Alltel Begins Charging Prepaid Customers for Data (Updated)

Alltel U Prepaid customers may be in for a bit of a shock the next time they try to make a call. Customers have been able to use data applications (Axcess Apps) at no charge for data. However, over the past few days, that has suddenly changed, without any form of warning or announcement from Alltel.

Effective today, prepaid customers are now being charged for data access. The charge will appear as “1X KB to Seconds” and appears to be charged at the rate of $.15 per minute (the same as a voice call on their network).

This comes as Alltel begins to roll out increased data roaming options, as part of their Sprint EV-DO roaming agreement. was the first to report how this could be used to allow customers to use Alltel U prepaid as a way to get prepaid data, on devices such as the PPC-6700.

Even at $.15 per minute, the rate is still one of the cheapest for prepaid data. AT&T Cingular charges $.01 per kilobyte on its GoPhone Pay-As-You-Go plans, and Verizon requires $1 per day, in addition to airtime, and does not permit EV-DO access on prepaid.

Update: Following this billing change, Alltel has rolled out Axcess Web as well as Picture Messaging for all Alltel U Prepaid customers.