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More options with better data plans coming June 21; new LTE device joining the prepaid ranks

Closely following earlier rumors, AT&T announced today that it will be restructuring its GoPhone prepaid plans to be more data friendly and offer a wider variety of options. Starting next week, AT&T will shift to a new three tier prepaid plan structure:

  • $60 per month: unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, $10 per 1GB additional
  • $40 per month: 500 minutes, unlimited text with 200MB of data, $5 per 100MB additional
  • $25 per month: 250 minutes, unlimited text with no data, $5 per 50MB of data additional

This is a serious shift away from what AT&T' s prepaid offerings looked like at this time last year, and even a marked improvement over its current plans. Currently $65 on GoPhone will get you just 1GB of data, with no option to purchase additional gigabytes -- they've knocked the price by $5, added 1GB  to the base price and now allow additional data to be purchased. For the less-than-power user, the $40 plan offers a good choice for those needing less data. Let's also remember that AT&T now allows customers to bring any phone, including those with LTE, to its prepaid plans.

We're not entirely sure what has caused AT&T's change of heart on prepaid -- as a carrier that has traditionally clung to postpaid profits -- but we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth. 

Along with the announcement of its plan restructuring, AT&T also quickly announced that it will be offering a new LTE device targeted at its GoPhone prepaid customers, the Samsung Galaxy Express. Available June 21st for $249.99, the Galaxy Express has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 4.5-inch AMOLED display, 5MP camera and is running Jelly Bean. With these announcements, AT&T seems to be taking prepaid just a little more seriously.

Samsung Galaxy Express        Samsung Galaxy Express

Source: AT&T

 

Reader comments

AT&T restructures and improves GoPhone prepaid plans

69 Comments

With just 100 minutes. And T-Mobile's coverage (and LTE coverage especially) isn't comparable to AT&T for people in many markets. Those plans aren't directly comparable at all.

As someone that uses the $30 T-Mobile plan, I still see the value in this $60 plan. It's point to point nearly the exact same as T-Mobile's $60 plan.

I agree and I can see a lot of people jumping on this.

I personally think this $60 plan is pretty damn sweet. Sure you lose 500MB of data, but in most areas AT&T trumps T-Mobile in coverage and data speed.

It is too bad each additional GB is not $5 instead of $10 because you can get full unlimited with T-Mobile for that same $70.

I like T-mobile myself but the $30 plan isn't comparable to the $60 GoPhone plan, it's comparable to the $60 T-mobile plan that includes unlimited talk/text with 2.5GB of data.
The only real difference is 500mb more on T-mobile plan wise.

In real life for some who aren't in areas that are well served by t-mobile the loss of $500 mb might be well worth it.

The real difference appears over 2.5GB if you have good coverage by t-mobile and AT&T an extra $10 on T-mobile gets you truly unlimited data, and $10 on AT&T only bumps you up to 3GB

Still, considering AT&T's lack of attention to prepaid, these plans are pretty competitive and show that AT&T is taking prepaid seriously. Also it's a good deal cheaper than their postpaid plans Unlimited Talk/Text and 3GB of data would cost you $95 - $100 approximately on AT&T postpaid.

They absolutely suck. I use my phone very little, except for data. I have almost no use for phone minutes. AT&T is forcing the light users to subsidize the heavy users. F them all. I hope they all die in a fire.

My Gophone 3 month plan expires in 12 days so I went ahead and bought another $25 worth of minutes so my account could be renewed for another 3 months from the date the currenct 3rd month expires. But after I paid they got ride of my 12 remaining days and started a new count from today. I think this must be a bug in their system. I lost 12 days. I have never had this happen with TracFone which is my preferred prepaid pay phone. But where I live (at the house) a cellphone does not get reception unless I use a Att cellphone since there is a ATT microcell tower hooked up to the Internet in the house. So even though I have a nice TracFone I was stuck in having to buy a cheap ATTF phone just so I could make calls from home. But now I am stuck having to pay every 3 months to keep it active and I only use it about once a month more or less. I later found out it is cheaper to make phone calls from Skype if you are on the computer a lot.

>$60 per month: unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, $10 per 1GB additional.

this plan looks pretty good to me. currently with Sprint. i was considering Straight Talk OR the new AIO plans but i like this one. combine with the next new Nexus direct from the Play Store and i'll be good to go!

@Gekko, if you use 4Gbs of data, it would be the same price as Sprint's unlimited data.

From the DARK AC App!

I like this plan. I currently use Red Pocket (att mvno) with almost the same exact features @ $60/month except the data speed is capped @ around 1.5mbps on Red Pocket. I will probably be making the switch for my Nexus 4 next month.

I'm not to familar with how these plans work... Could I go month to month on T-Mo then pop in one of theses sims when I travel, and suspend it afterwards? Or do I need to pay for an entire month whether I use it or not?

You go month at a time. Like all prepaid, you pay to start the service and it goes for 30 days. I'm not 100% certain what AT&T's policies are for stopping/starting service with the same account/number/SIM are though.

I'll definitely hop on that $60 plan as soon as my current AT&T contract expires. I currently pay around $85/mo for 450 mins, 3 gigglebytes of LTE data, and no SMS(I cancelled the SMS years ago in favour of Google Voice and to save $20/mo). So even if I tack on the $10 for the additional GB of data, I still come out saving about $10/mo and get SMS and unlimited talk.

Is it worth an extra $15/month for LTE? I'm currently on Straight Talk with an ATT SIM Card. It might be nice to use my HTC One on LTE.

Once I get LTE in my area (sometime later this summer), I'm ditching StraightTalk. I can get 2Gb's of data (ST doesn't tell you what their limit is, but I've been throttled for about a month now) on LTE and it's only $15 more. I'll take it.

Also, I don't see why others are saying this is a horrible deal - you get LTE with it and it's only $60, which is considerably less than what you get with a post-paid plan. For about $70 on a post-paid plan, you'd get 450 minutes, 3Gbs of data, and no texting. With this, you get unlimited texting and 2gbs of data, on top of unlimited talk. Seems like a good deal to me.

For AT&T it sounds like a decent deal, especially if you live in an area where your choices are basically between AT&T and Verizon

If T-mobile has good coverage around you they beat this offer, but your not going to get large scale LTE at this point for any cheaper. T-mobile's LTE network is still tiny and Sprint's isn't much better.

I can't stand AT&T or my Galaxy S3 (cannot mod it due to Mobile Iron at work) but I will gladly suffer with both for LTE. You can hide TouchWiz and ignore AT&T's crappy business practices much easier with 20 mbps connections.

I wouldn't assume that is the case since you have limited data. I'm sure an answer is a phone call or internet search away.

What a Joke.
My $360.00 a year plan with T-Mobile is "THE" plan for anyone with a GSM phone..
HSPA+ = 12-15 MPS down 2-4 MPS up.. LTE to 200 Million customers by years end.
Nuff Said :-)

So would there be any benefit to switch from Straight Talk if using a Nexus 4? I realize there's no LTE in the N4, but would going directly through AT&T be faster? Only real issues I have with ST is the occasional MMS failures, so I wonder if it's just a waste of $15/month?

I am on Straight Talk (AT&T) and always get throttled at around 1.5GB. This new go-plan will be nice because you know the limits and can add data when you want it. If you never get throttled and can't use LTE I would stick with straight talk

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Thanks! No throttling issues here and obviously no LTE, so it looks like I'll just stick with ST.

Thanks again

What changed their heart? The fact that T-Mobile is killing them on prepaid for GSM! You can either go high end with T-Mobile's own branded prepaid ($60/mth for unlimited voice/text and 2.5GB of 4G data or $70/mth unlimited everything), or go low end with T-Mobile's GoSmart brand ($35/mth unlimited voice/text/Edge data or $45/mth unlimited voice/text and 5GB of 3G data-unlimited Edge data afterwards).

T-Mobile's $70 completely unlimited is an even better deal than their own postpaid plans at the same price, since there are no taxes or fees. There is absolutely no throttling, and I have even used over 15GB so far this month with no issues (Netflix, HBOGo and All Access FTW!)

I have a $25 month T-Mobile plan available only thru Wal-Mart. For $30 a month I get unlimited data and text and 100 mins. This is only a backup phone line since I'm using an iphone but good plan for someone who doesn't talk much.

I'm assuming you're talking about T-Mobile's older prepaid plans (Monthly4G) that are about to be phased out and not their new Simple Choice plans, which I consider to be equivalent to prepaid since there's no commitment. If you're referring to the former, you're right about taxes/fees; if you're referring to the latter, you still have to pay taxes/fees. Interestingly enough, I can't seem to find the Monthly4G plans on their website anymore.

All that said, T-Mobile's plans still kill AT&T. Their biggest problem remains their network coverage, at least in my area.

I have a line with TMO $70 unlimited, yes its a good deal but they're inconsistent, yes, get killer speeds, as good as it gets and near lte. Drive a mile, and speeds drop. Won't work in my cigar lounge, at work and in several other places. AT&T is consistent, I will give them that. Before lte, was getting like half of what I would get in a good tmo area, but, everywhere I go, I'd get service and acceptable hspa speeds.

Depends on where you live. I get good speeds everywhere in town where I live (Alabama). I'll be moving to Houston soon though, and they have T-Mobile LTE already. :-)

I may have to look into these revised plans if T-Mobile doesn't fix it's network. Their coverage map shows excellent 3G/4G coverage in my area and I'm lucky if I can get a signal in my living room, to say nothing of my basement where I'm lucky if I even fall back to Edge, which is the same as having no signal at all.

This makes me want to switch back to att badly. I've got a nexus 4, been rocking tmobile since January after being with att for 9 years. But nothing beats att and their network. It's stellar. I know att works with nexus 4 but aren't the band's different/limited?

If you switch your Nexus 4 over to AT&T, you'll likely take a data speed hit.

I'm thinking of trying it out next month just to see how the speeds world be in the areas I frequent.

Posted via Android Central App

In other news, MetroPCS now take AT&T phones. If you have one, that's a way better deal than AT&T GoPhone Plans. I can't comment on service though.

I have to say that as a current sprint customer that this is a pretty nice plan was looking at straight talk or going back to T-Mobile but if att has this plan or something better in 2 years I guess I will be leaving sprint for them.

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Are you leaving Sprint because the coverage/date speeds suck where you are? If not, check out Virgin Mobile. I'm on Sprint and my co-worker just got on Virgin. We have pretty much the same coverage and data speeds and he only pays $35 a month for unlimited data/messaging and 300 anytime minutes.

yea 3g speed is a joke and when i can get 4g its ok but i will say that 4g isnt official in my are but 3 should be this bad for what im paying.

I've been considering dropping our AT&T PostPaid for any carriers type of pre-paid. We're paying just over $200/month for 3 phones (1 HTC, 2 iPhone 4S), 700 minutes, unlimited text, and only 300GB/month per line. "I" don'tuse but maybe 150MB/month on my Vivid, but my wife and kid nearly max out their 300MB/month by the 2nd week. Wehn our contract expires, I'm thinking about dropping my line to prepaid, and their phones stay post paid.

Well, unless I want an HTC One at any point...LOL

I just wish AT&T's post paid was cheaper on the data.

The only thing I'm concerned is what happens if you use all your data on the $60 plan. Does it stop until the next month or until you buy and extra GB for $10? Or does it go into pay-per-use mode eating up whatever is left from your balance?

Not sure what has changed, but on the previous $65 plan you were forced onto paying per KB after the 1GB was used. Now that you have the option to buy additional 1GB buckets for $10, I'd assume you just get shut off until you add another bucket.

Because its prepaid, its conceivable that you wouldn't have any money on the account for them to draw from until you add more funds and therefore data. They won't send you a bill, i wouldnt think.

I know I should be asking this on Imore but can people use Iphones on the gophone plan. I told a customer they cannot. I do not know if this is still true.

Yes they opened up GoPhone to any device, including iPhones and LTE phones, about a month ago. They can be locked to AT&T even, don't have to be unlocked or out of contract devices.

That's why these new plans are so surprisingly good. They're not restricting devices anymore.

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I myself am leaving Verizon by the end of the month. Am gonna switch to TMobiles $70 prepaid deal. Can always change my plan with my needs. This just seems very limited. Although a phone in hand usually opens a couple more doors. n4 for me.

AT&T's network is better that T-Mobile's network here in OKC. I was really considering switching to T-Mobile once LTE is launched, but AT&T LTE is really fast and prevalent.

I'm on AT&T month to month right now, and I'm paying 89.99/month! $60/month sounds much better!! I do hope the plan includes conditional call forwarding. I'd still like to use Google Voice.

This will be quite nice once I get my S4 Google Edition.

T-Mo's LTE is live here in OKC, just not announced yet. They're still working on it, but when it works, it works well. With that being said, I think I will go with the new $60 on AT&T. If you leave the major cities here in OK, the data speeds are still at EDGE/GPRS, which can be frustrating when you're going to visit people.

T-Mobile sucks you get 2G internet speed and when you go put money on your phone. They ask you for you T-Mobile. billing zip code. When you call there customer services they won't give you there zip code and they act like they don't know what your talking about and you really can't watch videos on youtube without waiting forever to load and it takes you 30 minutes to watch a 5 minute video so your better off getting at&t go phone with 2mb and unlimited text and talk and a 3 G internet speed and btw I went through T-Mobile family mobile which just sucks