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Target's Brightspot Mobile Revamps Plan Lineup

Target Stores has made a couple of changes to their Brightspot Mobile plans lineup:
  • The price of the unlimited talk and text (no data plan) has been cut from $35 to $30/month
  • There's a new $35/month plan that comes with unlimited messaging, 3GB of high speed data and 300 voice minutes. 
There is no way to purchase extra minutes on the $35 plan. After 300 minutes are used calls are blocked until the plan renews or you manually renew it early.

There are no changes to the $45 and $55 plans which include unlimited talk and text and 1GB and 3GB of high speed data.

Brightspot high speed data is limited to HSPA+, which is good for speeds of up to about 11 Mbps. LTE is not available.

Unlimited "2G" throttled data is available on the $35 and higher priced plans after the high speed allowance is used up. Throttled speed is approximately 128 Kbps.

With these changes the Brightspot lineup looks like this:

Plan Monthly Cost Voice Minutes SMS MMS Data
Unlimited Talk + Text $30 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Not Available
Unlimited Text + Web $35 300 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited (throttled to 128 Kbps after 3 GB)
Unlimited Talk + Text + Web $45 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited (throttled to 128 Kbps after 1 GB) 
Unlimited Talk + Text + Web $55 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited (throttled to 128 Kbps after 3 GB)

Available international 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.
Brightspot is a a T-Mobile MVNO sold exclusively at Target Stores and online at www.brightspotmobile.com. Coverage includes  the T-Mobile native network plus some off-network voice and text roaming. Data roaming, hotspot and SMS short codes are not supported. 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.

26 comments:

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  1. The Brightspot $35 plan is a better value than the T-Mobile $30/5GB plan for most people, especially after the Red Card discount and the rebate. It competes well with the Virgin Mobile $35/300min. plan, and the coverage with roaming is much better. This should be a big seller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, though in my experience Sprint/Virgin still has better overall coverage than T-Mobile.

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    2. Almost everybody will have better Brightspot coverage than Virgin. Just look at the difference between the Boost/Virgin map and the T-Mobile/Brightspot map here:
      http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011/09/coverage-maps-for-all-prepaid-carriers.html Roaming is the big difference.

      Delete
  2. Will Brightspot charge tax or other fees?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no added fees or taxes other than sales tax and point of sale e911 fee if your state has them.

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  3. Hooray! Generous data allowance with Limited minutes at a discount price!

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  4. I am very interested in the $35 plan. I checked the website but did not see how much they charge per minute if you go over the 300 minutes. $.10 per minute like T-Mobile or do they just cut you off?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure how much, but they will never cut you off, they will always be happy to sell you additional services.

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    2. According to a Brightspot customer service rep, calls are cut off after 300 minutes. The only way to get more minutes is by renewing early.

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  5. Anyone know if you get legal hotspotting with any of these phones/plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brightspot prohibits using the phone as a hotspot. It may work in certain phones that have the hotspot feature enabled. For example, I was able to use the T-Mobile $30 plan with an LG Optimus T. The bargain $99 MetroPCS LG F6 was advertised as having the hotspot feature enabled in one ad I saw, but I do not know whether the feature works on Brightspot. The phone would work.
      Some MVNO phone sims also work in T-Mobile hotspots. For example, Ptel works in my T-Mobile 4G hotspot.

      Delete
  6. This article appears to say that Brightspot offers LTE service now:
    http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobile-cuts-prices-adds-data-gosmart-mobile-prepaid-plans/2014-06-10

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article does say that but I believe it's incorrect. Nowhere on Brightspot's site do they claim to offer LTE and I've not heard of anyone connecting to LTE with a Brightspot phone.

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  7. in the fine print: .. paraphrasing : tmobile is prioritized over "brightspot".. does that mean it runs through a slow server like cricket and straight talk?? or that mean .. t mobile first then tmobile prepaid THEN?? brightspot?

    we use the $30 walmart plan of 5gbs and 100 minutes which is a life saver money wise for us. but sometimes we need more minutes..

    so my other question is.. how much would it come out to in texas?.. with all fees/taxes?.. $40 bucks tops?? .. since the walmart plans "charges" 10 cents a minute not sure the savings are worth it to us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm unable to find anything on the Brightspot site that says T-Mobile is prioritized over Brightspot. I do suspect that T-Mobile postpaid is prioritized over prepaid (both in-house and MVNO) when the network is congested, but I don't see that in writing anywhere on brightspot.com.

      BrightSpot charges only state and local sales taxes and e911 fees, that are charged to the consumer at point of sale which is the same as T-Mobile prepaid.

      Delete
  8. Tmobile data policies are described in more detail here:
    http://www.t-mobile.com/Company/CompanyInfo.aspx?tp=Abt_Tab_ConsumerInfo&tsp=Abt_Sub_InternetServices

    "How does T-Mobile manage the flow of data on its network? ...............
    Additionally, we may implement other network management practices to provide the best online experience possible for our customers, such as caching less data, using less capacity, sizing video more appropriately for a device to transmit data files more efficiently, >>and giving data of T-Mobile-branded customers precedence over data of non-T-Mobile-branded customers when the network is presented with competing demands.<< Giving T-Mobile data precedence occurs only on a content-agnostic basis, and its effect should be noticed rarely and temporarily, if at all. These practices do not discriminate against offerings that might compete against those offered by T-Mobile or any T-Mobile affiliate on the basis of such competition."

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  9. Are short codes supported on Brightspot

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  10. I am just posting to let people know that I have succesfully unlocked a Brightspot Nokia Lumia 521 device using T-Mobile service. I purchased the L521 Brightspot version at Target when it was $35 and activated it with T-Mobile service and today I contacted T-Mobile live chat support and they gave me the unlock code. So I am guessing all Brightspot devices could be unlocked using T-Mobile service instead of Brightspot.

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  11. Has anyone had problems with the renewal of their $35 plan? My data seems to be rolled over. I've used about 1.5 gb last month and and rolled over to this month. The usage did not reset...
    Why? Need some help .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Others have the same problem. There are threads about it on Reddit and HoFo.

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    2. Has there been a fix? I've on HoFo link you provided and said something about a reset on August 18th. Can I get some clarification?

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    3. People on HoFo are still having the problem so I wouldn't say it's been fixed. One member says his plan renews on Aug 18 and that he hopes the data counter will automatically reset like it's supposed to then. Maybe he will post if it does or not.

      If you are having the issue you need to complain to Brightspot and keep complaining until they fix it. Some people are filing FCC complaints as well.

      Delete
  12. If it is past my billing date for next cycle and I did not refill, am I still able to port out if my account is "suspended?"

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  13. Can you call BrightSpot and ask about the data not renewing issue? Or make a post?

    ReplyDelete
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