|August 31st, 2013, 01:26 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Auburn, WA
Games Owned: 116
Games Wanted: 0
AT&T brings back unlimited data, sort of (pricing comparison inside)
AT&T is bringing their AIO Wireless prepaid brand nationwide starting mid-September. AIO offers two plans that can be used for Smartphones; Aio Smart and Aio Pro. Both plans offer unlimited talk, text, and data, with data being throttled after a pre-set allotment (so no overages, unlike AT&T's other offerings). Here is the pricing on these two plans as well as how they compare to AT&T's GoPhone and contact offerings, as well as T-Mobile's plans. Please note that GoPhone and AIO are per line, so while they are extremely cheap for a single-line, they can't compete on 3+ line family plans.
AIO Smart - $55/mo for 2GB of high-speed data, $70/mo for 7GB allotment
T-Mobile - offers comparable plan at $60/mo which includes 2.5GB of high-speed data, $70/mo for unlimited data
AT&T GoPhone - offers unlimited talk/text and 2GB of data for $60/mo, overages of $10/GB, no other plan
AT&T Contract Plans - $69.99/mo for unlimited talk, $30/mo for unlimited text, and $30/mo for 3GB of data with $15/GB overage charge. So the base plan is 3GB of data for $129.99/mo, or $149.99/mo if you want the 5GB data option.
AT&T Mobile Share (Contract) - $95/mo nets you unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of data with $15/GB overages. This can be upped to 6GB for $125/mo.
Ranking: (accounts for average subsidy difference of $450 over 24 months between prepaid and contract plans)
Keep in mind that this is amongst plans with unlimited talk and text. For those who use little to no talk time, T-Mobile's $30/mo plan still wins. So, that aside, there are two takeaways from this.
First, AIO is a very competitive offering leaving no purpose for GoPhone. The AIO offering is $5 cheaper for the same allotment and offers throttling as opposed to overages. And if you prefer more high-speed data, the 7GB plan is offered at the same price as the 2GB GoPhone plan with a 1GB overage. T-Mobile is still competitive here for offering a truly unlimited option at the same price as AIO's 7GB plan. However, I suspect that most will have better AT&T coverage as opposed to T-Mobile.
The second takeaway is that ALL of the prepaid plans do better than ALL of the contract plans, even when you account for the industry average of $450 on the subsidy and assuming a 2-year upgrade cycle. For a single-line plan, there is no reason to go with AT&T's contract plans anymore.
However, family plans will be better served using either T-Mobile, or going with AT&T's Mobile Share. Adding a second line to T-Mobile's plan starts at $30 (and then $10 for each additional plan). For Mobile share, it's $35-$50 per line, depending on your data allotment. For AIO and GoPhone, they are separate plans with the same cost per individual.
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