AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) MVNO Jolt Mobile appears to have set a new low price in the unlimited prepaid smartphone space: The company recently introduced an unlimited talk and text plan for $35 per month.
The offering does not include data services or picture messaging, and it is only available in a SIM-only scenario or through a handful of feature phones, including the Motorola V3. Jolt's plans range up in price to unlimited talk, text and 1 GB of Web access for $60 per month. (Jolt previously offered unlimited texting and talking for $40, and unlimited voice, texting and 2 GB of data for $60.)
Jolt's offering represents a further cheapening of mobile talking and texting, services that have tumbled in price during the past few years. Indeed, the new shared data plans from AT&T and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) both include unlimited talking and texting services and are focused primarily on charging users for the data they use.
Jolt isn't alone though in reaching below the $40 per month mark. Boost Mobile in March announced a limited-time promotion during which it said it would lower its unlimited voice and texting plans to $30 for subscribers who sign up for its $45 per month plan and make on-time payments for six months. Similarly, MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) in April launched a limited-time promotional $25 plan that offered unlimited voice and texting.
But Jolt Mobile's $35 plan appears to be the least expensive when compared with the non-promotional services from most of the market's major players. For example, MetroPCS currently offers unlimited talking, texting and 3G data for $40 per month. Boost's unlimited talking, texting and data service is $50 per month, and Virgin Mobile offers unlimited data and texting with 300 voice minutes for $35 per month. The Straight Talk service from TracFone, the U.S. MVNO of América Móvil, offers unlimited talk, text and data for $45 per month.
The prepaid offerings from the nation's largest carriers are significantly more expensive. Verizon sells unlimited talk, text and basic feature phone data for $50 per month, and AT&T offers a $50 plan with similar characteristics.
Interestingly, Jolt inked an agreement with Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) in June to resell Clerarwire's mobile WiMAX service, but that service does not appear to yet be available through Jolt's website.
Clearwire inks wholesale deal with MVNO Jolt Mobile
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MetroPCS launches promotional $25 unlimited voice and texting plan