AT&T unveils new prepaid GoPhone plans, LTE access

The new plans range between $25 and $60 a month, and come after the company scrapped an older set of plans. Starting June 21, prepaid users can ride on the faster 4G LTE network.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

AT&T has a new set of options for its prepaid customers.

The Dallas telecommunications company introduced three tiers of prepaid plans, replacing an older set of plans it had deemed too complicated. Starting June 21, prepaid users with a compatible phone also can jump on the faster 4G LTE network.

The most expensive plan is $60 a month, and includes unlimited calling and text messages and 2 gigabytes of data. Additional data is $10 for each 1GB. It's a better deal than the previous $65 plan, which only included 1GB of data.

There's a $40 monthly plan for 200MB of data, 500 minutes of nationwide calling, and unlimited text messages, with each additional 100MB costing $5. Finally, there's the low-end $25-a-month plan that includes 250 minutes of calling, unlimited text messages, and an optional data package of 50MB for $5. An additional 50MB of data can be had for $5.

The new plans comes as AT&T attempts to push more aggressively into the no-contract market. While the prepaid business has previously appealed to lower-income or low-credit customers, the past few years have seen a broader base of consumers consider the more affordable plans.

While the top-tier plan offers more bang for the buck on the data front, AT&T did eliminate a few of its more affordable options when it restricted the data option on its cheapest plan. Users previously could take on more data to the $25 plan, but are now limited to a paltry 50MB.

AT&T also offers a $50 unlimited talk and text message plan that relies on Wi-Fi only for data. Basic phone customers, meanwhile, can get unlimited calling, data, and text messages for $35 a month.

The introduction of 4G LTE into prepaid is a boon to users who were previously stuck with slower 3G data. The company touted the Samsung Galaxy Express, which will be available June 21 for $249.99, as its first prepaid phone capable for 4G LTE.

The faster network gives AT&T an edge over some prepaid competitors, which have struggled to build out their own 4G networks. Sprint's prepaid arms, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, also have switched over to 4G LTE devices, but Sprint's network still lags behind AT&T. T-Mobile has gone completely no-contract, but has an even smaller LTE footprint.

 

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