AT&T drops price, adds LTE data to GoPhone smartphone plans

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) revamped its GoPhone prepaid plans, as it recently promised it would, and highlighted the fact that its GoPhone customers can access its LTE network, which now covers more than 200 million POPs.

AT&T said last week it would soon refresh its GoPhone plans as it works to expand prepaid sales. Under the changes, AT&T's high-end GoPhone plan now comes with twice as much data as before and its price has been cut from $65 to $60. The new plans, which are available starting June 21, break down as follows:

  • $60 per month for unlimited voice, messaging and 2 GB of data, up from 1 GB before. Additional data is available for $10 per 1 GB.
  • $40 per month for 500 voice minutes, unlimited messaging and 200 MB of data. Additional data is available for $5 per 100 MB.
  • $25 per month for 250 voice minutes, unlimited messaging, with an optional data package of 50 MB for an additional $5 per month.
  • All GoPhone monthly plans include international texts from the U.S. to Mexico, Canada and 100 other countries.

New and existing GoPhone customers can bring their own HSPA+ or LTE smartphones or choose a new GoPhone device with the plans. AT&T GoPhone monthly plans are also available for quick messaging and feature phones,.

AT&T also will sell the LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy Express starting on June 21 for $249.99 through its GoPhone service. The phone runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and sports a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

AT&T has been working during the past several months to expand its prepaid efforts. The carrier last month launched its new "Aio Wireless" prepaid brand, which runs on the company's HSPA+ network and does not offer LTE access. The Aio brand supports the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 620 for $179.99, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 for $649.99, the Samsung Galaxy Express for $249.99, the Samsung Galaxy Amp for $99.99 and the ZTE Prelude for $49.99. Aio also offers a handful of feature phones.

Other carriers continue to be aggressive in the prepaid market. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ recently increased the amount of data available to prepaid customers on its 3G network in a bid to drive prepaid 3G data sales. On its existing $60 per month prepaid plan, which includes unlimited calling and texting, Verizon increased the data allotment from 500 MB to 2 GB. On its $70  plan, Verizon raised its data allotment to 4 GB per month, up from 2 GB previously.

For its part, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) continues to support a range of prepaid plans through its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands. Indeed, Sprint just announced that Boost will launch the Samsung Galaxy S III, which can run on Sprint's LTE network, for $399.99 without a contract. Sprint has been offering LTE service through Boost and Virgin since March.

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