H2O Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator that is managed by Fort Lee, N.J.-based Locus Telecommunications, announced it will provide unlimited data services using AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) 3G network. The news is notable considering AT&T last year killed its unlimited data service in favor of tiered data pricing.
H2O said its prepaid, $60-per-month "No-Contract Unlimited Everything Plan" provides unlimited mobile Web access along with unlimited talk, text and picture messaging.
"While most carriers are restricting mobile usage with expensive contracts and hidden data throttling, H2O Wireless has been working to do just the opposite," said Jack Woo, H2O's vice president, in a statement.
H2O confirmed that its unlimited data service provides 3G speeds. (Rival MVNO Simple Mobile provides unlimited data--advertised as supporting 4G speeds--for $60 per month using T-Mobile USA's HSPA network.)
While H2O currently does not offer any smartphones--the MVNO's handset offerings are limited to touchscreen feature phones such as the LG Vu and the LG Prime--the provider does allow users to bring unlocked GSM phones onto the service, including smartphones like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) N91 and Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1. The company would not reveal how many customers it currently serves with its service.
H2O's unlimited data via AT&T's network is notable since AT&T has routinely cited its overtaxed data network as a prime reason behind its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. In its announcement to acquire T-Mobile, AT&T argued that it faces "impending spectrum exhaust in key markets driven by the exponential growth in mobile broadband traffic on its network."
An AT&T spokesperson did not immediately return requests for comment about H2O's unlimited offering, and whether the offering represented a counter to AT&T's argument for acquiring T-Mobile.
The Department of Justice recently filed suit against the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, arguing such a transaction would not be in the public interest.
AT&T switched from unlimited smartphone data to tiered data pricing last year. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) instituted a similar change this year, and T-Mobile USA recently said it will throttle the speeds of smartphone users' data connections if they surpass their monthly usage allotments. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) remains the only major carrier that offers unlimited smartphone data.
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