AT&T and onetime T-Mobile MVNO Jolt Mobile (888-833-3110) has made a number of changes to its plans and services. Jolt offers both monthly unlimited and pay as you go plans. The AT&T based monthly unlimited plans have been revamped as follows:
- The $30 500 MB plan has been replaced by a $25 100 MB plan
- The $40 1 GB is unchanged
- The $50 2 GB and $60 3 GB plans have been replaced by a $55 5 GB plan
As before, Jolt splits the plan's data allowances in half, after the first half is used up, data is cut off until the user calls in and asks for the second half.
It looks like Jolt may no longer be a reseller or sub-MVNO of Airvoice Wireless. The Jolt website used to say "powered by Airvoice Wireless" but those references are now gone. When I asked a Jolt customer service representative about that he said Jolt is powered by AT&T and no longer has any affiliation with Airvoice. I'm skeptical as Airvoice is the only other MVNO I know of that ever split data the way Jolt does. Actually even Airvoice doesn't make you call in anymore. Instead they deliver the first half at full speed and throttle the second half to around 128 Kbps.
Making users call in to get the data they paid for is a sure fire way to tick off your customers. I guess Jolt is hoping that many customers won't know about the split data and will think they have used up their data after the first half and won't call in for the rest.
The biggest change to Jolt's pay as you go is that it once again runs on the AT&T network. Earlier this year, Jolt started activating new pay as you go accounts on T-Mobile. But they have switched back to AT&T according to the Jolt rep I spoke with. The Jolt website confirms the change by showing an AT&T coverage map instead of a T-Mobile one for the pay as you go plans.
Pay as you go rates have changed too. Here's the new lineup:
- $15/30 days: 6¢/minute, 3¢ per text, 50¢/MB
- $20/120 days: 10¢/minute, 10¢/text, 6.6¢/MB
The old T-Mobile based pay as you go rates were 10¢/minute, 5¢/text and 10¢/MB. The old plans had to be topped up with either $25 good for 60 days, $50 for 180 days or $100 good for a year. Other than the lower minimum monthly cost of $5 vs. $8.33, I don't see the new PayGo rates as an improvement.
As before, unused PayGo balances roll over when you top up and Jolt still deducts a $1/month service charge from your PayGo balance every month. They used to also deduct a 99¢ monthly e911 fee from PayGo accounts too but it's no longer mentioned on the Jolt site and hopefully gone.
Jolt's $5, $10 and $20 per month T-Mobile based Flex plans have been discontinued. The Flex plans were pay as you go but without rollover.
The table below lists Jolt's current plans.
|Plan (Monthly Price) 1||Voice||Global Text||MMS (Picture Messages)||International Call Credit||Data|
|PayGo $20/120 days ($5) 2||10¢ min.||10¢ ea.||10¢ ea plus data used||none||6.6¢/MB|
|PayGo $15/30 days 2||6¢ mn.||3¢ ea.||3¢ ea plus data used||none||50¢/MB|
|$25||Unlimited||Unlimited||Limited only by available data||none||100 MB 3|
|$40||Unlimited||Unlimited||Limited only by available data||$1||1 GB 3|
|$55||Unlimited||Unlimited||Limited only by available data||$1||5 GB 3|
2 A $1 service charge is deducted from PayGo balances every month.
3 Data is cut off after half the included amount is used (100 MB plans are cut off after 50 MB, 1 GB plan after 500 MB and the 5 GB plan stops at 2.5 GB). The user has to call customer support to have the rest of the data released.
Jolt offers 24/7 customer support and international direct dialing. Sample rates for calling mobile phones in PrepaidPhoneNews' international money basket are: Canada: 0.5¢, China: 1¢, Mexico: 4.1¢, Philippines: 14.1¢, UK 8.1¢ for a market basket average price of 5.56¢ which is pretty low. To see how Jolt's pricing compares visit: Updated: The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals. On monthly plans international call credit can be purchased in $10 increments. Purchase international call credit never expires as long as your plan is active.
Jolt does not offer LTE, HSPA+ which tops out at 21 Mbps , although sub-10 Mbps is typical, is the fastest data available.
To be honest, Jolt's plan latest changes don't impress me much. They more or less just match the AT&T MVNO competition (Airvoice, Good2Go and H2O) at least until you take the processing fees on all plans and monthly service charge on PayGo into account. To see how Jolt stacks up against its direct competition please visit: AT&T and AT&T MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared.