TmoNews.com has obtained leaked documents indicating that T-Mobile USA is about to launch a new prepaid brand called GoSmartMobile. It looks like there will be three prepaid monthly plans available at launch:
- $30/month Unlimited Talk and Text, including picture messaging but no other data
- $35/month Unlimited Talk Text and Web at 2G speeds
- $45/month Unlimited Talk Text and "high speed data" at "3G" speeds
- $5/month unlimited international text (but not picture) messaging
- $10/month unlimited texting and calls to landline numbers in "select" countries
My theory is that T-Mobile is using GoSmartMobile primarily to target Tracfone's Straight Talk and Simple Mobile brands and the dozens of MVNOs that offer unlimited voice, messaging and a sizable bucket of data for less than $50/month. The $45 and $30 price points match Straight Talk's two plans and the $35 and $45 plans are comparable to but $5 cheaper than Simple Mobile's $40 and $50 plans.
$45/month for unlimited everything and $30 for unlimited voice and messaging seem like great deals but there are some significant limitations compared with T-Mobile's Monthly 4G plans and with Straight Talk.
- 3G speeds on GoSmartMobile versus 4G on most of T-Mobile's prepaid plans or with a Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM. We don't know exactly what 3G means here but it seems clear that it's some degree of throttling. T-Mobile uses the "4G" label for all it's unthrottled data offerings, 3G implies slower and thus throttled. T-Mobile's HSPA+ "4G" network is theoretically capable of 41Mbps, with real world speeds of over 10 Mbps common in many areas. Simple Mobile's $40/month plan "3G" is throttled to around 240 Kbps. I doubt that GoSmartMobile will be throttled that severely. I'm guessing a throttled speed of between 1 and 3 Mbps is likely.
- No roaming on GoSmartMobile compared with extensive voice and text roaming on T-Mobile prepaid and voice, text and some data roaming on Straight Talk (there's no roaming on Simple Mobile).
- Phones Locked to their SIMs. The fine print in the document (below, right - click for larger view) contains the statement "For up to 180 days after activation, devices purchased or activated at certain locations will only work on our network with the SIMs included at activation".
Source and Images: TmoNews.com