Sprint Considering Family Plans for Data

Sprint Nextel is considering rolling out family-plan type subscriptions for data services, according to an announcement yesterday.

"You'll see this from us," said Fared Adib, Vice President of Product Development for Sprint, at a roundtable discussion with reporters.

Adib said that the reason tablets haven't taken off is because there haven't been attractive data plan options for families, and so Sprint aims to change that. With the advent of multiple connected devices in the home, like tablets and smartphones, carriers are looking to change the way data services are measured and charged. The most attractive option for them is a "bucket" plan for data that multiple devices can draw from, similar to shared talk minutes on cell phone plans.

The biggest hurdle, according to Adib, is the need to drastically change the billing system to ensure that the service can be tracked accurately over multiple devices. It's a complication most carriers are likely working on, he said, but not to expect it to happen overnight.

Sprint will be joining competitors Verizon and AT&T in the push to create family plans for data users.