Ina Fried

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AT&T’s De La Vega: Shared Data Plans Still in the Works

AT&T still hopes soon to be able to allow customers to share a pool of megabytes or gigabytes across multiple devices. However, getting all the details ironed out is taking longer than the carrier would have hoped.

“We’re still working on that,” AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said in an interview on Monday, just after wrapping up his keynote speech at AT&T’s developer conference in Las Vegas. “It just takes a little more time than we all would want it to take. But sometimes it’s better to make sure you take your time and get it right.”

Verizon has said it expects to see such plans arrive this year and de la Vega himself said at last year’s D9 conference that AT&T was also looking to let customers pool their data into a single plan.

“We’re working on one,” he said at the time. “It will be soon. I can’t comment on a quarter (when it will launch) but it will be soon.”

France Telecom already offers such plans in some of its European markets.

The need for such plans was further highlighted on Monday by one of AT&T’s announcements. The company plans to sell a bundle with Pantech’s LTE phone and tablet for just $249. It is a good deal, of course, but the annoying catch is that it requires signing up for two separate data plans.

De la Vega talked about a number of other topics during our chat, including why he thinks Samsung’s 5-inch Galaxy Note phone/tablet hybrid stands a chance and why Motorola and Research In Motion were entirely absent from Monday’s talk.

I’ll have more from our interview in a bit.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work