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MacRumors
Aug 30, 2013, 08:25 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/30/atts-aio-wireless-prepaid-brand-to-roll-out-nationwide-in-september/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/08/aio_wireless_bw-250x161.jpgAT&T has announced (http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=24753&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=36953&mapcode=consumer|financial) that its prepaid cellular service Aio Wireless (http://www.aiowireless.com) will begin offering service nationwide starting in mid-September, with service plans running between $40 and $70 per month and including unlimited talk, text, and data with 4G LTE.

Customers who sign up for service in an Aio Wireless retail store or on the brand's website by September 29 will also receive an additional month of service at no additional cost. The service will offer a catalog of mobile phones and tablets from makers including Apple's iPhone, and will allow customers to bring in devices to activate on the network.Aio makes wireless easy with a friendly in-store and online experience and three simple plans to choose from. All three plans include unlimited talk, text, and data--with a pre-established amount of high-speed access, including 4G LTE. Plans range from $40 to $70 per month, with taxes and fees included. Aio Wireless originally launched (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/09/att-launches-new-aio-wireless-prepaid-brand-iphone-plans-start-at-55month/) operations in Houston, Orlando and Tampa this past May, and expanded to several other cities in the following months. The launch of the service has been one of a number of changes made by AT&T in the past few months, including the rollout (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/09/att-cuts-pricing-on-att-next-smartphone-upgrade-program-iphone-now-1year-cheaper-than-verizon/) of a new smartphone upgrade program.

Article Link: AT&T's Aio Wireless Prepaid Brand to Roll Out Nationwide in September (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/30/atts-aio-wireless-prepaid-brand-to-roll-out-nationwide-in-september/)



levl289
Aug 30, 2013, 08:35 AM
Confirmed via online chat - no tethering is permitted. OTOH, they do offer visual voicemail (StraightTalk doesn't for example). In comparison, T-Mobile offers 2.5GB for $60, but also has a family plan with every add'l phone for $20 more. In addition, T-Mobile does tethering. If you're ok with their coverage (TMO's), and I'm still trying to figure out if I am, TMO is a better deal. If you want to check out the aio plans, enter "32856" as your zip code on their site.

talmy
Aug 30, 2013, 08:42 AM
If you're ok with their coverage (TMO's), and I'm still trying to figure out if I am, TMO is a better deal.

I'm in the same boat. T-Mobile's data here is pretty spotty. And I rarely use the phone service so "unlimited" means nothing to me and the TMO $30 plan would be ideal. But the big win with prepaid is you can try it out and if it doesn't work, switch, being out only the small SIM+activation fee.

Captfatface
Aug 30, 2013, 08:43 AM
No tethering = deal breaker.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 08:46 AM
One BIG issue I have with AIO is that you only get service from AT&T Towers. They DO NOT have roaming agreements set up with other carriers.

topmounter
Aug 30, 2013, 09:11 AM
Did they rebrand Gophone?

If not how is this different?

Chupa Chupa
Aug 30, 2013, 09:22 AM
One BIG issue I have with AIO is that you only get service from AT&T Towers. They DO NOT have roaming agreements set up with other carriers.


But that is true with every pre-paid service. It's not meant for adventurers, and not marketed in areas where there is no service available. It's for people that live in an offered area and don't leave it often or only visit other areas with service. That's how they keep the monthly cost down. If you need true coast to coast service then post paid is still the only route.

levl289
Aug 30, 2013, 09:24 AM
One BIG issue I have with AIO is that you only get service from AT&T Towers. They DO NOT have roaming agreements set up with other carriers.

AT&T has towers all over the country, with pretty much complete coverage. I'm not sure which provider you'd roam to. This isn't the analog wireless days, nor is AT&T a 2nd tier provider needing to use Verizon's towers (like Sprint iirc). Out of the country on the other hand, and you just setup international roaming, or put in a foreign SIM card.

Chupa Chupa
Aug 30, 2013, 09:32 AM
Did they rebrand Gophone?

If not how is this different?

Biggest difference is that AIO is only 4G and I believe speed is throttled at 4Mbps whereas GoPhone is LTE and speed is not capped.

It looks like ATT is just trying to build separate products for each demographic vs having one-size fits all. But it does get confusing.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 09:35 AM
AT&T has towers all over the country, with pretty much complete coverage. I'm not sure which provider you'd roam to. This isn't the analog wireless days, nor is AT&T a 2nd tier provider needing to use Verizon's towers (like Sprint iirc). Out of the country on the other hand, and you just setup international roaming, or put in a foreign SIM card.

I agree they have good coverage but take a state like Nebraska. AT&T has virtually no coverage there...only partner coverage. Also, Wisconsin has a large amount of partner coverage as well.

mikeheenan
Aug 30, 2013, 09:36 AM
So I wonder if now they'll be redoing their grandfathered unlimited plans which currently only offer 5gb of data before throttling.

Metatron
Aug 30, 2013, 09:38 AM
One BIG issue I have with AIO is that you only get service from AT&T Towers. They DO NOT have roaming agreements set up with other carriers.

I have been using AIO for two months. I live in Texas and travel often. I just took a road trip to DC and had LTE/4g everywhere except some deep mountains valleys. I did byod with my iPhone 5 with the 40 plan. Minus tethering, AIO is as good as it gets. I have blown past my 250 MB limit with no noticeable effect. I still got full speeds, which with AIO is limited to 8 Mbps.

With my corporate discount, I was paying 76 a month with AT&T w/ unlimited data, 1000 messages, and 500 min. talk. Cancelled my contract and went to t-mobile with a corporate discount @ 42 a month with unlimited everything, high speed data throttled at 500 MB. T-mobile service was to spotty for my travels and I went hunting for another provider. Found AIO two weeks into their new business and loving it. My whole family is switching.

levl289
Aug 30, 2013, 09:38 AM
I agree they have good coverage but take a state like Montana. AT&T has virtually no coverage there...only partner coverage. Also, Wisconsin has a large amount of partner coverage as well.

Zoinks, clearly I live in a bubble here in Southern California. Never even thought AT&T did roaming in the US anymore. My mistake.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 09:47 AM
Biggest difference is that AIO is only 4G and I believe speed is throttled at 4Mbps whereas GoPhone is LTE and speed is not capped.

It looks like ATT is just trying to build separate products for each demographic vs having one-size fits all. But it does get confusing.

AIO does have LTE with a max speed of 8Mbps, but you are correct that 4G has a max of 4Mbps.

----------

Zoinks, clearly I live in a bubble here in Southern California. Never even thought AT&T did roaming in the US anymore. My mistake.

LOL. It surprised me too on my last trip to Minnesota. I found out that its doesn't always show that you're roaming on the iPhone display when in fact you really are.

Oops, I meant to say Nebraska, not Montana. I need more coffee :)

BruiserB
Aug 30, 2013, 09:53 AM
I have the Tmobile $30 prepaid plan and when I was in Great Falls, Montana and some places around Grand Rapids, Michigan I roamed on AT&T so there is roaming. But it was voice only...data didn't work.

Chupa Chupa
Aug 30, 2013, 10:22 AM
AIO does have LTE with a max speed of 8Mbps, but you are correct that 4G has a max of 4Mbps. [COLOR="#808080"]



Thanks for clarification. Now the lines between AIO and GoPhone really are blurred for me.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 10:37 AM
I have been using AIO for two months. I live in Texas and travel often. I just took a road trip to DC and had LTE/4g everywhere except some deep mountains valleys. I did byod with my iPhone 5 with the 40 plan. Minus tethering, AIO is as good as it gets. I have blown past my 250 MB limit with no noticeable effect. I still got full speeds, which with AIO is limited to 8 Mbps.

With my corporate discount, I was paying 76 a month with AT&T w/ unlimited data, 1000 messages, and 500 min. talk. Cancelled my contract and went to t-mobile with a corporate discount @ 42 a month with unlimited everything, high speed data throttled at 500 MB. T-mobile service was to spotty for my travels and I went hunting for another provider. Found AIO two weeks into their new business and loving it. My whole family is switching.

That's interesting. Maybe I should give them a try and see how it is. Makes it easy with an unlocked iPhone

Alfuh
Aug 30, 2013, 11:24 AM
Does anyone who has Aio know if when you are done with your LTE / 4G monthly allotment do you get 3G speeds or are we talking EDGE?

It would be worth the extra $10 per month to get LTE and visual voicemail, but if that drops to a crawl after hitting 2GB (which is rarely) it wouldn't be as worth it ...

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 11:33 AM
Does anyone who has Aio know if when you are done with your LTE / 4G monthly allotment do you get 3G speeds or are we talking EDGE?

It would be worth the extra $10 per month to get LTE and visual voicemail, but if that drops to a crawl after hitting 2GB (which is rarely) it wouldn't be as worth it ...

They told me 256kbps...so Edge speeds :eek:

Alfuh
Aug 30, 2013, 11:38 AM
They told me 256kbps...so Edge speeds :eek:

Thanks for the answer and ... damn! :mad:

mcalict
Aug 30, 2013, 12:17 PM
Perspective is important. I'm on Sprint, in a virtual dead-zone, at my house. I literally have to sit near a front or back window or calls drop. I rely on WiFi for data at home as 3G data is around 256kb Edge speeds, at best. Even after they finish their Network Vision upgrades I doubt coverage will improve at my house. I've only stayed because of my legacy $50 SERO plan.

So if I could switch and get truly usable 4Mb 4G/3G for similar money, with a fallback to Edge, that's a win for me. I just need a new phone. And testing my friends AT&T iPhone at my house proved better coverage and data speeds (4G and LTE).

Bring it!

PsyOpWarlord
Aug 30, 2013, 12:41 PM
It surprised me too on my last trip to Minnesota. I found out that its doesn't always show that you're roaming on the iPhone display when in fact you really are.

If you call AT&T customer service, you can request them add a free feature called 4EON to your account. When you have that added to your account the phone will show when your roaming instead of showing you the AT&T symbol.

It's a handy feature for those that travel a lot.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 12:56 PM
If you call AT&T customer service, you can request them add a free feature called 4EON to your account. When you have that added to your account the phone will show when your roaming instead of showing you the AT&T symbol.

It's a handy feature for those that travel a lot.

Interesting...thanks for the info. That works with the iPhone as well?

Metatron
Aug 30, 2013, 12:57 PM
They told me 256kbps...so Edge speeds :eek:

I have not been throttled to date...but it will happen at some point. Just remember, when your phone was on edge, you never got 256 Kbps. You would have been lucky to see 150 Kbps. LTE throttled for people @ 256 Kbps will not notice issues with email, iMessage, and basic web browsing. YouTube may be a problem :-/

HangmanSwingset
Aug 30, 2013, 02:24 PM
Has anyone mentioned how AT&T is making Aio look like a cheap T-Mobile clone? Even down to subtle word choice and the magenta coloring? For that I feel it's a terrible move for AT&T, since the lawsuit DT opened against them over how the 'Magenta' color choice is a trademark they hold.
So in short, this just tells me more money and possibly spectrum for T-Mobile.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 02:29 PM
Has anyone mentioned how AT&T is making Aio look like a cheap T-Mobile clone? Even down to subtle word choice and the magenta coloring? For that I feel it's a terrible move for AT&T, since the lawsuit DT opened against them over how the 'Magenta' color choice is a trademark they hold.
So in short, this just tells me more money and possibly spectrum for T-Mobile.

I don't think it looks anything like T-Mobile. T-Mobile is grasping at straws...they have a patent (I believe in Germany) on a certain shade of Magenta (RAL 4010) which looks nothing like the aio color. Maybe T-Mobile should try to improve network coverage instead of wasting time on frivolous lawsuits. If stupid people get confused and cant tell the two companies apart, maybe they should invest in some schooling instead of wireless service.

Ibjr
Aug 30, 2013, 02:41 PM
Confirmed via online chat - no tethering is permitted. OTOH, they do offer visual voicemail (StraightTalk doesn't for example).

I thought Visual Voicemail worked on Straight Talk as long as it wasn't a BOYD plan.

NeoMayhem
Aug 30, 2013, 03:32 PM
One BIG issue I have with AIO is that you only get service from AT&T Towers. They DO NOT have roaming agreements set up with other carriers.

Actually, most MVNOs on the AT&T network do get full access to domestic roaming for calls/texts. No data roaming though.

xmaseve
Aug 30, 2013, 04:15 PM
Actually, most MVNOs on the AT&T network do get full access to domestic roaming for calls/texts. No data roaming though.

According to their customer service reps and their coverage maps, this unfortunately doesn't appear to be the case with aio.

Satnam1989
Aug 30, 2013, 05:17 PM
I have been using AIO for two months. I live in Texas and travel often. I just took a road trip to DC and had LTE/4g everywhere except some deep mountains valleys. I did byod with my iPhone 5 with the 40 plan. Minus tethering, AIO is as good as it gets. I have blown past my 250 MB limit with no noticeable effect. I still got full speeds, which with AIO is limited to 8 Mbps.

With my corporate discount, I was paying 76 a month with AT&T w/ unlimited data, 1000 messages, and 500 min. talk. Cancelled my contract and went to t-mobile with a corporate discount @ 42 a month with unlimited everything, high speed data throttled at 500 MB. T-mobile service was to spotty for my travels and I went hunting for another provider. Found AIO two weeks into their new business and loving it. My whole family is switching.

Could you PM me or share a screen shot here of the speed test? Do they fully lock you out at 4Mbps 4G and 8Mbps LTE?

----------

Thanks for clarification. Now the lines between AIO and GoPhone really are blurred for me.

GoPhone offers True 4G and LTE - VVM, International Texting, MMS etc

I'm on the $60 plan and have hit LTE speeds 30Mbps+ and everything works great...You can pay $54 for the $60 plan if you sign up for Callingmart and watch their facebook page - they offer 10% off coupon every month and that will give you:

True 4G + LTE:
- Unlimited Talk + Text (Including International Texting) + Unlimited MMS
- Visual Voicemail
- 2GB Data with 4G + LTE at full speeds
- Caller-ID
- No-Tethering and No Facetime over Cellular (Only thing you may get with AIO is Facetime over cellular - besides that its not worth it in my opinion) and Tethering will be possible again once Jailbreak for iOS 7 is out :-)
So for that I don't see the need for AIO's crippled data speeds...probably because AT&T is trying to point consumers towards AIO brand where they give you less for same price as their GoPhone plans...would rather keep Post Paid customers on post paid and then have them look at AIO and see "slow speeds, half this half that" etc.

Some things to consider tho:

AT&T $40 GoPhone Plan < AIO $40 Plan (Wins due to Unlimited Minutes, 250MB vs 200MB)
AT&T $60 GoPhone Plan (GoPhone wins due to Unlimited International Texting, MMS, 2GB Full LTE Data & can be had for $54 from Callingmart.com w/ 10% off coupon) > AIO $55 Plan

AT&T GoPhone $60 plan can be purchased from Callingmart.com for $54 (Every month they have a limited time 10% off discount - use and load your phone - that money is already there for when your billing cycle starts.

MacBeast
Aug 30, 2013, 05:20 PM
I have been using AIO for two months. I live in Texas and travel often. I just took a road trip to DC and had LTE/4g everywhere except some deep mountains valleys. I did byod with my iPhone 5 with the 40 plan. Minus tethering, AIO is as good as it gets. I have blown past my 250 MB limit with no noticeable effect. I still got full speeds, which with AIO is limited to 8 Mbps.

According to the AIO website, the $40 plan is for basic phones only, not for smartphones. Do they not check or enforce that?

NeoMayhem
Aug 30, 2013, 10:38 PM
According to their customer service reps and their coverage maps, this unfortunately doesn't appear to be the case with aio.

Just checked a few areas that I know do not have native coverage. They do show up as no service on the AIO map.

They also show up as no coverage on the StraighTalk map though, while I was roaming in these places last week. Hopefully this is available as an unadvertised feature like it is with ST and others.

EDIT: Just checked the post-paid coverage map and do not see coverage in these areas either.

Metatron
Aug 30, 2013, 10:52 PM
According to the AIO website, the $40 plan is for basic phones only, not for smartphones. Do they not check or enforce that?

It is only enforced for phones you buy through AIO. BYOD lets you choose. I have two accounts with AIO. One was bought online and one in the store. Selected the 40 plan on both with no problems. I imagine they will enforce it more strictly down the road, but I don't see that happening for some time until there customer base is much, much larger.

NeoMayhem
Aug 30, 2013, 11:03 PM
It is only enforced for phones you buy through AIO. BYOD lets you choose. I have two accounts with AIO. One was bought online and one in the store. Selected the 40 plan on both with no problems. I imagine they will enforce it more strictly down the road, but I don't see that happening for some time until there customer base is much, much larger.

That is a great deal for people who want a smartphone and do not use much data.

Westside guy
Aug 31, 2013, 12:45 AM
T-Mobile's network around here (Seattle-Tacoma) seems about as good as AT&T's - I've been on both. For a family, T-Mobile can't be beat. We've got four phones, three of which have 500MB/month and one with 2.5GB/month... for a grand total of $110 monthly.

There was a short period of time where AT&T had a decent smartphone prepaid plan (10 cents a minute talk and you bundled a data plan separately). They killed that pretty quickly, and afterward seemed to keep making moves intended to drive up the minimum monthly cost for prepaid customers. I expect them to behave similarly with this new offering.

markie
Aug 31, 2013, 03:47 AM
AT&T has towers all over the country, with pretty much complete coverage. I'm not sure which provider you'd roam to. This isn't the analog wireless days, nor is AT&T a 2nd tier provider needing to use Verizon's towers (like Sprint iirc). Out of the country on the other hand, and you just setup international roaming, or put in a foreign SIM card.

Around here? MTPCS (Cellular One of Montana). Offers coverage in a few areas, especially on the Indian Reservations, that AT&T doesn't. Net10/Straight Talk roam but don't get data at all.

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I don't think it looks anything like T-Mobile. T-Mobile is grasping at straws...they have a patent (I believe in Germany) on a certain shade of Magenta (RAL 4010) which looks nothing like the aio color. Maybe T-Mobile should try to improve network coverage instead of wasting time on frivolous lawsuits. If stupid people get confused and cant tell the two companies apart, maybe they should invest in some schooling instead of wireless service.

Trademark, not a patent, they didn't invent the colour - just used it in marketing as their trade dress. The claim probably isn't that they're infringing on the trademarked colour, but rather that they're similar enough to cause confusion and dilute the value of the trademark in the marketplace.

mrbrown
Aug 31, 2013, 12:16 PM
I don't think it looks anything like T-Mobile. T-Mobile is grasping at straws...they have a patent (I believe in Germany) on a certain shade of Magenta (RAL 4010) which looks nothing like the aio color. Maybe T-Mobile should try to improve network coverage instead of wasting time on frivolous lawsuits. If stupid people get confused and cant tell the two companies apart, maybe they should invest in some schooling instead of wireless service.

It is a trademark, not a patent. And it is not frivolous - trademark law is best summed up as "use it or lose it" -- if they don't defend it, they lose the right to use it exclusively.