Starting as early as today, AT&T Mobility is opening up its networks to provide pre-paid users under its GoPhone brand with more access and choice. The wireless company will be offering not only the iPhone access to GoPhone plans, but will also open up its 4G HSPA+ and LTE network to GoPhone users for faster data speeds while on a prepaid voice and data plan. An official announcement is still forthcoming, but Engadget and Mac Rumors are both reporting the early news.
The carrier says that Visual Voicemail access will also be supported for Windows Phone 7.5 or newer phones, Apple 3GS or newer devices with at least iOS 6.0, or compatible Android handsets.
To partake in the new GoPhone plans, which start at $25 and go as high as $65 per month for pre-paid subscribers, AT&T says you must “must own an iPhone/HSPA+/LTE device, or purchase a device in store at the no-commitment price for use with new 4G/LTE GoPhone service.”
This is a change from what we’ve been seeing with Verizon, which is still locking prepaid users to 3G-only data access, limiting faster 4G LTE speeds for more lucrative post-paid contract customers, though Big Red does offer up to 2 GB of data on its $70 prepaid option. Rival Sprint has been opening up its 4G LTE network as well.
The $25 and $50 comes with unlimited text and either 250 minutes or unlimited minutes respectively, but both plans lack a data package. Users can add $5 for 50 MB, $15 for 250 MB or $25 for 1 GB of data additional per month on top. For users who select the $65 prepaid plan, that option includes 1 GB of data on top of unlimited texting and calling.
While the amount of data offered is still limited, prepaid users can still stay within an affordable range if they don’t use too much data or confine most of their data usage to WiFi access.