AT&T

Smartphone plans starting at $55 with 2GB of high-speed data; BYOD SIM just $10

AT&T recently announced that its previously regional prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless would be going nationwide sometime in "mid September", and now it looks to be opened up just a week later. Along with the expansion to customers across he country, Aio Wireless is improving its plans by upping the data speed cap to 8mbps (from 4mbps previously) and offering a couple of compelling data options and price points:

  • $55/mo for unlimited talk, text and data — first 2GB at high speeds
  • $70/mo for unlimited talk, text and data — first 7GB at high speeds
  • $15/mo for 250MB on a data-only tablet plan
  • $10 per additional 1GB of high-speed data
  • $9.99 for BYOD SIM card

While most reading here will choose to bring their own device, Aio Wireless also offers a decent set of mid-range devices for unsubsidized prices of $100 to $300. If the newly improved offerings from Aio Wireless have you intrigued, you can go shop its plans and devices at the source link below.

Source: Aio Wireless

 

Reader comments

AT&T's prepaid brand Aio Wireless goes nationwide starting today

100 Comments

At this price point I'd be more than satisfied with 4-8 mbps. Powers users would need more, but the vast majority of users probably wouldn't know the difference. Its nice to have another no contract option out there. I'll be interested to see how functional throttled speeds are once users cross their high speed cap.

I'll stick with T-Mobile. Those caps are ridiculous.

Communicated from the future via my holographic signal decoder.

Ridiculous in what way? As for plans with unlimited talk+text, T-Mobile's prepaid plans are $50 with 500MB of high-speed, $60 for 2.5GB of high-speed or $70 for unlimited high-speed.

That matches up pretty closely to what Aio Wireless offers here, just slightly different structuring — the only thing missing here is a fully unlimited plan with no throttling like T-Mobile.

As I said, that's the one point where things don't match up. Otherwise, T-Mobile's prepaid and Aio Wireless' prepaid plans are both pretty competitive to one another. Definitely close enough to not be considered "ridiculous".

The lower price points on T-Mobile aren't throttled until you reach said limit. Aio throttles from the gate. That's the difference.

Communicated from the future via my holographic signal decoder.

Right, theres a difference — no plans are going to be exactly the same across carriers — but it's nowhere near "ridiculous". Sure Aio maxes out at 8mbps, but you're also getting AT&T's coverage which is wider in more places than T-Mobile's.

"Ridiculous" is my opinion. I get over 70 why would I want 8? All depends on where you live buddy.

Communicated from the future via my holographic signal decoder.

Yeah but you get throttled on T-Mobile to Edge speeds. You are comparing two different things that don't even make sense. AIO isn't throttling you to an unusable speed. You're making way too big of a deal about it. I'd rather have AT&T's much better network.

Except T-Mobile throttles you when you reach your data limit. AT&T throttles you from the get-go and then throttles you once more at the limit.

What return said. Plus I have unlimited so I don't get throttled. Besides that, I'm not making a big deal out of it, just giving my opinion.

Communicated from the future via my holographic signal decoder.

With T-Mobile, as soon as you leave a city, you drop down to .3mbit EDGE. With Aio, you'll keep 8mbit much longer.

i just experienced this for the first time... pardon my ignorance as well - it's pretty funny - i switched from Sprint whom i had for years and years but finally couldn't stand some of their network issues of late. thought t-mobile was going to be my golden ticket with their $70 unlimited plan. just traveled from los angeles to san francisco for a weekend trip with friends and anytime we were anywhere, except a bigger city, my signal was F-d with T-mobile. was horrible! my friends who mostly had Verizon and AT&T were pretty much OK, using their phones while on the highway, etc. AIO Wireless is now looking very tempting for me to switch over to and drop T-mobile with a quickness!

I'm going to give it a shot. I have been with T-Mobile for 10 years, but when I moved out of a big city a couple years ago, all I get is EDGE.

I want to try it out but if I do I think I would lose my 30$ plan on T-Mobile. I hope AIO becomes a good competition that T-Mobile works on their edge coverage faster because of this

Just buy 1 month worth of the cheapest plan on aoi and try it out before you port your tmobile number over. Yes you will end up buying 2 aoi sum cards but if it saves you from losing your tmobile plan, then so be it.

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seems like a good idea and I know I would like it but I wonder if I would go to a AT&T store, would they have more info on AIO

Considering that its a completely separate subsidiary, I don't think AT&T stores will have a ton of info. Anything they would be able to offer is likely already easily found on their website.

I agree. I moved out of a big city here in Indiana a few years ago, and the service down here is just edge. The voice service here is veer decent, but AT&T has way better coverage, with what is supposedly the nation's fastest 4G LTE network converted here. Even Sprint has LTE here. That's my opinion of ridiculous. Don't call their network crap when they have, to use the old slogan "more bars in more places"

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Yeah, I'm enjoying my service on T-Mobile. However, I'm almost certain, when I get relocated, I will end up on one of AT&T's prepaid plans, if T-Mobile doesn't have a strong mobile presence, at my new station.

I like the AiO option; but, I think I would pay the extra $5 a month, for the Go Phone prepaid service, just so I could get 2GB of un-throttled data speeds.

while I wish I had 3g in my area. most likely where you go if its not a big city then I bet you will get edge I mean not even when Im near a major highway they still don't have 3g. I like their prices :) the best thing they have is that but dang that AIO company is very tempting I will hold off until I cant stand it

Don't put yourself through that. If all you're getting for service is EDGE, I would just make the switch. It's not too much more, and you'll keep your sanity.

I think I lost my sanity when I am dealing with it when im on 90% on edge and only 10 percent on 3g. only places I get 3g is a city that is 20 min away and my college school which is 20 minutes more from that city that get 3g :)

It probably works out to more than $5 a month more for GoPhone because AiO includes ALL taxes and fees into their price.

I think, it ends up being $64 and chance, on GoPhone. On my $70 plan with T-Mobile, I end up paying $74.30/ month. That price includes the tax and fees.

So, when you do the math, the AiO service ends up bring $50 (minus the tax and fees), which is an absolute steal, for reliable prepaid service.

Reliable being the key word. If they are totally sharing the towers, then yeah it is a bargain. I will keep my sprint though.

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Oh yeah, you'd be crazy to leave Sprint. I remember you saying that your plan was $60/ month, with unlimited LTE, right? Yeah, as long as you can keep that, then it makes sense to stay with them. Hell, I know I would.

ok so do i do AT&T AIO for $55/month OR go AT&T GOPHONE for $60/month for Unlimitted Talk+Text + 2GB LTE?????????????????????

i think the $55 AIO includes all taxes and fees etc?

does the GOPHONE $60 include that?????????

8MBPS speed - how does that compare with GoPhone? what is GoPhone's speed?????

Both include "taxes and fees", but you're still likely going to pay sales tax on the monthly refills.

GoPhone doesn't cap speeds.

Take it easy on the question marks, man.

It really depends on your usage. 2GB goes disappears pretty fast if, say, you want to stream some cloud music. 8GB capped is fast enough for music, netflix 720p, etc. Even 4GB cap is good enough for that.

If you pay in at&t store, you only pay $60 ( it includes taxes into the price) ! So the go phone is comparable in price, though the data is not unlimited. On aio, after the data limit, it is throttled to 256 kbps ( which is not too bad).

OTOH, the go phone customers ( since june 2013) are treated on par with postpaid at&t customers - they use the same apn settings. I specifically asked at&t tech support and was told that go phone customers are now on the same n/w as postpaid. This means that they should in theory have same access to roaming ( as long as the phone also supports roaming partner frequencies).

I am on the go phone plan. I was looking at aio but I think I will stick with the current plan. I was really tempted by the $40 plan but that is NOT for smartphones; some people who activated that plan on smart phone got data throttled to 128 kbps from the get go.

Yeah, Aio customers have to go through a proxy. There's a youtube video where a guy does a speedtest with an AT&T sim (i don't remember if it was gophone or contract sim), and has a ping in the 60's. He pops in Aio sim, and ping goes into the 200s.

Go phone doesn't throttle your data speeds. 8mb/s is about the average HSPA+ speeds for AT&T in some areas. Their LTE is much faster, maybe more than twice or three times that

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THANKS for all of the replies. i guess i'll go with GoPhone. switching from Sprint after 5 years. waiting for the Nexus 5 to get here and i'm gone!

Can you take an Aio SIM from one phone to another without having to contact Aio?

I noticed when starting the purchase process on their website, you have to enter your IMEI number for a "compatibility check" and it shows your IMEI in the checkout process. Does that mean you tie in your IMEI to that SIM you purchase?

Most (if not all) operators, even prepaid ones, ask for an IMEI of some sort when starting your account. Your account is not tied to that IMEI, you can just move the SIM to any compatible phone.

So what happens after you hit the 2Gb cap? Do you get throttled even more or does it shut down? This sounds like it could be decent. When I get throttled on t-Mobile, it is still slightly better than the speeds I was getting on Sprint.

So I can jump ship from Verizon and buy a Nexus 5 and have unlimited data (though throttled after 2 GB)? And only pay $55 per month? Where is the downside here? Because quite frankly I'm not seeing one.

Worse customer service, less roaming coverage, throttled to a very slow speed after 2GB (or 7GB if thats your plan).

Theres a tradeoff, but that doesnt mean its a bad deal or the wrong choice at all.

Yeah you would have to be a fool to leave if you have the service I do with Sprint!

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The thing that's holding me back is data roaming. I was hoping that a Prepaid AT&T version would include that.

Currently on Net10 and have no issues except for the data roaming. There isn't any. HSPA+ is plenty fast for what I do. I just don't see the reason people complain about 8mbps. It is trottles, but it's still plenty fast for a phone or tablet.

Anyway - I would pay the extra $5/month for the data roaming. AT&T - are you listening?

Prepaid just very very very rarely offers data roaming. They need to cut costs somewhere when offering prepaid plans, and data roaming is expensive to maintain deals for, and even more expensive when customers use it.

I am not sure I understand the concept of roaming in this context.

Does this mean I travel to lets say, Richmond VA and if there is not AT&T there I get 0 data/voice coverage on AIO vs some coverage on AT&T postpaid (because AT&T has a roaming partner in Richmond but AIO does not)?

I am really tempted by the 7GB plan + a Nexus 5. The roaming question is killing me. I would be extremely grateful if somebody explained this limitation that everyone speaks on on AIO.

Short answer yes. I have tmo with the 30 dollar prepaid. I was up in upstate NY on labor day. In a major city I had service. Get out of there and no signal but I could see Att service. Only I couldn't data roam.

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But since I don't go out into the boonies a lot, I should theoretically have good coverage since its basically slower AT&T underneath. Well, thats a big relief. I can continue dreaming about my kitkat filled Nexus 5 with 7GB of data a month ! Wow !

I'm curious about this, but I need to be clear on how it works. Since it's a subsidiary of AT&T, it uses AT&T's HSPA+ and LTE network, right? So anywhere I currently have good service with AT&T, I would have the same service no Aio (except for being capped at 8mbps speeds)? So if I currently have an HTC One on AT&T, I could move it over to Aio and have identical coverage?

My other question is whether these plans include the Mobile Hotspot feature? I couldn't find anything about it on their website.

Unless you're regularly in a roaming area, yeah your coverage should be the same as AT&T postpaid, aside from the 8mbps speed cap as you said. Taking an HTC One over to Aio should provide much the same experience as you have now on postpaid AT&T.

Most of the prepaid operators aren't fans of mobile hotspot, I'd carefully read the terms of service (or chat/call CS) and see if it'll work or be allowed.

Yuck, lol. Just yuck. EDGE works for Email and the occasional Google Music stream (don't expect HQ, though), but THAT is about IT, lol. And don't even get me started on GPS: you may, as well, intentionally get lost, just so you can stumble into an area that has a reliable signal to get un-lost.

My thought is that AT&T just wants to use Aio as a way to test new things and mix them up regularly. GoPhone is their self-branded prepaid offering that can be found from the main AT&T site and has AT&T branding to it. Aio basically has no tie to AT&T from the end consumer standpoint, and they can build a different-feeling brand to try different things with.

Think of it like Lexus and Toyota or Acura and Honda. Same companies, two different brands targeted and different consumers that do different things.

I have gophone 60 dollar plan on my Nexus 4. I get great coverage where I live and I always find myself adding extra 10 for the extra GB. With Aio I'd basically be paying same amount with more GB. and 8mbps is plenty of fast no need to worry about LTE until I get a LTE phone so I'll be surely moving to AIO end of the month. Makes sense for Me at least.

You do have to go through a proxy with Aio, which means you'll take a slight hit to your ping/latency. Say 200ms instead of 60, take or give.

After the high speed data (which is 1MB/s download speeds for LTE, still amazing) has been used, speeds are throttled to 256kbps or 32KB/s which is enough to download 7.5MB in 4 minutes. I am so happy that I'll be able to stream high quality music in the car. Right now I pay $14.99 for 250MB high speed tablet data from At&t, Aio going nationwide gives me unlimited for free, I couldn't be happier because my N7 HSPA+ (and soon to be 2013 LTE) is my primary device, I spend 95% of my time on WiFi so it's easy for me to do this with Google Voice and Bluetooth headset. Compared even to the $40 plan, using a tablet saves me $420/year, in reality I used to pay $90+/month for a smartphone, so my savings, are...disgusting. :)

If tmobile wasn't so good in my area this one be my choice.

I wonder if they offer corporate discounts?

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Seems like a good deal to me for the $55 plan. The cap is perfectly acceptable to me and is faster than my home WiFi, which is only 3mbs. Paying over $140 for post paid att for only 1gb of fricken shared data with two nexus 4s, so this could save a bunch annually. Maybe I'll wait a bit though to see how it shakes out.

T-Mobile blows in my area, despite being a major city area, so that's out.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4

$55? Fail. Why no one say that Straight Talk has Unlimited (by at least 2GB) and is $42/mo. Same ATT network or Tmo, you chose. Who are posting here, salesreps only or morons?

Because Straight Talk doesn't have LTE yet not from any indication that I've seen from visiting their website.

Considering AT&T only has HSPA+ 21 (and in many cases HSPA+ 14) nationwide rather than 42, I'm highly doubting that you're getting 25mbps on it :P .

You can't have it both ways. Either you get Straighttalk on T-Mobile's network and get the faster speeds or AT&T's network and better coverage. Pick one for your comparison.

Even though Straighttalk might be ten dollars cheaper, it isn't perfect. A lot of people have been burned by their customer service and will never go back. There are also markets were AT&T has relatively slow HSPA+, but ample LTE. Just because it's best for you doesn't mean it will be for everyone.

"Ample lte"...rotfl...one more genius got out of hole. This is not pure unthrottled ATT network, you dumbo.
Read Aio fine print: "All of our plans include unlimited data with pre-established amount of 4G data access at download speeds of up to 8Mbs per second". What is 8mbps, genius? Almost 3G!

Dumbo? What are you? 5? You can provide information and/or an opinion, without being a complete asswipe.

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I was referring to congestion, not speed.

And where on Earth did you learn that was an acceptable way to communicate with another person? What gives you the right to insult me, the fact that I disagree with you? You should be ashamed.

Posted from my HTC One via AC App

The straight Talk phone I used to have ran off of ATT towers. It worked well other than crap for service and threatening emails to cut you off at 1.5 gb of data. I've broke free from my "smartphone" a year ago. Went back to low tech voice phone for emergencies only. My data needs are met on my home computer or work computer. I'm the guy in the crowd that talks to people or running in the park. I'm not the person that is sitting in the park glued to their phone for a distraction...lol.

Once my contract expires. I might consider going to Aio since i could take my phone with me its a possibility. Since i use wifi just about everywhere i go. 8mb i could live with.

I Would like to give some real life feedback on aio after having it a month. I switched from a galaxy s3 on Boost Mobile and live in central PA. I must say I really lived boost and the LTE seemed full speed at over 20mbps even after my 2.5gb soft limit. But boost has two problems for me. Lack of rural coverage and no ability to use a nexus phone. I bought a nexus 4 and switched to aio and even though the speeds are quite as fast even on my h+ phone I can stream HD Netflix. Once I hit my 2gbs I can still browse the web and stream Google music and Pandora fine at the highest quality settings. YouTube also works on non HQ... Netflix not so much. But this is OK because the plan is 55 a month and call quality is great. Also everyone at aio has been helpful and reaching a human is easier than go phone! Quick only chat or by phone.. The zero trick works!!! I look forward to upgrading to a nexus 5 next month and testing LTE. My ONLY gripe is Google hangouts don't work on the network! Att still blocks this on most phones on their network. How or why I don't understand. Aio is the best deal out there for reliable unlimited service and I highly recommend it!!!

Sorry AT&T, no money for you. I'm quite bored with smartphones and the ludicrous price for wireless in the US. I also just got my new insurance rates in the mail today for Obamacare. My disposable income is going to BCBS to take care of my family. I'm back to carrier pigeon for communication. The feed is cheaper and the pigeons are more reliable. They also are courteous and do not Sheet on me.