AT&T Mobility’s Aio Wireless brand modified its offerings, providing more separation between recent changes to the mother ship’s rate plans and that of the prepaid-focused Aio plans. The new plans include lower prices and increased data buckets and follow up on comments made last month by AT&T’s management regarding being more “aggressive” and “assertive” in the no-contract space.
Aio noted that its basic plan would remain at $40 per month for unlimited voice calling and messaging, with its previous data bucket doubled to 500 megabytes. Its middle-tier “Smart Plan” dropped $5 per month to $50 and received an additional 500 Mb of data to a total of 2.5 gigabytes. The “Pro Plan” received a $10 discount to $60 per month, though its un-throttled data bucket was cut from seven gigabytes to five gigabytes. Aio is also offering a $5 discount per month for customers that sign up for its automatic payment offer.
AT&T Mobility launched the Aio Wireless brand in select markets last April, before expanding the offering nationwide later in the year. The offering continues to run side-by-side with AT&T Mobility’s legacy GoPhone no-contract platform.
AT&T reported the loss of 32,000 direct prepaid customers during the final three months of last year. The result was an improvement compared with the loss of 166,000 direct prepaid customers during the same period in 2012 – and before the launch of the Aio Wireless brand, but was down sequentially from the 192,000 direct prepaid customers AT&T Mobility added during the third quarter of last year.
AT&T Mobility late last year modified its Mobile Share plans to allow for a no-contract option for consumers, which was tied to the elimination of a device subsidy. Those plans were further modified earlier this month with a new family plan that provides for unlimited talk, messaging and a shared bucket of 10 gigabytes of data services for two lines at $130 per month with no contract. The kicker is that additional lines can be added for just $15 per line, which puts overall pricing well below that of Verizon Wireless, on par with Sprint and just a touch above what is offered by T-Mobile US.
The Aio Wireless pricing moves could be short lived however as AT&T has said that following its pending acquisition of Leap Wireless it plans to fold the Aio Wireless offering into Leap’s Cricket service. The Leap deal is expected to close during the first quarter.
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