AT&T adds HSPA+, LTE support to GoPhone smartphone plans

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is bringing HSPA+ and LTE data support to its GoPhone prepaid customers who use Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone or any other HSPA+ or LTE-enabled device, the carrier confirmed.

First reported by Engadget, the change marks a shift for AT&T, which previously withheld high-speed data access from its GoPhone customers. According to the report, existing GoPhone customers with an iPhone or HSPA+/LTE device will get an automatic update with network data access on June 21. AT&T refers to its HSPA+ network as "4G" and its LTE network as "4G LTE."

"Starting today, new AT&T GoPhone customers have the option of connecting to our nation's largest 4G network if they purchase a 4G or 4G LTE device at full retail price or bring their own 4G or 4G LTE device," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told FierceWireless.

The new data access is enabled only for GoPhone customers on AT&T's $65, $50, or $25 monthly plans. AT&T is also adding visual voicemail for GoPhone smartphone customers covered by the new features. The company's $65 prepaid plan comes with unlimited voice, texting and 1 GB of data, the $50 comes plan with unlimited voice and texting, and its $25 monthly plan comes with 250 voice minutes and unlimited texting, each with optional data packages. As an add-on to its prepaid smartphone plans, AT&T charges $25 for 1 GB, $15 for 200 MB and $5 for 50 MB.

AT&T's LTE network now covers 224 markets and nearly 200 million POPs. The company expects to hit 270 million POPs by year-end. AT&T claims more than 292 million POPs are covered by its HSPA+ network.

What makes the change interesting is that AT&T's new "Aio Wireless" prepaid brand only runs on the company's HSPA+ network, and the brand has said customers can expect to get downlink rates of up to 4 Mbps. Aio has not said if or when it will support LTE.

For more:
- see this Engadget article

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