18
Apr
gophone_logo

AT&T is looking to make its prepaid service a bit more competitive with the options from carriers like T-Mobile and various MVNOs. The new GoPhone plans include increased data caps and free WiFi tethering. The best part – current customers get the upgrade automatically with no increased charge.

ATT-logo

Here are the plan alterations listed by AT&T.

  • Increased data from 2 to 2.5 GB for $60 a month + enabled Wi-Fi hotspot capability + unlimited talk
  • Increased data from 250 to 500MB for $40 a month + 500 minutes of talk
  • New plan (Wal-mart only) with 1GB of data for $45 a month + unlimited talk
  • WiFi hotspot included

There is also a new basic phone plan with unlimited data, talk, and text for $45 per month. The data for that one is 3G for the first 2GB, then 2G after that. AT&T's prepaid smartphone plans are still a bit more expensive than you'd get on T-Mobile, but the network coverage is more robust. You can't really argue with a free upgrade, either.

[AT&T]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • CHRIS42060

    Meh...... I will still stick with AIO. Twice the data for less money is a more appealing plan for me, and I am perfectly happy with 4/8 Mbps speeds.

  • Chahk Noir

    I still have yet to find a plan with a better value than T-Mobile's $30 for 5GB of LTE data, unlimited texts and 100 calling minutes. I don't talk on the phone that much, so Vonage/Viber are more than enough to supplement the 100 min limit on that plan.

    • Dan

      I'm on that plan too. Love paying only $30 a month. In L.A. here and TMo is plenty robust. Great signal and speeds most places I go to. I have a hard time going through those 5GB though, almost seems wasteful LOL

    • Derik Taylor

      Works out well when you set up an app for Google Voice calling on it too, so it is almost like you have unlimited minutes as well. Let's just hope they roll out Google Voice VOIP calling in the Hangouts app soon.

      • white lightning

        Is this the current setup you have? Any downsides you've encountered?

        • Derik Taylor

          That is the current setup I have, and like I said I am currently waiting for them to actually release the feature for VOIP calling within the Hangouts app. In the meantime, I am using the Groove IP app for calling. It works out pretty well overall, though be careful about being in call when switching between mobile data and WiFi, and vice versa.

          Also, no matter what app you use for VOIP calling in the meantime, they each can have minor bugs, which can be kind of weird. For example, sometimes when I answer the phone the person may not be able to hear me, or something like that. Again, waiting for VOIP calling through the Hangouts app to be rolled out.

          • white lightning

            I expected as much. Has Google confirmed the VOIP via Hangouts?

          • Derik Taylor

            If I recall correctly, it should be coming out somewhat soon, though I do not have any exact dates. Hopefully before they disable support for third party apps that provide that functionality.

          • Rapist on BAIL

            Hangouts calling will make it no better. Even Facebook Messenger lets you make calls now and that sucks too. Not sure why you think "Hangouts" will make it all better for you. Truth is VOIP calling sucks and is not reliable 95% of the time.

          • Derik Taylor

            I guess we shall see when that time comes, shall we not?

      • ManiKarnika

        100 min are for out AND in calling.

        • Derik Taylor

          True, but with Google Voice VOIP calling, it counts toward your data instead of your minutes.

          • ManiKarnika

            False, Google Voice is callback service (traditional style).

          • Chahk Noir

            Not anymore! ;)

    • Daldain

      Can you share the link to that plan on the T-Mobile website please?

      • Dizzle

        That plan is only available at Walmart. Tmobile will try and tell you it doesn't exist. You must by a new simcard with this plan, but as the OP said, I live by this plan!

        • Daldain

          Thank you! Do you know if it automatically gains the international data that T-Mobile introduced earlier this year?

          • Baxter DeBerry

            No international data on the prepaid side, only the monthly gets that

        • atlouiedog

          I ordered a microsim from T-Mobile when they were free, got my dad a new phone, and we signed him up for it from the website. I remember it being a little difficult to find, but unless they removed since late December, it's there.

    • Kcls

      Or, for those with no TMob reception like me, nothing beats a Straight Talk AT&T sim. $45 a month for unlimited everything.

      • theiowakid

        *Unlimited. FTFY

      • Nick

        If by unlimited you mean 2gb, then yes, unlimited. Stop using marketing gimmick terms and call it like it is. It's a 2gb plan.

        • steelew

          2.5GB at LTE speeds then 3G or lower after that. I have it and I've never had a problem with it. Also its AT&T so it blows TMO out of the water...at least everywhere I've been, HI, CA, OR, AZ

        • skeeterfood

          Actually it.s 2.5 GB if you want to get technical...
          *30 day Unlimited Plans include 2.5 GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 2.5 GB, your data speed will be reduced for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. High speed data is restored once a new 30 day service plan is redeemed at the end of the 30 day plan cycle.

        • Ixil

          Exactly. But I forsee this getting larger along with every other data plan. They can't exploit Minutes anymore, the next few years will all be about Data. I think I read an article on AP about this subject.

    • solbin

      Its great if you are in a good coverage area. I recently switched from that plan to AIO because I would get great 4g speeds in one area, but a few miles down the road in any direction it would drop to ultra slow edge speeds.

      • Baxter DeBerry

        you do know aio is at&t...

        • solbin

          Yes, which is why i switched from T-Mobile for the better reception. I also looked at GoPhone, but I get more data with AIO and "unlimited" with reduced speeds after my 5GB.

  • timrcm

    Why do these more expensive plans exist when Aio is around and owned by AT&T?... Is there some other benefit other than tethering that I'm missing here? Roaming, maybe?

    • ProductFRED

      AIO limits LTE speed to 8 Mbps and HSPA+ speed to 4 Mbps. In comparison on T-Mobile there is no throttling (beyond any data limits) and I'm getting 20-40 Mbps on average on LTE.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

        8MBps is more than enough for HD video and the AT&T network is much MUCH better in terms of coverage than T-Mobile. I had T-Mobile for almost 10 years but had to switch to AT&T last year because there were plenty of times where even in the areas around where I live (Suburban Los Angeles) I would be lucky to even pull an EDGE signal.

        • Justin W

          And yet there still is some buffering to partake in. I'd rather use the $60 plan with no limit on my LTE speeds than have the 8mbps limit when their HSPA+ network can support that fairly well enough.

          • Alex

            T-Mobile needs to get with the program, they don't cover nearly as many areas as they say they do, they are still on edge where I live. Meanwhile Verizon pulls 11mb on LTE, att pulls 7mb, even sprint is pulling 1mb. Your argument may be true to you, cause apparently you never leave your area, but I'll take 7mb consistent data where ever I go, vs 100mb LTE speeds in limited markets. Don't believe the map!

          • Baxter DeBerry

            blame the FCC for handing AT&T and Verizon the best spectrum a few years back.. now another set is going up for auction and AT&T wants to get it before the other two (sprint and tmo) can ever get any

      • Alex

        The problem is T-Mobile does not cover as many people as at&t. Where I live aio gets 7mb meanwhile T-Mobile is on edge. I'll take the throttled LTE over edge any time of day. Let's face it un-throttled LTE is great but 8mb beats most WiFi connections. I'll jump on T-Mobile as soon as they catch up to vzv and att, their speeds are great and unless you live at a metro area their coverage sucks.

        • ProductFRED

          I live in NYC, so it's not an issue for me. If I was in your situation, I'd agree.

  • blairh

    I'm post-paid with AT&T. $65 for unlimited talk/text with 2 GB of data.

    • sssgadget

      How?

      • blairh

        That's the rate if you are a new customer and sign up for their mobile share plans without signing a contract. They also are offering this rate to current customers like myself.

      • mistercow4u

        I believe that rate requires an unsubsidzed phone such as using their Next program.

        • blairh

          Next or BYOD. I'm actually still under contract for 6 months and they voluntarily offered me this rate.

    • WPFN

      AIO/Leap Wireless/Cricket or whatever they call it now, post paid - $65/m (normally $70, but 5$ discount for auto pay), unlimited talk/text with 7GB data.

      • blairh

        Your speeds are capped. No thanks.

        • WPFN

          8mbps is more than enough, I like the data option. To each his own.

        • solbin

          Just a serious/honest question, how often do you need speeds faster than 8mbps? Sure, it is nice if I am downloading a file or program, but for everyday use 8mbps on a cell phone is more than enough for me.

          • blairh

            I would notice those 8 Mbps. I get something like 30 Mbps, maybe more, via my home wi-fi. I'm used to browsing outside my home at LTE speeds. And I'll never go back. I also don't need 7 GB a month. I rarely go over 2 GBs a month.

        • Alex

          Your data is capped at 2gb! No thanks! I would use 2gb in my first week. Capped speeds over capped data allowance ? Give me more data please. It would be an issue if the speeds were less then 2mb, but that isn't the case with aio.

          • blairh

            I don't go over 2GB in my monthly usage. I'll take the faster speeds.

    • Guest

      $65? How are you paying more for the same $60 plan I'm on?

  • AOSPrevails

    Currently on the $40 smartphone plan, needless to say I am a happy camper(T-Mobile is 2G in a 40 mile circle around my town so ATT is my only choice).

  • bukowski

    I'm currently on the $60/month Go Phone plan with my N5. I get my refills through CallingMart, and I wait for them to advertise discounts on their Facebook page. I get the refills for $54/month and every refill I purchase gives me rewards toward the reduction in cost of future purchases.

    And now this!

    We're inching (at a painfully slow pace) toward some decent options in the pre-paid market. If only we had the same number of choices as our UK brothers across the pond.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Do they charge taxes? CallingMart? I've been using the ATT site. But if I can get it cheaper why not. Do they just give you a code to refill?

      • bukowski

        No tax. After checkout, you are presented on-screen with a code to refill. That same code is sent to you via e-mail. As I mentioned, just keep an eye on their Facebook and they routinely post 10% off codes. With the discount and the rewards, it's a great deal.

  • JC

    I instead have MetroPCS, they have the same T-mobile network and their unlimited everything is 60 a month.

  • anezarati

    when does this go into affect? i actually have the $60 plan and an extra 0.5 gigs would be great

    • bukowski

      According to the press release linked at the end of the AP article, it goes into effect April 25th. If you already have the $60 plan, you'll automatically get upgraded. Nothing to do on your part.

  • Archie Williams III

    There is no comparison between t-mobile and at&t's network.

  • Oscar Hidalgo

    My deal is still the best because you choose how much you want to pay for 2GB or even up to 4GB of 4G data. You can pay as little at $10 for unlimited everything. http://www.solavei.com/oscarrefugio

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  • Rapist on BAIL

    I've been on the T-Mobile $30 100min 5GB of LTE plan for maybe 2 years now, back when you had to go through Wal-Mart to get it. It's the perfect plan for some one who doesn't talk much on their phones and live in a 4G covered area. I made it work for 2 years along with Skype $3 calling plan using my T-Mobile cell#. I've used GS2, HTC Amaze, iPhone 4S, GS3, HTC One S all on this plan. I'm currently using a unlocked Moto X.

    However after relying on VOIP calling and extensive 10 cents-a-minute refills for more reliable cell calling after I use my 100 mins bucket, I'm upgrading my plan now.

    Instead of going for T-Mobile's $60 Unlimited plan with 3GB of LTE, I plan on changing going over to AT&T $60 GoPhone plan which is almost similar. Even though T-Mobile gives more data, if I'm going to go back to spending over $60/mo for service, I want the best most robust network available for it. I look forward to test out AT&T service when my next bill due. I do know one thing, all my AT&T friends at work stay getting service inside. I always have to be by the front or windows just to get 2 bars. I'm in Chicago btw. Downtown area.

    But yeah, VOIP calling even on Wi-Fi is still not all that reliable yet. I've used them all. Skype is the closet you will get to reliable VOIP calling and even thats laughable at times. So I wouldn't rely on that as a permanent replacement for unlimited minutes. Especially for extensive convos.

    All in all,