It looks like AT&T customers will be able to take advantage of the carrier's first shared-data plans soon.
The wireless giant has said it plans to roll the new plans sometime this year, but hasn't been specific as to when. The carrier's internal system that it uses to manage customer accounts has now added support for shared data, a source told Engadget, which published a screen shot detailing upgrades made to the system this month. Whether this means a rollout date is approaching or if only testing is pending is unknown, but either way, it's a step in the right direction for those eager to sign up for a shared-data plan.
It will be interesting to see which of the major carriers debuts shared data first. It was reported last month that Verizon Wireless isn't far away from making its plans available; potentially, a family might pay one charge for a data allowance and an additional $10 per line, similar to how many family plans for voice minutes work.
Shared data has long seemed like a win-win for customers and carriers – one rate for customers and bill consolidation for carriers.