for using data on Verizon towers. 200MB doesn't take too much to get to, but they don't have a great roaming agreement. US Cellular doesn't serve but 1 county in PA. If you cross the border even just a few minutes away, your local service is gone. Go to the big cities, you're roaming.

This used to come with a cost savings. With these shared plans, it doesn't any longer.

If they want customers, they're either going to need to offer better service (They can't) or better prices (They used to). With neither, they have no point of existing. And they've been losing customers for a while.

If they signed up for a Belief plan as I did, they had one and done contracts. They just ended that, so every renewal comes with a 2-year agreement again. With a lot of their customers not under contract, a lot of people can leave tomorrow if they want.

If Sprint had viable coverage here, I'd leave today.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:6
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Re: Unlimited...

said by Os:

The problem is if you travel at all, you will never see 4G,

Sprint has made reciprocal roaming 4G agreements with 3 carriers. i dont think it has been released who the carriers are yet but I really hope USC is one of them.

EDIT- Yes, catering to travelers is not their strong point at all. I really think they tried to pull some of them in when they launched their belief plans. I remember seeing ads and promo material touting nationwide coverage and such. I consider them the non-travelers cell phone service up here since they cover maine and NH well enough where if you dont leave the area you are good to go.
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Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: Unlimited...

It's one thing for nationwide travelers, my phone moves as fast as a sloth if I go a half hour to the north.

UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
I was told that USC has signed a roaming agreement with Sprint by an employee. Not sure when it goes into effect, or if it will end the 200mb cap.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
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Reviews:
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Re: Unlimited...

said by UHF:

I was told that USC has signed a roaming agreement with Sprint by an employee. Not sure when it goes into effect, or if it will end the 200mb cap.

I hope it is a similar agreement that sprint and alltel had years ago. Sprint devices would treat Alltel as a home network and not consider it roaming and I believe Alltel users had the same when on the sprint network. This would be huge for sprint in rural areas where USC has LTE deployed. Of course, I dont believe any current phones can take advantage of it yet besides maybe the new iPhone.
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buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
The USCC Network in Northern Maine is great. But when you go to mass your outgoing number changes... even on nationwide plans.
It's annoying.

alanxenos
Perot 2016

join:2008-09-26
Winnetka, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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·Sprint Broadband..
USC has dropped Chicago, but their coverage has always sucked here, so it's not a big deal. But has anyone else had trouble paying their bill online? The web service hasn't logged me in without a server error in about a month.
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said by Os See Profile
They really are just preparing themselves for the big sellout.
[/bquote :

+1
They are being prepared for the lethal injection.There is no way this company could survive the next 2 years the way they act.

Bengie25

join:2010-04-22
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Reviews:
·Solarus
For me, prices of the competitors is still higher and they all have crappy service. Not to mention AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have no real store fronts here other than to sell you a phone. Everything else has to be done over the phone.

At least for USCC, I can walk into a store, tell someone my problem, and they'll do most of the work to fix it.

I know quite a few people around here with non-USCC carriers, and they all complain about signal and customer service.

Once I hit the country side, the only phones with signal are USCC.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: Unlimited...

Wisconsin has never had really good cell service with a specific provider. Same with HSI. You can blame all the bureaucracy bullsh*t.
wispalord

join:2007-09-20
Farmington, MO
I just got out of my contract they pulled the stl market and we all work there there 200mb limit is not going to work so im just going to net 10 or something

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

Re: Unlimited...

You could try t-mobile since they have 4g (HSPA) in your town and most everywhere between there and saint louis (LTE in STL).

Since there's no contract it may be worth investigating and carrying a device with a 30 one month sim to see how it works
Bengie25

join:2010-04-22
Wisconsin Rapids, WI

1 recommendation

"From what i read things were quite fubar'd with them while the systems were upgraded."

Wrong tense. It's present tense, not past. They're still having problems /sigh

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

I just don't understand this

If you are the type of person who uses data, 300MB is nowhere near enough, no matter how much you share. If anything, it makes it easier to go over. That's probably why the providers like this plan so much. And 75GB for $560 is a joke and then some. I'm waiting for the punch-line.
Compared to wired services, this isn't a decision at all, it's obvious to avoid it like the plague.

Koil
Premium
join:2002-09-10
Irmo, SC
kudos:2

NB4 "Sprint is gonna be the next one"

...derp...derp...derp

drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

USCC never really had unlimited data

I had a data plan with USCC since they first offered them. There was always a usage allowance. In the last year or so there was a promo for unlimited data with a new 2 year contract and after 2 years the subscriber would need to select a usage tier. Some subscribers are still on the unlimited data promo.

The USCC billing system has been fubar'd for the last 2 months. For at least two weeks, in person customer support or phone support could not access customer accounts. It was really bad...no phone activations...no account support. Their online customer account system is very slow or does not come up. I was with USCC for 15 years. Some other technical things changed. In the last 6 months I have many dropped calls and very poor data availability and speeds. I'm in the process of switching my family's phones to Verizon. My phone has already been switched and I am satisfied so far with Verizon. I'm sure I'll have issues but USCC went completely in the toilet.
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Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: USCC never really had unlimited data

It has gone in the toilet. I've been with them for over 7 years now. It's never been this bad.

drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA
I just logged in to my USCC online account. They just cancelled automatic payments. My god this company is lame.

UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Service in Independence has been horrible ever since they turned on 4G.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Carriers finally getting it

Maybe one day customers will too. Unlimited data is not sustainable. That's just a technological fact and no one can dispute that. Those that try just WANT unlimited data. well I want $100 million and Mila Kunis but WANTS are not FACTS.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Reviews:
·Vestalink
·Pioneer Wireless

Re: Carriers finally getting it

Customers don't necessary want unlimited data. They mostly don't want to get bent over for overages.
There are a few than want it all, but most just don't want to get screwed with overage costs, or worry about how they use their phones.
The majority don't even know how much data they use unless they go over. Then they want to know how to never have it happen again. Unlimited plans are the easiest way to do this from a consumers point of view.
Customers should have the option of a no overage option on their data plan. An option to stop data the second the cap is reached.
While the tech limits on wireless are an issue the CAP is usually seen as a cash grab, and with the current price of data overages it sure doesn't look like the carriers are trying to change that.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Carriers finally getting it

said by buzz_4_20:

Customers don't necessary want unlimited data. They mostly don't want to get bent over for overages.

I beg to differ.

There are a few than want it all, but most just don't want to get screwed with overage costs, or worry about how they use their phones.

Well you have to worry because wireless data I a limited source so sorry they can't watch HD Netflix all day long.

The majority don't even know how much data they use unless they go over. Then they want to know how to never have it happen again. Unlimited plans are the easiest way to do this from a consumers point of view.

Well I don't know how much gas my car uses so the easiest thing would be for me to have unlimited gas. Or I could learn how my car works.

Customers should have the option of a no overage option on their data plan. An option to stop data the second the cap is reached.

unfortunately I Verizon's case the FCC won't allow them to do that. Take it up with the FCC.

While the tech limits on wireless are an issue the CAP is usually seen as a cash grab, and with the current price of data overages it sure doesn't look like the carriers are trying to change that.

Actually if carriers wanted to make money on overages they be charging LESS not more. Are you more likely to go over your cap at $1 per GB or $15 per GB? At $1 per GB you'd have millions of people saying "Oh well it's just a dollar I can go over this month. The high overage is an incentive to NOT go over an thus preserve the network.

Caps will eventually go up as carriers add spectrum and capacity with mini-towers and things like LTE-A but this will take years so people will have to be patient.
TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
said by buzz_4_20:
Customers don't necessary want unlimited data.
Wrong. I want, unlimited, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, not the Wireless & Broadband Carriers Made up Dictionary.

said by buzz_4_20:
They mostly don't want to get bent over for overages.
Wrong, I don't want overages, period. I want a known fixed cost per month.

said by buzz_4_20:
There are a few than want it all, but most just don't want to get screwed with overage costs,
No on overages.

said by buzz_4_20:
or worry about how they use their phones.
Correct.

said by buzz_4_20:
The majority don't even know how much data they use unless they go over.

Wrong, Mine is a pittance of the "5gb/Unlimited (grandfatherd for now)" but in a situation where I need it, I want to use it.

said by buzz_4_20:
Then they want to know how to never have it happen again. Unlimited plans are the easiest way to do this from a consumers point of view.

I want to know that if I need to go someplace and the only decent connection is via cellular then I can use it to accomplish my task, period. If I need to send a quick email, get some software or pull down a full ISO so be it.

said by buzz_4_20:
Customers should have the option of a no overage option on their data plan. An option to stop data the second the cap is reached.
Hell no! By default... if it is an OPTION you OPT IN to fine... by default NO!

said by buzz_4_20:
usually seen as a cash grab, and with the current price of data overages it sure doesn't look like the carriers are trying to change that.

It plain and simply is a CASH GRAB, period. VZW even admits it.... Next.
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