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T-Mobile launches GoSmart budget wireless service

The new service is geared toward consumers more interested in talk and text than high-speed mobile Internet.

Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

Wireless carrier T-Mobile expanded its prepaid offerings today with the nationwide launch of GoSmart Mobile, a budget wireless service targeting consumers interested in low-cost unlimited plans.

The service, which has been in beta mode in nine markets since December, is geared toward consumers more interested in voice and text services than high-speed Internet access. As such, GoSmart's target audience includes younger people, college students on a budget, and those with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 a year, GoSmart Marketing Director Shailendra Gujarati told the Seattle Times.

"We are looking at customers whose predominant needs when it comes to wireless are talking, texting, or entry-level data services," he said.

GoSmart, which is now available at more than 3,000 wireless reseller stores around the U.S., starts at $30 a month for a package that includes unlimited talk time and text services but no mobile Internet access. The $35 plan includes mobile Internet access, while the $45 plan offers Internet access at 3G speeds.

Customers can use their own GSM phone on the service with a SIM kit or purchase a $49 Alcatel feature phone or $99 ZTE Android phone that runs Gingerbread.

The service is apparently separately branded to differentiate it from the No. 4 wireless carrier's other prepaid service, which includes a HSPA+ data network, faster data plans, and higher-end handsets.