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About two months ago, we teased Shared Data plans that mark a culmination of months of work from the US Mobile team. Since late 2020 we’ve been updating and creating features that lay the groundwork for pooled plans. In fact, the infrastructure updates were so significant they paved the way for features even beyond pooled plans—from an all-new dashboard to real-time metering for usage analytics. Our hope is to offer our users a no-compromise connectivity experience never before thought possible. Stay tuned for details on these updates, and as always, more to come.
What are Shared Data plans?
US Mobile Pooled Plans are a simple new type of plan for customers with multiple lines and varied usage. It’s very different from the rest of our plans because you can share data across all lines on just one bill across as many devices as you want. Pooled plans include unlimited talk & text for $9 per line per month, with shared high-speed data at $2 per GB. This plan works out great for users with a growing number of devices which can share data across all the lines.
For example, when a family of four signs up with 8GB of shareable data, they’ll only pay $13 for each line—no contracts, no overages, no bill shock. And it only takes a couple of minutes to set up:
Users who use a ton of data can still get unlimited data with our Unlimited All plans for as little as $25/line. Taxes & fees are already included.
We started investing in the infrastructure to support singular and aggregate usage reporting a long time ago. Last year, we built the metering engine that could ingest, parse and run tens of millions of calculations a day to bring you real-time usage analytics. This is critical as the usage across many lines can change, and you have to make real-time decisions to add more data. For Pooled Plans, we layered an additional service that filters every line’s usage records to decide whether it’s part of a Pool and whether that usage should be counted against a Pooled Plan. You can read a more in-depth overview of how we built Pooled Plans here. You can now get usage reports about your Pooled Plan real-time.
Meaningful and actionable insights
The new Usage Analytics for Shared Data plan displays a holistic account view by default so you can better understand usage patterns. Of course, line-level analytics are also just a click away whenever you need them. Now, with a cumulative usage chart, you can quickly get a deeper understanding of and an instant visual representation of how your devices are using pooled data. Secondarily, you can also see in advance if you’re using data too quickly and need to buy a Top Up.
We added bulk actions that let you manage multiple devices at once. You can now snooze, resume, and remove lines in bulk. These new features make it significantly more convenient to manage a handful, hundreds, or even thousands of devices. We built the feature in such a way that bulk requests are handled as fast as updating a single line.
Here are some situations where bulk management will save you time and money:
- Your family is traveling across Europe for six weeks. Snooze all devices and connect them again when you’re back in the US.
- Winter is coming, and you don’t need your trail cameras to send pictures of wildlife. You can snooze all your SIMs at once and reactivate them in the spring.
- You gave all the temporary workers at an event a line to be able to reach them. After the event is over, you can remove all their temporary lines from a pool with a few quick clicks.
Billing is still no contract, no fees, and no strings. There are no additional charges for adding a line to a pool, removing a line, or changing plans. You can add as much data as you need or as little. Unlimited talk & text is included with the monthly $9 per line fee, and then you pay for the data you need. You buy a set amount at the beginning of the month, and if you need more, you can get more. All certified devices are connected at a single rate, so phones, and other devices like tablets, smartwatches are charged the same monthly line fee.
One of the cornerstones of our Pooled product that makes it so special is the ability to create multiple pools easily. Through our dashboard, we create a connected and organized experience with a clear visual hierarchy that allows our customers to easily understand the concept of multiple pools and the relationships between different lines and pools. You’d essentially create and manage pools for different sets of uses. For example, you can create different pools for the sales team and the product team, that have distinct types of usage.
On the consumer side, there is some consciousness around this sort of plan optimization but use cases for it will become more abstracted and mainstream over the next couple of months. We’re delighted that we are vanguard-ing this. A simple use case could be a family where the parents need a lot of data, and don’t want their kids to use all of it , so they create another one.
How does it work?
Interested customers can easily set up a plan and assign lines into a Pool. It takes 2-3 minutes. You pick the number of lines you want to add and the amount of data you want to share. Then, add or move your lines. That’s it!
Customers who sign-up for the Pooled Plans get:
- Unlimited Talk & Text within the US
- Warp Speeds on 5G and Ludicrous speeds on 4G LTE
- Mobile Hotspot feature included, data is shared from the Pool
- Dashboard with real-time reporting and usage analytics
- Usage alerts at 90% of the Pool’s threshold
- Ability to snooze and resume lines whenever needed
Pooled Plans are exclusive to the Super LTE network. However, US Mobile customers who are currently on our GSM LTE and interested in creating a Pooled Plan can contact us to move their line over to Super LTE.
Although Pooled Plans just launched, we are already hard at work to add even more features:
It’s a feature that’ll automatically top up your balance when it drops below a self-defined threshold to avoid any interruptions in service.
AutoPilot AI plan recommendations
Leveraging advanced machine learning models, AutoPilot AI can automatically alert you to significant trends in your usage – like a line using a lot more data because an employee’s need has changed. It can even help you anticipate future usage on your line. For example, it can calculate decreasing monthly usage and alert you so that you can more efficiently invest in smaller plans.
As you can see, Shared Data has a pretty rich backlog, and as usual, we’ll use additional user feedback to guide new feature developments moving forward.
If we had it two months ago, why didn’t we share it?
As excited as we were to launch Pooled Plans, we wanted to make sure it was the best experience possible. To do that, we had to take a deliberate and steady approach. First, we focused on inviting a few customers who could benefit from Pooled Plans and moved them over—it required manual intervention from our engineering team. Next, we used feedback from those invited customers to identify and squash bugs, ultimately leading to the product we think you’ll love.
Our pooled plans are entirely self-serve. You can create your own pooled plans, add new lines, or migrate existing lines to a pool in minutes. We’re ready to welcome everyone in. Go ahead and see how simple it is to set up a pool here.
Visit our previous blog post to learn more about how we built Pooled Plans.