AT&T GoPhone adding more data to smartphone plans
AT&T's pre-paid GoPhone customers are in for a nice little treat: their monthly data allotments are going up, but their monthly cost is staying the same. Starting April 25th, GoPhone's 2GB $60-a-month plan will be bumped up to 2.5GB, while the $40-for-250MB plan will double to 500MB. Additionally, those on the larger and more expensive plan will gain mobile Wi-Fi hotspot support at no additional charge. And if you happen to be wanting to buy your smartphone from Wal-Mart, GoPhone shoppers there will have the option of a $45 monthly 1GB plan.
The prepaid smartphone selection on GoPhone is admittedly fairly limited. On the Android side you can choose from selections like the AT&T-branded Avail 2, Z998, and Radiant, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Express and the Samsung Galaxy Note II (though the latter is both only available online and sold out online). Those interested in Windows Phone have the choice of a Nokia Lumia 520 or a "certified like-new" Nokia Lumia 520 (though at $45 it's a hard price to beat for the budget-conscious smartphone buyer). And, of course, you can bring your own AT&T-compatible device as well, if you're already in possession of such a device.
Source: AT&T (opens in new tab)
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.
-- Data usage is limited (hard-cap just like post-paid plans). Extra data can be purchased by the GB ($10).
-- Super fast ping-times (exactly same as post-paid) and speeds you get are exactly same as post-paid with no proxy servers ever. I get 30Mbps on LTE consistently.
-- You can walk into any AT&T store and get help just as post-paid customers (including phone replacements if the phone was bought at AT&T store).
-- Very reliable network / you will never see an outage unless there is an outage on AT&T post-paid too.
-- Every post-paid feature seems to be supported - SMS short codes, Visual Voice Mail, Hotspot etc.
-- Basically post-paid experience on pre-paid plans. AIO :
-- Data caps are soft caps, basically speed reduces after you reach your data allowance but you still can use use data at a slower speed (128 or 256 kbps IIRC)
-- Ping times are longer and Data flows through an AIO proxy server and speed can never exceed 4Mbps when using HSPA+ and 8Mbps when using LTE).
-- It is almost as if they run their own virtual network on top of AT&T towers and there have been times when they have had outages for a few hours (probably teething issues for a new service)
-- SMS short codes are not supported (unless something has changed in the last couple of months)
-- Visual Voicemail support is very limited (select androids only IIRC). Not sure about Internet Hotspot feature. If unlimited (although slower) data is more important to you - use AIO.
If speed/support/reliability (although AIO will get better at this over time) are important to you - use GoPhone. A real life scenario is - I have AIO for wife and kids but GoPhone for my business needs.