Home - , , , - Target's Brightspot Mobile Launches. Here Are the Plan and Phone Details

Target's Brightspot Mobile Launches. Here Are the Plan and Phone Details

As expected, Target launched its Brightspot Mobile prepaid service yesterday. The launch was a quiet one. I haven't seen ads for Brightspot anywhere and the new service wasn't mentioned in yesterday's Target weekly newspaper insert either. But the Brightspot Website is open for business at brightspotmobile.com and it gives us a clearer picture of Brightspot's service and device portfolio.

There are three plans:
  • $35/month unlimited talk and SMS and MMS messaging, no data
  • $50/month unlimited talk and messaging, unlimited 4G data throttled to 2G speeds after 1 GB
  • $65/month unlimited talk and messaging, unlimited 4G data throttled to 2G speeds after 4 GB.
Plus a couple of international add-ons add-ons:
  • $5/month: unlimited texting  to numbers in 200 countries
  • $10/month: unlimited texting to 200 countries and unlimited calling to landlines in 56 countries
Other international rates:
International MMS: 10¢ to receive, 25¢ to send
International SMS without an international add-on: 10¢ to receive, 25¢ to send
International calls not covered by an international add-on: 50¢/minute to most countries, $1/min to a few.

International roaming is available in Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic at the following rates:
Calls made to or received from the US: 50¢/minute
Calls made to or received from other countries: 50¢/minute plus the 50¢ or $1 international long distance rate
Texting with US numbers while roaming internationally: 20¢ to send, 10¢ to receive
Texting with non-US numbers while roaming internationally: 30¢ to send, 20¢ to receive

Payment options: Users can add funds online using a credit or debit card, checking account or Brightspot refill card. Auto pay is available.  You can also refill by calling 877-234-0837 from any phone or *ADD (*233) from a Brightspot phone.

Discounts: Target Red Card users get a 5% discount if they use their Red Card to refill. Brightspot customers also get a free $25 Target card for every six months that they stay with the service.

Coverage: Brightspot uses the T-Mobile network with no-extra cost domestic voice and SMS roaming. The coverage (map) appears identical to T-Mobile Prepaid and MetroPCS GSM.

LTE: I believe that Brightspot coverage includes LTE in markets (list) where T-Mobile has deployed it. The Brightspot Website does a lousy job of promoting LTE however. LTE is only mentioned in passing in the specs of some the LTE phones that Brightspot sells. The clearest indication that LTE is available is that the coverage map displays a pop-up reading "You have excellent LTE coverage" when you enter the zip code in an LTE market. Update 11/30/2013: users report that LTE does not work on Brightspot.

Phones: The following Brightspot phones are available:
Alcatel 665 flip phone $29.99
Alcatel Sparq II QWERTY slider $49.99
Huawei Prism II Android phone $89.99
Nokia Lumia 521 Windows phone $99.99
Alcatel One Touch Fierce Android phone $149.99
LG Optimus F3 LTE Android phone $199.99
LG Optimus F6 LTE Android phone
Samsung Gaalxy S III LTE Android phone $399.99

SIM Cards: Regular, micro and nano SIMs are supposed to be available at $10 each, however the link to purchase them on the Brightspot site is broken. According to Brightspot an unlocked phone is required.

How it compares: Brightspot is unique among T-Mobile MVNOs in offering voice and text roaming and LTE. That puts them in direct competition with T-Mobile Prepaid and MetroPCS GSM. At the $50 price point Brightspot  offers more 4G data (1 GB) than T-Mobile (500 MB) but less than MetroPCS (2.5 GB). Brightspot's $65 plan which includes 4 GB of 4G data doesn't look very good compared with T-Mobile's $70 and Metro's $60 plans which come with unlimited 4G data.  Brightspot's plans look a bit more competitive if you include the 5% Red Card discount and $25 every six months loyalty reward which reduce the monthly cost of the $50 plan to $43.33 and the $65 plan to $57.58.

If you don't need LTE or roaming, unlimited talk and text is available from other T-Mobile MVNOs for as little as $24.99 without data. See for T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared details.

8 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. The Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE might be a good phone for usage on AT&T/T-Mobile prepaid (and MVNOs) since it has the essential HSPA/LTE bands. I'm curious if you could successfully apply the free SIM unlock that the other GSM Samsung Galaxy S3's were capable of doing. $400 for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 isn't bad. I just hope this MVNO doesn't put any type of bizarre or difficult measures to unlock it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. With these plans and phone prices they have nothing special. There are better options out there. Just another MVNO trying to make a buck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They may not be nothing too special but with the roaming that adds a big up seller that most other MVNO's don't have. While not everyone needs it to some that would be traveling in a area they would need it this is another great option.

      Delete
  3. Safari 6.0.5 and 5.1.10 cannot format the Brightspot Mobile website properly and warn that their certificate is not valid. Firefox 24 handles it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I saw the Brightspot display in my Target today. They had SIM kits on the rack for $9.99 each. Is roaming mentioned on the website anywhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The coverage map shows roaming clearly and indicates that data is not available while roaming.

      Delete
  5. FYI, the Brightspot LG Optimus F6 is $289.99.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Purchased the Brightspot Sparq II - just needed a phone with email and text for a road trip I did not need or want anything fancy with a lot of apps and functions I would not use. This was supposed to be a phone simple to set up... NOT - the thing does not work properly, and there is no way to talk to a human to assist. I will be taking the phone back tomorrow. Only had it two days and not happy with the serious lack of customer service (a machine is not customer support).

    ReplyDelete
Comment Page :