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AT&T MVNO AirVoice Wireless Kills Off Unlimited Voice & Text Plans

I'm not sure why but there have been loads of plan and pricing changes at AT&T MVNOs lately.

The newest shakeup is with AirVoice Wireless, one of the oldest AT&T MVNOs. Effective immediately, AirVoice's $40 and $50 Unlimited monthly plans have been replaced with 5000 minute, 10,000 text messages monthly plans at the same prices. There are also two new plans. The first is a  $35 plan that includes the same 5000 voice minutes and 10,000 texts as the more expensive plans minus their $10 or $20 international call credit. The other new plan is a $60 one that includes 500 MB of data versus the 100 MB of the $50 plan.

I suspect that this isn't so much an actual change as a decision by AirVoice to be more honest about what the plans actually include. I don't think MVNOs can actually buy an unlimited plan from AT&T for resale. Instead they buy buckets of minutes, text and data at a wholesale price, estimate the average monthly usage of an unlimited customer and set a price that lets them make a profit.  This leads to kicking high use customers off for abuse, as H2O Wireless has been accused of.  By setting limits AirVoice is protecting their bottom line while being honest with their customers.

Here are all of AirVoice's new plans:
Plan Voice Minutes Texts MMS Data International Call Credit
Talk & Text $35 5000 10,000 10¢/each 33¢/MB none
Talk & Text $40 5000 10,000 10¢/each 33¢/MB $10
Talk, Text & MMS with Data $50 5000 10,000 1000 100 MB $20
Talk, Text & MMS with Data $60 5000 10,000 1000 500 MB $20

The $35 plan is notable for being $5 less expensive than any of the other AT&T MVNO's cheapest "unlimited" plan. AirVoice also cut the price of pay as you go data from $2/MB to 33¢/MB.  The data price cut applies to AirVoice's pure Pay As You Go Plan as well as to the $35 and $45 Monthly plans.

The new plans seem competitive with the exception of the $60 plan's mere 500 MB of data compared with the 2 GB that Red Pocket and Jolt's $60 plans include.

Related: Five AT&T MVNOs Compared

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4 comments:

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  1. Actually, the MVNO's buy "buckets" of 5000 minutes and unlimited text for $20 from AT&T, with each additional minute for 0.5 cent, so if you are on a $40 unlimited talk and text, and you are using over 9000 minutes a month they are losing money on you. AT&T's own $50 a month talk/text/web, is truly unlimited, no restrictions, you can be on the phone 24/7.

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  2. Most prepaid divisions are truly unlimited. Most mvnos are not.

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  3. Most people that go over the 5000 minute allotment are abusing the plan and using it for business applications which can be obtained from their call records.
    Airvoice is an MVNO not one of the post-paid carriers or MetroPCS which is their own entity.
    Remember, here in the U.S. we are spoiled with unlimited plans.

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  4. Many unlimited plans are abused. I see many businesses blatantly displaying cellphone numbers as their primary contact number. Be it on the side of a vehicle or on a storefront. At least Airvoice makes it quite clear what to expect. Admirable in this day and age.

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