AT&T announced the launch of Aio (pronounced "A-O") Wireless today. It's a wholly owned subsidiary brand of AT&T offering unlimited prepaid monthly plans at prices ranging from $40 - $70 per month.
Currently Aio is only available at stores in Houston, Orlando and Tampa and online at www.aiowireless.com. To order online you must enter a zip code in one of those three cities. If you want to try it out, 77236 is a Houston zip code that works. AT&T says that Aio will be launching nationwide "over the coming year".
There are four plans.
|Plan Name||Monthly Price||Hi-Speed Data Before Throttling||Allowed devices|
|Aio Tablet||$15||250 MB||Tablets Only|
|Aio Basic||$40||250 MB||Basic Phones Only|
|Aio Smart||$55||2 GB||Smartphones Only|
|Aio Pro||$70||7 GB||Smartphones Only|
The tablet plan is data only, no messaging or voice services are available. The other three plans include unlimited voice calling, unlimited domestic text, picture and video messaging and unlimited 2G, 3G and 4G HSPA+ data with speeds of up to 4Mbps. LTE is not available and high-speed data is limited to the amounts shown in the table above. After the monthly limit is reached data speeds are reduced for the rest of the month. AT&T isn't saying what the throttled speed is. My guess is 250 Kbps or less.
Plan prices include applicable state and local taxes and fees. However the Aio site says a $35 activation fee "may be charged". Coverage appears to be the same as with GoPhone, AT&T network only with no roaming.
International calling and messaging is not included. There's a $10 per month add-on that provides unlimited calling to landline phones and unlimited SMS and MMS messaging to the following 35 countries.
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania.
An additional 1 GB of data can be added to any plan for $10/month.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is supported. SIM cards are priced at $9.99 with Mini, Micro and Nano SIMs available. To order a SIM you have to enter your phone's IMEI serial number on the Aio site to verify your device is "eligible". I tried entering the IMEIs of a number of non-AT&T phones as well as 15 zeros and 15 nines and all were deemed eligible so it looks like just about any phone is OK.
Aio is also selling phones and a tablet, here's the current lineup:
- Samsung Denim - basic flip phone - $29.99
- ZTE Altair - basic QWERTY Candybar - $49.99
- ZTE Prelude - Android 4.1.1 (JB) 3.5", screen - $49.99
- Samsung Galaxy Amp - Android 4.1.2 (JB), 4" screen - $99.99
- Nokia Lumia 620 - Windows Phone 8, 3.8" screen - $179.99
- ZTE Velox - Android 4.1.2 (JB) tablet, 7" screen - $179.99
- Samsung Galaxy Express - Android 4.1.2 (JB), 4.5" screen - $249.99
- iPhone 4 16 GB (reconditioned) - $349.99
- iPhone 4S 16 GB (reconditioned- $499.99
- iPhone 5 16 GB (new) -$649.99
Aio looks promising, the plan pricing is very aggressive should accelerate the current downward trend in the prices of unlimited prepaid plans. The inclusion of apparently unrestricted BYOD is promising and the initial device selection good. I'm especially pleased that all the Android devices are running Jellybean rather than the dated OS versions that seem to be the norm with prepaid.
Source AT&T via GigaOm