Not even three months after its last plan slate change that added unlimited throttled data, AT&T’s GoPhone is undergoing another revamp of its plan slate to reflect the recent acquisitions of Iusacell and Nextel Mexico as well as the increasing competition from its own sibling prepaid brand in Cricket Wireless.
To begin, the $45 and $60 monthly plans will have more data added to their monthly allotments, with the $45 plan seeing an increase to 1.5GB and the $60 plan going up to 4GB. Both plans will also get unlimited calling and messaging to Mexico as well, with GoPhone adding a new $30 monthly plan meant for non-smartphones with unlimited voice and messaging that also includes unlimited messaging to 100+ countries.
More details on the changes are expected on Wednesday when the new plans and additions are expected to go live for new and current customers.
Update: AT&T has confirmed the changes to the $45 and $60 GoPhone plans in a new blog post, although only the $60 plan gets unlimited Mexico calling. It also makes no mention of the rumored $30 non-smartphone plan with unlimited messaging or other rumored changes centered around additional data options on daily use and other plans reported on other sites. The changes to the $45 and $60 plans will now go live on Friday, February 20th.
One response to “AT&T GoPhone Undergoes Another Revamp On Wednesday (Updated)”
One main advantage of AT&T owned GoPhone over AT&T owned Cricket, besides UNCAPPED high speed data is how the data servers are configured. GoPhone has access to AT&T’s postpaid servers, so LTE ping speeds are very low (less lag). Cricket’s data is routed through proxy servers, with high ping speeds (more lag).
One of the reasons LTE is superior to HSPA, besides more speed is lower pings. But if you CAP the speed at 8MBPS and then route all data through a proxy server, you are negating any LTE benefits. You are basically emulating HSPA!
For Cricket, their LTE speeds are capped at 8mpbs and often have triple digit ping speeds (lag) due to the proxy server issue. That’s crippling LTE to an HSPA experience, when you are PAYING for LTE. If you are technically ignorant or don’t care, then you are the customer AT&T is targeting.
AT&T is positioning GoPhone as the “upper” prepaid tier brand, and Cricket as the “lower” tier. Same way P&G sells Tide, Gain, and Cheer detergents. Prepaid GoPhone still gives you savings over postpaid AT&T, and technical advantages over sibling prepaid brand Cricket. GoPhone is positoned to compete with carriers T-mobile and Sprint, while Cricket is positioned to compete with the MVNOs like Straight Talk, Net10, H20, etc. GoPhone is configured like a carrier, while Cricket is configured like an MVNO.
With GoPhone, my pings are in the 30ms – 40ms range, and I get 40 – 60mbps download speeds. Cricket can’t compete with that, as AT&T has favored GoPhone technically among its two prepaid brands. Of the two prepaid brands, GoPhone is the top tier (sold, serviced in AT&T stores, same AT&T sim card, same AT&T APN, access to postpaid data servers) while Cricket is the lower tier (in standalone stores, different sim card, different APN, capped speeds, data routed through proxy servers).