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Confirmed: AT&T GoPhone Gets LTE Data, Visual Voicemail and Official iPhone Support

Engadget is reporting that sometime today AT&T will start letting GoPhone prepaid users access the AT&T LTE network.

AT&T is also enabling Visual Voicemail  on compatible devices and eliminating its policy that denied iPhone, HSPA+ and LTE device users access to data on GoPhone plans.  While it was easy to work around the iPhone/LTE/HSPA+ device ban by changing the APN , GoPhone support reps would often refuse to help users who experienced data issues with an unsupported handset.

Visual Voicemail will be supported for GoPhone users with an iPhone 3GS or newer, Windows Phone 7.5 or higher or a compatible Android device. However, BlackBerry BIS is still not available on GoPhone.

The new data features will be available on three GoPhone monthly plans:
  • $65 Smartphone Monthly Plan with Data - includes unlimited talk, messaging and 1 GB of data, 5¢/MB for data over 1GB
  • $50 Monthly Unlimited Plan -  includes unlimited talk and messaging. No data is included but add-on data packages 1 are available.
  • $25 Monthly Plan -  includes 250 talk minutes and unlimited messaging. No data is included but data packages 1 are available.
Available data packages for the $25 and $50 plans are: $25 for 1GB, $15 for 200MB or $5 for 50MB. Packages are good for 30 days, unused data rolls over if another package of any denomination is added before expiration.

LTE, HSPA+, iPhone and Visual Voicemail support will be available today to users activating a new compatible device. Existing users will automatically receive the new features on June 21 but can call customer care for an immediate update.
The Engadget story is based on a leaked document so consider it a rumor for now. I will update this story as details emerge.

Assuming the leak is true, it will be interesting to see if and when AT&T extends LTE to its MVNOs. With this change AT&T joins T-Mobile and Sprint in supporting LTE on prepaid and puts more pressure on Verizon to add LTE support to its prepaid offerings.

Update May 25, 2013: Although AT&T still hasn't officially confirmed the availability of LTE on GoPhone there are many reports on the web of users successfully activating LTE and Visual Voicemail by calling GoPhone support.  Users have also been told by GoPhone customer care that additional  data will be available for $10 per GB on the $65 plan sometime in June.

GoPhone data now works with the default postpaid Phone APN so it's also no longer necessary to use the unlockit.co.nz hack to get data working on iPhones.

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26 comments:

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  1. ''Come on Verizon give us prepaid customers LTE''!

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  2. This is huge! It will be curious to see whether this will trickle down to the new AT&T subsidiary, Aio Wireless.

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  3. No announcement about Aio getting LTE, so this is one way to differentiate GoPhone.

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    1. AT&T seems to be positioning GoPhone as its premium prepaid brand with Aio as a value brand with no LTE and without explicit AT&T branding. It looks like a copy of T-Mobile's GoSmart concept.

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    2. I'd love to see Verizon open LTE to its prepaid offerings. 70.00 per month with 4GB of LTE access on VZW would be pretty sweet.

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  4. The GoPhone $25/month with 250 minutes and unltd. msg is good enough for me. The messaging also includes intl. which is a great plus. I harldy use data for anything. That is why I use Wi-fi if needed.
    It is great to see for the data users this happening. Dennis you are correct in the Aio GoSmart comparison. They are exactly the same except for the carrier.

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  5. Yes, it's official. Read #4 post here http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1799271-Gophone-to-gain-LTE-support-and-allow-iPhones

    I have just called in GoPhone customer service and was asked to provide my IMEI and SIM#. Then they just provisioned LTE on my phone as well as Visual Voicemail! Just to my surprise, after this, I am able to do Short Code texting as well.

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  6. How about increasing the data. $15 should at least get you 1GB of data. $25 for 2GB.

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    1. Sure, sir. Do you mind if we pay for this by moving your CS to the Philippines?

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    2. Honestly, bandwidth is relatively low cost to carriers and AT&T already offshores its GoPhone customer service anyway.

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    3. AT&T new AIO wireless is suppose to have a $70 plan that has 7GB of data. So if Gophone is suppose to be AT&T premium prepaid brand, then they should increase the data.

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    4. Maybe you could start a petition on the White House web site? The reason AT&T has not done this in a while is because they do not have to yet. Offering more data would reduce their revenue, increase their costs, or both. They are a business in a competitive market; they do not operate like the government.

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  7. hahaha! yes! it is very good that for me have stayed with at&t gophone for my iphone and NOT gone with the hostile crowds who switched to elsewhere when at&t did those other previous changes last year or whenever it was when smartphone users had to go on a monthly gophone plan in order to buy data packages.

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  8. They need to add more value to this offering. LTe is great, don't get me wrong but you will burn through that so quickly that they either need to up the data to at least two gigs or cut the price to $55-60 at the very least and allow cheaper data overages. You'll go through a gig in the blink of an eye on hspa plus let alone lte...however this should put more pressure on Verizon. They're pimping out their 3G really well but no 4G whatsoever. Not even capped LTE.

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  9. I understand AT&T is a business, because I owned the stock before (I put my money where my mouth is on AT&T, not just write about it on the Internet). Anyway, the press release said AT&T said that Gophone was going to be AT&T's premium prepaid company.

    If Gophone is suppose to be AT&T's premium prepaid company, then they need to up the data to compete at least with their own AIO Wireless when it goes nationwide. $55 will get you 2GB of data and with umlimited voice and text. Plus you will be able to byop.

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    1. AT&T does not want Aio to compete with GoPhone; they are going after different customers. We do not know how they define 'premium' other than the brand name.
      Aio is described as high value, which implies more value for the money than GoPhone (to me).
      Aio is "for consumers interested in a first-class wireless experience at a value price,"
      “We are set up to win over value-conscious customers who are increasingly moving towards smartphones and mobile broadband.”
      So I do not expect GoPhone to provide more data relative to price, vs Aio. That would cheapen the brand; they could not charge as much over time. As a new brand, Aio does not have this problem. GoPhone will continue with the AT&T brand name and add premium features like LTE instead.

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    2. More branding info:
      "Aio (pronounced “A-O”) is a brand name that encapsulates Aio’s brand promise: simply, delightfully, >>more.<<"
      "Aio makes prepaid wireless easy for customers with a friendly in-store and on-line experience," (different than AT&T?)
      "Aio will delight customers with an attitude of gratitude, easy pre-payment options, and an involvement in the local communities in which we serve."
      "Aio Wireless (pronounced A-O) was created for today's value-conscious connected consumers >>who want it all.<<"

      Sounds like many readers of this blog: You want it all, and you do not want to pay much for it.

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    3. > Sounds like many readers of this blog:
      > You want it all, and you do not want to
      > pay much for it.

      hahaha. yes. want it ALL and NOT PAY MUCH for it. yeah it is so amazing to read the messages here with all the griping about customer service and the penny-pinching nitpicking comparison of pricing. don't get me wrong. the cheaper the cost, then all for the better. the people in charge at the telcos and mvnos are probably just as meticulous on the opposite of side of the fence trying to attract the most customers with the best balance of revenue-generating plans and prices. yeah, go at&t. lol lol lol

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  10. The rise of prepaid consumer demand is scaring the major players some because the average revenue per user goes down some. Verizon and AT&T have been dragged into the game kicking and screaming. They are slowly realizing that there is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior and demand. They may not like it, but they must adapt and overcome. Some on FW have predicted that this consumer behavior shift would not continue to grow but were wrong.

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  11. isn't it almost that time of the year when AT&T GoPhone changes it's pricing plans again?

    it's like an annual thing it seems to me from my experience with gophone on my iphone for the many years that my iphone (first 3G, then 3GS, and now 4) has been on gophone.

    instead of the current $5 for 50 meg, $15 for 200 meg, and $25 for 1 gig, how about MAYBE they'll be a little bit generous and change the allocation for the data packages where it becomes $5 for 500 meg, $15 for 1.5 gig, and $25 for 2.5 gig. maybe that's too much to ask for since we are talking about AT&T. and, of course, would like it to be a lot of more, but GoPhone is kind of like an a la carte service where you may possibly end up paying more by buying more data packages as you need them and where AT&T requires smartphone users to have a $25 monthly plan or a $50 monthly plan as a basis to buy data packages if you don't go for the $65 monthly plan. maybe you really can't expect AT&T to give you the moon when AT&T wants to extract as much money as possible from customers. but now AT&T has to be more competitive to stop iPhone users from jumping ship to competing mvnos and other carriers.

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  12. AT&T just gave us LTE and visual voicemail and official iPhone support. Why would they add more data now, since Vzw does not even offer LTE on prepaid? Won't ATT want to wait and see the impact of LTE and the other adds, see what Vzw does, before throwing in more data? Just thinking...

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    1. my guess is to expect more changes for GoPhone to have price changes in the summer months. only the diehard gophone users will call in now to get their accounts manually switched over to LTE etc. while other iphone and smartphone users who don't even know about the current changes will find out in June or later when the switch automatically rolls out to all gophone accounts.

      imho, GoPhone is really ripe for pricing changes as well as any new requirements or limitations (like maybe no more carry-over if data package allocations are increased). just waiting for the other shoe to drop. AT&T giving LTE to GoPhone and letting iPhone be officially on GoPhone without any APN tweaks. there's got to be something else coming. so, imho, don't be surprised about any additional changes. but hoping any further changes are favorable for the most part.

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  13. interesting comment about why MVNOs (that are on at&t like Airvoice, H2O, etc. and StraightTalk sims that are not on tmobile) may not get LTE for possibly a long time. http://www.phonenews.com/att-reopens-gophone-access-to-iphone-opens-access-to-hspalte-devices-22975/#comment-86257

    short answer: those MVNOs are on a different backend that would need to be overhauled to let MVNOs get LTE, and also AT&T may make MVNOs pay more in terms of the wholesale price for LTE. AT&T apparently would hold the upper hand on both counts.



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  14. The pricing needs to be more competitive for them to be a success.

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  15. Dennis, I think you're right these folks want to make GoPhone a more premium brand than Aio. They will try to get every LTE phone on the $65 monthly plan. Current data add-on package offerings will be stopped. http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1799449-GoPhone-to-stop-offering-25-15-data-add-on-packages

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    1. I saw that thread on HoFo too. It's just a rumor for now but I hope they don't drop the $25 and $10 data packages.

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