Choosing the Right Plan

Shared data

Phone plans change over time, for various reasons. Shared plans went out of favour with Business customers tiring of the ‘leader and sharer’ format where you had a pool of minutes, SMS texts and data to share across a fleet. They were complex with lots of little rules to make changes difficult and expensive.

Business single users plans

Shared plans were swept away in favour of a single-user plan for each connection, typically with unlimited minutes, SMS and a data plan that suited each user.

Shared data with unlimited minutes and SMS

This form of data sharing plan is currently in vogue. Although it can often seem that whatever plans a business customer seems to settle on, Mobile Network Operators invent ways of extracting more ’unplanned charges’, above the monthly rental charges previously agreed. Typically, with shared data, they need to introduce a lack of visibility and individual control. So, this is achieved in two ways, firstly the rule is you can only manage the combined data plan, with no option to address individual users within it.Secondly, there is a lack of visibility on individual use during the month.

Our observations show that 5% of connections tend to use most of the data on offer.Furthermore, the amount they use grows and pushes up the total bill, month-on-month, as they find there is no ceiling to their use.

We have received the following feedback from fleet users about their shared plans.

Negative feedback
  • You can only buy extra data collectively, for the entire pool. If you do not buy it, the entire fleet gets suspended (including the Senior Manager). So, you must release the pool to use extra data at fifty times the normal rate for shared data, for any use over the plan.
  • They will not let you add more data mid-month, at a fair contracted rate.
  • To avoid the data overspend again, you must buy extra data to make sure there is enough headroom.
  • Bills keep going up month after month, as everyone seems to be using more data.
  • They will not let users set suspensions or alerts for individual users.
  • Users cannot see what each has done daily or receive alerts till the end of the month.
  • The overuse bill arrives well after the event has taken place, leaving you to have to navigate a complex billing platform to reveal who used how much data.
  • High users cannot be moved out of the pool and onto their own single user plan without paying off the sharer fee for the entire term - then they are on a separate bill.
  • A small percentage (maybe 5%) of users consume an in-ordinate amount of data, well beyond their duties.
  • The cost per GB of shared data is much higher than single user allowances (about 5 x higher).
  • Overseas use is unclear and often cannot access the pool freely, in limited amounts and does not include many countries outside of Europe.
  • It is unclear what countries are allowed in using shared data and fees are charged regardless of the data use for calls and texts.
  • There is only a small international data allowance per day and bolt-on options cost an expensive £30-£50 a time.
Positive feedback
  • It distributes data based upon need and those who do not use much can have their data used by others needing it more.
  • Many users are light users because they often just use the work phone for work and then are on mostly on Wi-Fi at work and at home.
  • The amount of data used tends to be more consistent than having lots of individual plans, so the admin team are not pestered by suspensions.
Best of both - Our solution to a better business plan

Control and Fair distribution of shared data using our ‘Best of Both’ shared data plan.

Midland Telecom and IT has formulated a much fairer way of distributing shared data, it takes the best of business single users plans, with a decent data allowance at a low cost from zero to 100GB. We then combine this with further access to a shared data pool, to avoid suspensions and provide extra data where needed.

  • Any user can benefit from inclusion to the shared pool and use data form the pool.
  • You can also choose an allowance per user plus access to the shared pool. So, a heavier user can have a 20Gb single user allowance plus access to shared data if needed.
  • Access to the data pool can be controlled on a per user basis to stop some users taking it all.
  • You can omit high users from the pool and put them on their own unlimited data, whenever you want, even in the middle of the month.
  • You can move users from a small data allowance to a larger one to spare your data pool and save on expensive shared data.
  • You can suspend or send alerts to any user telling them how much data they have consumed. This is automatically monitored daily.
  • You can set a limit on how much extra data you allow someone before suspending them. They will receive multiple notices before a suspension notice.
  • Plus, it takes less than 30 seconds to check your billing every day and the list of the highest data users is presented, as is a running total for the whole fleet.
  • Plus, you can check on any user and see at what time they are using the data to see if it is legitimate use.
  • Plus, you can release a suspension normally within an hour after they receive a notice to contact you and award some grace extra data from the pool.
  • Plus, you can top up the data pool before the end of the month to avoid overuse charges or increase individual allowances mid-month, to stop them needing to use the shared data pool.
  • Plus, it is any flavour of data - 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G can all use the same shared pool.
  • Plus, any user can use the data in the EU, together with 105 countries in the rest of the world to the full value of their own allowance and feed off the shared data pool while roaming.
  • Plus, you can lower allowances to zero when a position becomes vacant.

Best of both is much more economic than shared data

So, our clients can set a low-cost, data allowance for each user based on their role and their previous use. They can buy the data at much lower rates (typically 75% lower than shared data) and then attach each connection to a smaller, shared data pool they can access if they use up all their allowance.

The shared pool can be used in the UK, EU and Rest of World and most importantly can be topped up mid-month.
Flexible with no shock bills or restrictive rules

We can suspend just one individual user and leave the rest of the pool free for normal use. Move one user out of the pool and onto their own high-use allowance to keep costs low.


The spend on data can be dramatically reduced by shifting users up and down the allowance scale to avoid spending more on expensive shared data.

Daily Billing

Midland Telecom works out your entire bill each working day, this has a distinct advantage over traditional monthly billing. It means alerts you set can be triggered so you know when someone is spending too much or using a lot of data.

Mid-month changes to plans

We allow changes to be made to your plan to avoid overuse charges, and we adjust plans for overseas use.

If a user is going to a conference or is visiting an overseas branch, then you can simply increase your single-user allowance to 25GB (maximum for roaming) and you also have access to a shared data pool when abroad. This extends to 105 countries, offering huge allowances for most long-haul destinations.

Low-cost PAYG services

Shared plans do not suit some users who have a lot of lighter users. The costs of each sharer can be too high. We have some very low-cost, monthly rent-free services, where anyone using less than 50 minutes or SMS texts each month or less than 300MB of data, can enjoy lower costs than the standard light user plans (500 minutes, 500 SMS, 500mb data). Our data is just 0.5p per MB - that is just £1.50 for 300MB per month and with 20 minutes of calls costing just £1.40. These low users can be served more economically, at under £3 a month for typical spend. That is over 60% lower than a sharer plan costing £8 or more. If you do not use them, you do not pay anything and if they use more than £10 a month, you can move them to a sharer plan with no cancellation fee.

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