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Aio Wireless Coming to Atlanta and Three More Cities Next Month

Aio Wireless, AT&T Wireless' new lower priced prepaid brand that's currently only available in a few cities, posted on Facebook and Twitter that they are going to launch in four more markets next month. They aren't telling us where however. Instead they are running a "Where's Aio"contest. To play, follow Aio on Facebook where they are posting clues. Enter your guess in a comment on the Aio Facebook page to enter. There's no mention of any prizes so I guess the contest is just for fun.

The first clue has already been published. It reads:

Healthy runner types, like 60,000 of them, from all around the world descend on this city each Independence Day for what is one of the largest 10K road races in the world. This is a city-wide tradition drenched in red, white, and blue. Where’s Aio running to next?

I'm 99% sure this refers to Atlanta GA's 10K Peachtree Road Race which is held annually on July 4th, had 60,000 participants in 2012 and has a red, white and blue logo.

Aio has four plans with prices that undercut AT&T's GoPhone offerings by quite a bit. Aio data speeds are slightly throttled however.  LTE data is limited to a maximum of 8 Mbps and 4G HSPA+ is throttled to 4 Mbps. Aio is currently available in Houston Texas and Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Fl Naples and Ft. Myers, Florida. Nationwide availability is promised in 2014.

Aio 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

Hat tip to the anonymous reader who discovered and shared this.

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17 comments:

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  1. Unless you use over 6 GB of data, I don't see the allure of AiO. For example, you can buy GoPhone refills for the $60 plan at callingmart which equates to about the same (this is assuming you are using the 10% discount).

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    1. It seems like they should have just "upgraded" GoPhone with the catchier Aio brand and continued to sell online, in discount and drug stores and online. Standalone stores do not make any sense.

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    2. Physical stores are a very significant part of the prepaid business. I believe that MetroPCS robust dealer network was largely responsible for Metro's growth and success. Dealers are a major part of Sprint's prepaid strategy with Boost and Virgin as well.

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    3. True but ATT already has standalone stores in every town over 2,000 people. This is duplicate expense.

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    4. I believe Aio stores are all independent dealers who may have closer ties to particular markets like immigrant populations. This is similar to what Sprint is doing with Boost and T-Mobile with GoSmart.

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    5. That means they'll be in areas not readily accessible to the high-end customers in a particular city.

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  2. I do not understand their marketing plan. Why wouldn't they offer national online ordering? Aio works in EVERY ATT market. ATT already sells GoPhone and contract service online. Also, what is the difference in Aio's $55 smartphone plan and GoPhone's $60 smartphone plan?

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    1. Most people don't want to study the prepaid cellphone market, buy online and reconfigure their devices. They want to go to a store, look at phones to find one they like, and have another human help them find a good plan. That is why postpaid still works at very high prices, even though prepaid is growing faster. Physical stores for prepaid service bridge the gap, and will help mobile companies get as much revenue as possible from each prepaid customer. Tracfone brands and Aio will do this, and others will follow if it works well.

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    2. ATT GoPhone is already availabe at ATT stores. Therefore, the Aio product is not a new concept for ATT.

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    3. Aio is a new concept for AT&T. Their stores do not push GoPhone; they steer customers to postpaid. Aio stores sell prepaid plans only. And then there is the 'Aio Way,' which is a lot different than the experience in AT&T stores:
      http://www.aiowireless.com/why-aio/aio-way.html
      A New Way to Wireless, See How Aio is Different > :
      http://www.aiowireless.com/why-aio.html

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  3. The Aio way will not work. There is not enough volume for standalone stores. Wait and see. The brand will move to ATT stores.

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    1. AT&T stores are not attracting the value-oriented customers who want simple, unlimited plans with lots of data at a bargain price, in a pleasant shopping environment (the target for Aio). AT&T is losing this business to the other carriers; just look at the flat GoPhone numbers while the other carriers are adding a lot of new ones.

      And you think that changing the name is all they need to do? Just throw away all the GoPhone brand equity they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build? THAT is more risk than creating Aio. It certainly is not going to improve the prepaid shopping experience in AT&T stores. A name change is not going to bring back prior shoppers who did not like the store experience.

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  4. Okay Mike, along with gopgone that the stores don't push! Not everybody knows and cares about every aspect of prepaid, they just want a p phone at a good price, and in person support id needed, the market is huge for this type of customer.

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  5. Gophone doesnt exactly have the best reputation and AT&T as a whole doesn't either, that's why AIO was born.

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    1. That is absolutely not the case. ATT is number one in most markets.

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    2. Number one in what? That depends on who and what you ask. In Consumer Reports' annual surveys of mobile phone customers, AT&T consistently ranks last in customer satisfaction. See Verizon best, AT&T worst in Consumer Reports carrier survey

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  6. Mike, that would be Verizon, subscribers and customer satisfaction, AT&T is behind in both.

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