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I've been recommending for years that AT&T do away with its GoPhone brand, which has no equity with customers, and has been noncompetitive in the prepaid space for at least a decade.
Similar to Sprint dabbling with various iterations of its Sprint Prepaid brand, AT&T is finally doing the same with AT&T Prepaid.
I expect that historically AT&T wanted to distance its main brand from the stigma of prepaid. However, now that prepaid is well rooted in the mainstream, and postpaid is actually in decline, leveraging the AT&T brand makes a lot of sense.
With the new plans customers get two free months in the form of a credit after the 3rd and 12th months. These credits, however, only apply to the $45 6GB, and $65 unlimited plans. the $35 1GB plan isn't included. Though all three plans are eligible for a $5/month additional discount for enrolling in autopay.
Also note that data speeds are limited to 3 Mpbs, and video is limited to SD quality.
It will be interesting to see how AT&T differentiates this new brand from its much larger brand, Cricket. I expect it will always keep Cricket slightly more competitive, while pricing AT&T prepaid as an alternative for customers who either don't understand that Cricket is even part of AT&T, or for those who simply prefer to stay with the core AT&T brand. i.e. It will rest between postpaid and Cricket in terms of value.
Regardless, this has been a long time coming, and I have no doubt that AT&T will be better off leveraging its core brand, and saving money managing a distinct GoPhone brand.
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I have come to really appreciate this little MVNO. I bought one of their hotspots for my wife over a year ago, and haven't heard any complaints in terms of performance, and I have had no issues with billing or data carryover.
It's great to see them enter Best Buy, which provides prospective customers a chance to better discover this alternative brand. It also legitimizes them to a certain extent.
FreedomPop were the pioneers of freemium broadband plans, and have seen steady growth over the years. Hopefully the pressure of selling in a big box retailer won't lead to problems, or profitability challenges.
Anyway, here's a link to their products on Best Buy's website.
A year after it was supposed to re-launch its Virgin Mobile brand, Sprint is rumored to offer a disruptive unlimited plan that includes access to inexpensive iPhones.
Re-using previously enjoyed smartphones is not a new concept, however, carriers have yet to really market them or make any truly compelling offers.
It would be great to see gently used devices offered at bargain prices, even if they're a generation or two behind. The fact is that smartphone technology has been slowly evolving, and older models are still highly capable.
It will be interesting to see what they launch!
It's a surprising development to hear that Budget will be closing given that it appeared to have a respectable business. At this point we don't know what happened, whether it was a profitability issue, or other management, internal politics, or other reasons.
They're not helping customers with any kind of transition, so if you're a Budget customer, you'll want to find another provider as soon as possible! You can visit the Lifeline Providers listing on this site to help you out.
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This new plan offers pay-as-you-go users much greater flexibility and value. It costs $3/month, plus $10 per GB used. In addition, unused data is credit back to your account towards future data purchases.
This is a good option to consider for those who really don't want or need a full monthly plan. It will be interesting to see how this class of plans evolves over time!
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