H2O Wireless extends data promo while sister company EnVie shuts down

Locus’ EnVie Mobile—which provided service through Verizon—has informed customers that service is being suspended.

Locus Telecommunications’ MVNO H2O Wireless extended a promotion it launched in December that increased the amount of data in its monthly prepaid plans. But its sister company EnVie Mobile has shut down.

H2O, which offers service on AT&T’s network, will continue to offer a 3 GB LTE plan for $30 a month and an 8 GB LTE plan for $40 a month. As the company pointed out, those plans undercut low-end plans from T-Mobile’s MetroPCS and AT&T’s Cricket Wireless, both of which offer a 1 GB plan for $30 a month and a 3 GB plan for $40 a month.

H2O said it “is evaluating on a month-to-month basis” whether to make the promotion a permanent upgrade. The company also prolonged a campaign for its H2O Bolt personal mobile hotspot, doubling the data allotment on its $50 plan to 20 GB through April.

“When we upgraded our data allotments for all new and existing customers at the end of the year, it created the best value in prepaid wireless,” H2O CEO Yas Matsuda said in a press release. “And this extension helps consumers continue reaping the benefits.”

Locus Telecommunications is a Fort Lee, N.J.-based subsidiary of the Japanese telecom KDDI. KDDI claims roughly 45 million mobile users and 8 million fixed-line broadband customers, and generated nearly $43 billion last year.

As PrepaidPhoneNews noted, however, Locus’ EnVie Mobile—which provided service through Verizon—has informed customers that service is being suspended. The MVNO cited “persistent underlying carrier issues” in a note informing dealers of the move, and Locus didn’t respond to a request for comment from FierceWireless.

Locus told dealers that H2O is offering a free month of service on its $40 plan, but as PrepaidPhoneNews pointed out may have to buy a new, AT&T-compatible phone to take advantage of the offer.

H2O tweaks its data offerings fairly regularly to keep pace with market forces. In 2013, it began offering unlimited data at $60 a month after discontinuing the offering and replacing it with a 2 GB cap in late 2011. In July, it sweetened its three most expensive plans, adding more data to each plan while leaving the pricing intact.

H2O’s latest move comes amid increasing competition in prepaid as the battle over unlimited data services has expanded into the market. T-Mobile’s MetroPCS expanded its monthly 8 GB plan to include unlimited data, while AT&T’s Cricket cut the price of its existing unlimited plan from $70 to $60 a month.

Sprint’s Boost has begun offering four lines of compressed unlimited data for $100 a month for users who switch carriers. And Sprint's Virgin brand joined the party with a new $60-a-month unlimited plan, Wave7 noted last week.