20
Jun
aiolte

If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida). An OTA is on its way to current Aio handset as I type this that will enable high-speed mobile access on compatible handsets.

To go along with its new-found LTE network, the carrier is also introing a new LTE smartphone: the ZTE Overture. The device features a 4-inch display and Jelly Bean, though other details are essentially non-existent at the moment.

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This is just the beginning for Aio, however – its coverage area will be increasing over the next year, as will its growing handset selection. If you're in the market for a new prepaid carrier, Aio is one to keep a close eye on moving forward. For more information about the company, head here.

Press Release

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • ProductFRED

    I'm on T-Mobile's $30 5GB plan. But if I ever had to jump to the $70 plan, it'd be tough to pick between AIO's 7GB or T-Mobile's unlimited $70 plan. It sounds stupid, I know. But the advantage with AT&T is indoor coverage and coverage in general due to lower frequencies. But T-Mobile is improving so I'll wait and see what happens.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      I am having the same issue, in-house reception with TMo is horrendous. The part that makes it worse is the fact that I checked my area with their coverage map and it said that I had coverage. Arg!

      Pardon me if I'm wrong but don't AT&T and TMo use the same frequency for voice?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aio_Wireless#Radio_frequency_summary
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobile_USA#Radio_frequency_spectrum_chart

      • ProductFRED

        For GSM (used for Voice), yes. The signal bar on your phone will show the data signal if you're on anything above EDGE though.

        By the way, I just read that AIO throttles LTE at 8 Mbps and HSPA+ at 4 Mbps. That's really bad considering you can get LTE speeds on T-Mobile's HSPA+ (I average ~15 Mbps) and extremely high LTE speeds on their network (I average 20-25 Mbps).

        • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

          Oh I see. I assumed you were talking about voice coverage for some reason. My apologies. Now that I read your comment again it makes sense to think you were talking about 3G coverage since the entirety of the comment was about data. :)

          "The signal bar on your phone will show the data signal if you're on anything above EDGE though." Is that for all Android phones? That's really interesting if it's true! Where could I check my actual signal strength then? Or is 3g signal strength my actual signal strength? (AKA do they send voice through 3G instead of GSM if the 3G is good enough?)

          The aio throttling thing sure is disappointing but hey, we couldn't expect a perfect prepaid carrier from AT&T, could we? :P I guess we stay with TMo for now.

        • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

          http://i.imgur.com/J5FCqXc.png I also have the full transcript (emailed it to myself) so I can post it in here if you want. Where did you see that they are throttling? I don't doubt you, I doubt this rep. But still, want some kind of source.

      • Serge

        AT&T uses 850MHz and 1900MHz almost everywhere for voice and data. 1900 is the main band, 850 is the additional. When you enter a building the phone detects weak 1900 signal and switches to 850 which is much better at penetrating buildings. T-mobile owns spectrum only on 1700 and 1900 bands. As wiki notes, T-mobile does not own 850, they have to ask AT&T for permission to use it (and pay for that of course). AT&T only allows them to use 850 outside of cities where T-mobile does not have coverage.

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  • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

    "An OTA is on its way to current Aio handset as I type this that will enable high-speed mobile access on compatible handsets."

    So will LTE only work on their handsets? I can't bring my own LTE phone and have LTE?

  • artsr2002

    Can someone post their plans? I clicked on plans but because their service isn't yet available in my area I couldn't go any further. Their coverage maps showed 4G coverage in my area however. Weird.