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AT&T's Aio Wireless Prepaid Service Now Available Nationwide

Phones, plans and SIMs for AT&T's Aio (pronounced "A-O") Wireless subsidiary are now available online nationwide. Aio is a wholly owned  AT&T subsidiary that offers unlimited prepaid monthly plans including unlimited (but throttled) data at prices ranging from $40 - $70 per month.

Since May, Aio has been doing a phased roll-out, one city at a time, with the emphasis on retail dealers. Nationwide availability at this time appears to be a change of plans by AT&T/Aio. As recently as last month, the company had been saying that the service would not go nationwide until 2014.

Current Aio devices are:
  • BYOD SIM card - $9.99 ( Mini, Micro and Nano sizes available)
  • 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
  • Nokia Lumia 620 - Windows Phone 8, 3.8" screen - $99.99 (was $179.99)
  • Samsung Galaxy Amp - Android 4.1.2 (JB), 4" screen - $129.99
  • ZTE Overture LTE - Android 4.1.2 (JB) LTE 4" screen $149.99
  • ZTE Velox - Android 4.1.2 (JB) tablet, 7" screen - $179.99
  • iPhone 4 8GB (reconditioned) -  $199.99 but out of stock
  • Samsung Galaxy Express LTE - Android 4.1.2 (JB), 4.5" screen - $249.99
  • iPhone 4 8 GB (new) - $449.99
  • iPhone 4S 16 GB (reconditioned) - $499.99
  • iPhone 4S 16 GB (new) - $549.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4 - $579.99
  • iPhone 5 16 GB (new) -$649.99

There are four plans.

Plan Name Monthly Price Hi-Speed Data Before Throttling 1 Allowed devices
Aio Tablet $15 250 MB Tablets Only
Aio Basic $40 250 MB Basic Phones and BYOP SIMs Only
Aio Smart $55 2 GB Smartphones Only
Aio Pro $70 7 GB Smartphones Only
High-Speed data is throttled to a maximum of 8 Mbps for LTE data and 4 Mbps for HSPA+. After the high-speed data cap is reached speed is further throttled to about 256 Kbps.

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, but throttled data. There are two levels of throttling. Each plan includes an allotment of "hi-speed" data which is throttled to 4 Mbps for HSPA+ and 8 Mbps for LTE. While still plenty fast, these speeds are less than half the maximum speeds that AT&T's unfettered network is capable of. After the monthly hi-speed data limit is reached data speeds are further reduced for the rest of the month. AT&T isn't saying what the fully throttled speed is but users have reported that it's 250 Kbps or less.

Plan prices include applicable state and local taxes. Activation online is free but Aio dealers nay charge up to $25 for activation.  Coverage is  the same as with GoPhone, AT&T network only with no roaming. Aio's terms of service prohibit tethering.

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.

Aio appears to be targeting T-Mobile's MetroPCS and GoSmart prepaid brands using similar unlimited but throttled data and plan prices that are lower than AT&T's established GoPhone prepaid brand.

Source: Aio

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47 comments:

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  1. Mid-September came awfully fast!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To much competition I am guessing, on a funny note Tmobile is suing AIO because they are using the "magenta" color in their advertising.

      Delete
  2. "Aio's terms of service prohibit throttling."

    I think you meant to type "tethering" not "throttling."

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  3. Would the coverage be the same as Straight talk's AT&T Byod? my understanding is that Sraight talk based at&t sims can roam to Tmobile for voice and text?

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    Replies
    1. That's correct. Voice and Test coverage should be greater on Straight Talk vs. Aio.

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    2. @Dennis, do you mean greater on Aio? Are you saying Straight Talk's coverage will probably be better than Aio? I'm currently on Straight Talk, but might be switching to Aio because of LTE and better terms. Thanks

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    3. Yes Straight Talk includes voice and text roaming on T-Mobile and regional operators, Aio doesn't.

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  4. Anybody know if CS is U.S based?
    What advantage does the $55 plan have over Straight talks $45 at&t plan?
    Interesting none the less.

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    Replies
    1. Aio advantages vs Straight Talk: LTE, more high speed data before throttling, published throttle points vs. arbitrary throttling, better support.

      Delete
    2. Well, one advantage is that you have clearly defined limits, whereas with Straight Talk and Net10, the terms are nebulous at best. Also, I don't believe it's clear whether or not AT&T has opened up the LTE network to its MVNOs. I think AT&T only allows access to its HSPA+ network.

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    3. I've been exploring the idea of leaving Net10 for Aio. Any ideas if their customer service is any better. Net10 customer service is non-existent. I don't know why they even bother hiring or paying customer service employees - they're completely unhelpful in most cases, and the hold time on calls is incredibly long. I attempted to get help through their website and was told 4 times by 4 different "reps" that they would send me a private message to help, and they never did. All I got was a run-around. And in most cases, they know nothing about the phones they sell. I had to do serious research, but finally figured out the problem on my own.

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  5. Gophones LTE data is twice as fast as AIO's LTE.

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  6. Yeswap is the iphone 4 locked? if so, how can it be unlocked? is there a fee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's locked. Aio will unlock it after you have been a customer for four months.

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  7. At what point does an LTE capable device (at&t) actually display LTE on AIO?

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    Replies
    1. Same as on any other network, when it's connected to LTE.

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    2. So aio wireless and h2o wireless both run off of at&ts network, can i use my h2o sim card in my aio Nokia 620?

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    3. It would need to be unlocked to work on H2O. Aio will unlock it after you have been a customer for four months.

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  8. Late payment fee of $5 6-29 days after late.

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    Replies
    1. I saw that claim on HowardForms but without a link or screenshot I consider it a rumor.

      Delete
  9. It's on AIO's website under payments I believe, but it seems like a non issue to the average customer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I found it: www.aiowireless.com/content/aio/en/support/Payments/Charges-And-Fees/customer/fees.html.

      "Late Payment- Applies if paying between 6 and 29 days past your Aio Pay Date. $5
      Reactivation - Applies if payment is between 30 and 59 days past your Aio Pay Date. $15
      Restocking - Applies to all eligible returns or exchanges.
      In Store: Up to $25, Online: $25
      Rep Assisted Payment - Applies when making payment over the phone with an Aio Support advocate. $5
      Mobile Number Change - Applies when you change your mobile number. $15"

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    2. I guess the fees help us understand the Aio Way a little better:

      "Keep it simple. We give it to you straight. Keep it short and sweet. Because >>you've go better things to do than read between the lines.<<

      An attitude of gratitude. Enthusiastic service and support, flexibility, and perks to show we're glad you're with us. Just a few ways >>we say "thank you" every day.<<

      >>Spread the love. Lucky to serve you and our community. We never stop looking for ways to make a difference and make you smile.<<

      Delete
  10. I wonder if all those Aio dealers who invested 100s of K into their stores are now royally p o ed?

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  11. Do they have an autopay option? Do you know if there are any discounts for autopay?

    Also, are locked at&t phones allowed to be used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Auto pay is available. There's no discount for using auto pay,
      Aio says unlocked phones only but users have reported success with some locked AT&T phones with the exception of iPhones which must be unlocked.

      Delete
  12. It's obvious the original AIO plan of standalone stores and online ordering only for residents of cities with an AIO store royally flopped. There was no way that would work. ATT already had the infrastructure and should have just added the brand to current stores and let the market weed out GoPhone or AIO. The AIO franchisees should demand a refund.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since the beginning of the Aio rollout, online ordering has been available to users in the launch markets. I don't see how making the service available online nationwide changes anything for dealers in those markets who already had to compete with online sales.

      Retail stores and online sales serve different client bases. Every mobile provider offers online sales including ones with strong dealer networks like Boost, MetroPCS, Cricket and Red Pocket.

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    2. AIO changed is marketing strategy on a dime for some reason. Time will tell.

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    3. I really think heated competition in the prepaid cellular marketplace forced AT&T to up their game some. With the postpaid market at saturation, this is the real opportunity for business growth.

      Delete
  13. I am with Straight Talk right now, & I hate it!! First I tried to BYOP with my iphone 3GS got talk & text, no data, even with the APN (unlockit) app! So, I bought a crappy Samsung Galaxy Centura Straight Talk phone but now I can't even get a signal at my house, let alone data! I never had a problem getting 3G at my house or a signal with AT&T! So, I am looking at going with AIO, my zip code is 47250 & their website said my phone would work with AIO but so did Straight Talk! I don't want to run into the same problem again with no data if I BYOP to AIO! I'm looking at getting a iphone 4 but don't want to spend the money if I don't have to! Any suggestions? I'd prefer to go with a phone that will get AT&T coverage because that gives me the best coverage at my house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your iPhone 3GS will work fine with Aio as long as the data radio is turned on and working ;-) I use mine with AirVoice and have no problem using data.

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    2. Just wait until AIO gets the $200 refurb iPhones back in stock.

      Delete
  14. The ST Galaxy Centura you bought runs in Verizon prepaid towers. ST's ATT-powered phones can be purchased from ST online by keying in zip code 65046. It sounds like ST throttled your internet because you streamed data.

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  15. First I never was able to get data to stream it! The only way I got data was wifi, there was nothing to throttle!! Second, what is the data radio? Third, the iphone 4 I'm looking at is only $200!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He means to be sure mobile data is turned on:
      Tap Settings > General > Mobile Data (or Cellular on some iOS versions). It should say On next to Mobile data (or Cellular). If it's off tap it and move the slider to the right to turn it on.

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    2. Their iPhone 4 for $200 only has a 90-day warranty. If it breaks after that, you can spend another $200 to replace it.

      Delete
  16. Thanks! I have cellular data turned on! i went thru all of that trying to get the Straight Talk SIM to work! Thank you everyone for the input! I think once the Straight Talk minutes are finished, I'm going with Aio!

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  17. Looks like for a few zip codes Samsung gs4 is at $579. (60661)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm hearing that throttle speed for people on iphones and smart phones are just 128K, and not the 256k mentioned. It is true that the $40 plan is just for basic phones however. I'm thinking of trying them since the 3rd month is free.

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  19. Let us know how it works out.

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  20. Hands down the worst cellular experience I've had. I'm having issues porting my number from Verizon to AIO wireless (for use with a Nexus 5). I placed my order, received my SIM card today, and get an error trying to activate: "Your supplied Order Number is not ready for activation!" I contacted customer service numerous times, no one has an answer for me. I guess I am going to eat the cost of the SIM and month of service since there doesn't appear to be a way to resolve this (and I don't live anywhere near a store to stop in and have them help me). Needless to say, not happy, especially since I haven't been able to use my Nexus 5 yet. BEWARE: It sounds like if your number port fails, they can't reinitiate the port and try again... so you're stuck with a month's service and the cost of the SIM unless you live near a store.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not good but I wouldn't give up. Ports usually fail because some of the account information is incomplete or in error. If a port fails due to an error Aio should definitely be able to resubmit the request or in the rare cases a port is not possible, activate your account with a new number.

      Call Verizon and tell them you initiated a port to Aio. They should be able to tell you if a port request was received, what its status is and if it failed why. Armed with that information call Aio back. If you get an unhelpful rep, ask them to transfer you to the porting department and if they can't, hang up and try again. If you can't get your issue resolved ask Aio for help on social media:
      https://www.facebook.com/aiowireless
      https://twitter.com/aiowireless

      Delete
  21. Hey Dennis,

    So I called Verizon; they told me there was never any port attempt (and I confirmed my billing password again).

    I called AIO again tonight (total of 5 hours spent on the phone now); a nice rep named Michael was able to cancel my order completely and refund me for both the SIM card and the month's service.

    They told me that if I want to try AIO again, I would need to place a new order once the cancelation clears. I might consider another carrier with my new Nexus 5 at this point (a new MetroPCS store opened right down the street, and there is a combined $100 rebate for BYOP and porting your number until Jan 1, 2014).

    Thanks for your reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you got some kind of resolution but I'm disappointed that Aio wasted so much of your time.

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