T-Mobile USA appears to be preparing to launch a new, low-cost prepaid service called GoSmart Mobile, but it is unclear when the service will launch and whether it will be an independent brand or a T-Mobile sub-brand.
According to documents first unearthed by the blog TMoNews, T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom used a "corporation service company" to trademark the GoSmart Mobile name in the United States. The prepaid brand appears to be wholly owned by T-Mobile.
According to the blog, GoSmart Mobile will offer three main, low-cost plans. There will be a $30 plan for unlimited voice and texting, a $35 plan for unlimited voice, texting and 2G Web service and a $45 plan for unlimited voice, texting and "high-speed" Web service, though a company flyer makes clear that this will only be "3G" service (and thus probably not T-Mobile's HSPA+ service, which it has branded "4G").
T-Mobile representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The GoSmart Mobile brand could part of T-Mobile evolving prepaid strategy, especially as it moves forward with its merger with prepaid flat-rate player MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS), which is scheduled to close by mid-2013. MetroPCS CFO Braxton Carter said Wednesday at an investor conference that 2013 will be a year of stabilization for T-Mobile's postpaid subscribers and also a time for expansion of the MetroPCS brand--hopefully on a nationwide basis.
With that in mind, GoSmart could be a way for T-Mobile to segment the prepaid market. As TMoNews points out, this is what Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has done with its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands. T-Mobile could focus on improving its postpaid brand while leaving MetroPCS and GoSmart as two different prepaid brands, with GoSmart positioned at the low-end part of the market.
It is unclear what would happen to T-Mobile's Monthly 4G prepaid offering or how GoSmart would compete with that. The Monthly 4G plans, which have buoyed T-Mobile's results in recent quarters, are more expensive than GoSmart's plans and also take advantage of the carrier's HSPA+ network.
- see this TMoNews article
- see this Prepaid Reviews article
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