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GoPhone Increases Smartphone Data, Eliminates Unlimited Feature Phone Data

The changes to AT&T's GoPhone prepaid plans that were announced last week are now posted on the AT&T Website.

The revamp is mostly as expected with data increases to the $40 and $60 smartphone plans and a new $45 feature phone plan. But AT&T also discontinued two of its existing feature phone plans.

Here's what's changed. 

  • The $60/month unlimited smartphone plan gets its data increased from 2 to 2.5 GB per month. Using your phone as a WiFi hotspot is now permitted on this plan. Although not mentioned on the AT&T site, $60 plan users report that iOS FaceTime, which used to only work on WiFi, now works over mobile data. Additional data is available for $10 per 1 GB on this plan. 
  • The $40/month 500 minutes plan gets it's data allowance increased from 200 MB to 500 MB. Additional data is $5 for 100 MB on this plan. 
  • There's a new $45/month plan for "basic and messaging" (aka feature) phones. It includes unlimited voice minutes and messaging. Data is also unlimited with the first 2 GB per month at "3G" speeds. After 2 GB speeds are throttled to 128 Kbps for the remainder of the plan month.
  • The old $35/month, 500 minute and $50/month, unlimited feature phone plans have been eliminated. Current users of those plans are grandfathered and can continue using them as long as they don't switch plans.
There are no changes to $25 monthly plan, $2 daily plan or 10¢ pay as you go plan. Details of all current GoPhone plans are listed in the table below.
Name Monthly Price Voice Text/MMS Data Limitations
10¢/Minute Plan $8.33 and up 1 10¢/min 20¢ domestic, 25¢ international or use package 2 1¢ per 5 KB ($2/MB) No data for smartphones
$2/Day Plan $2/day on days used, $8.33/month minimum 1, 3 unlimited unlimited domestic and international 1¢ per 5 KB ($2/MB) No data for smartphones
Monthly Plan $25 250 minutes, overage 10¢/min unlimited domestic and international 1¢ per 5 KB ($2/MB)
50 MB for $5
1¢ per 5 KB non-smartphones only.
50 MB for $5 OK for all phones
Smartphone Monthly Plan $40 500 Minutes, overage 10¢/min unlimited domestic and international 500 MB, Add 100 MB for $5 smartphones only
Monthly Unlimited Plan $45 unlimited unlimited domestic and international unlimited 4 non-smartphones only
Smartphone Monthly Plan with Data $60 unlimited unlimited domestic and international 2.5 GB, Add 1GB for $10 smartphones only
1  $8.33 is the minimum monthly cost which is by using a $25 top up every 90 days. A $0.25 - $2.50/month "911" fee is deducted from your prepaid balance in some states.
Available Domestic Messaging packages: 200 messages  $4.99/month, 1000 messages  $9.99/month, Unlimited $19.99/month
3 $2/day is charged only on days the phone is used to make or receive a voice call (including a call to voice mailbox), send a text or use IM.
4 Unlimited data for non-smartphoes, First 2GB per month at "3G" speeds. After 2GB speeds are throttled to 128k Kbps for the remainder of the plan month.

The elimination of the $35 and $50 plans is significant because these plans included unlimited data. AT&T could afford to do this because it's difficult to use very much data on a feature phone. If you tried to use these plans with something that AT&T recognized as a smartphone, AT&T would disable your data. However users discovered that some non-AT&T smartphones and even WiFi hotspots were not detected on these plans and could be used to get unlimited, unthrottled data for as little as $35/month, at least until AT&T detected non-feature phone like usage levels and blocked the user's data. It looks like that loophole has been closed.

Related:
Prepaid Operator Profile: AT&T GoPhone
Updated: AT&T Announces GoPhone Data Increases, Hotspot Availability and Two New Plans

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16 comments:

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  1. You don't mention the new $45 GoPhone smartphone plan that was added. 1GB LTE data/unlimited talk/unlimited text.

    It was in the AT&T press release. Wal-Mart exclusive, but it IS part of the new plans/changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I covered its announcement last week but AFAIK the Walmart plan isn't available yet.

      Delete
  2. I am sick of the stinginess of data. I'm hoping that T-Mobile will continue to make radical changes in the market place. My only complaint with T-Mobile is that it's coverage is not as good as AT&T and Verizon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're also paying a lot less, and if you're "tired" of the stinginess, go sign a contract, wah wah.

      Delete
    2. Even with a contract you still have to sign with Sprint to get real data freedom. Then again coverage is sacrificed

      Delete
    3. MetroPCS and T-Mobile have unlimited data on no-contract plans with coverage roughly equal to Sprint.

      Delete
    4. Sprint does not make you sign a contract to get unlimited data.

      Delete
    5. That's true, Sprint's Framily Plan includes unlimited, unthrottled data (but hotspot is $10 per GB extra). A contract isn't required if you bring your own phone or pay full price for one.

      A single line Framily Plan costs $75/month plus 10% - 30% per month in taxes and fees. T-Mobile prepaid is unlimited, unthrottled (5 GB hotspot included) for $80 plus $0 - $10 in taxes and fees. MetroPCS is $60 for unlimited, unthrottled (hotspot not available), no taxes or fees.

      For a single line, Sprint Framily is more expensive than T-Mobile or MetroPCS, but can be a better deal if you can join a Framily of four or more.

      Delete
  3. Is there an estimate when the walmart plan might come into effect?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The press release said Friday April, 25 and that it would be sold in Walmart stores. It could take a whilebefore the special refill cards start appearing in stores

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  4. Thanks dennis! I have till 29th to renew my plan i guess i am cutting it close :) !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dennis. Seems like AT&T copied the Walmart Verizon Prepaid 1GB plan but lowered the price $5. I wonder after you activate your phone on the $45 1GB plan, can you pay using Callingmart?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably, but we won't really know until the plan is available and someone tries to renew using Callingmart.

      Delete
    2. Sridhara-syama dasaApril 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Also - if one is on the $60 monthly plan - how to switch to this $45 monthly plan? Does that mean we have to necessarily buy it from Walmart - which means about 10% taxes - or is there any other way ?

      Hare Krishna
      Sridhara-syama dasa

      Delete
  6. Sridhara-syama dasaApril 25, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Is this the new Walmart $45 exclusive for AT&T ?

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/AT-T-Mobility-45-Walmart-Exclusive-Email-Delivery/36040271

    Hare Krishna
    Sridhara-syama dasa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I beleive it is. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
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