Verizon Wireless has announced they will offer shared data plans this year. However, when that time comes those with an unlimited data plan will have a difficult choice to make, according to FierceWireless.

In July, the nation’s largest wireless provider killed unlimited data plans for new customers. However, those that already had the service were grandfathered. Now those customers will have to decide which plan is better for their needs: using unlimited data on one iDevice, or sharing a restricted amount of data on multiple gadgets. Indeed, Verizon won’t let customer have both plans.

Of course, the devil will be in the details. All we know now is that Verizon’s data share plan is scheduled to launch in mid-summer. Prices haven’t been announced.

While Verizon’s sharing plan will affect all customers, it seems especially geared towards current iPhone customers waiting to pounce on Apple’s next handset.

According to Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo, the shared plans are for those 3G consumers planning to migrate to 4G LTE. As Shammo states, “Everyone will be on data share.”

The next iPhone is largely expected to include 4G/LTE capabilities, as does the current iPad model.

For their part, AT&T is also expected to launch shared data plans. Whether they will force their grandfathered unlimited data plan holders to make a similar choice remains to be seen.

While Verizon’s plan for consumers isn’t quite “Sophie’s Choice,” it will cause many to cry foul. After all, Verizon reaffirmed unlimited data plans for current customers just 10 months ago. Still it shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially as data consumption rates seem to grow each month. Besides, there is always Sprint. In April, the nation’s third largest carrier announced that it would keep offering unlimited data plans to everyone even as Apple is likely to launch a 4G/LTE iPhone.

Sticking with Verizon or moving elsewhere?

Source: FierceWireless