AT&T takes unlimited data to prepaid


WhistleOut
13 March 2017


Last week, Virgin Mobile brought unlimited data to its prepaid plans. Now, it’s AT&T’s turn – so how does the company’s newest unlimited plan compare?

AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid plans now include an all-new unlimited fast data option. The plan is priced at $60 per month for a single line (after a $5 monthly AutoPay discount), and includes unlimited talk, unlimited domestic and international text, and unlimited data.

Customers on the plan will also receive unlimited talk from the US to Mexico and Canada, plus unlimited calls, texts and data roaming when traveling through either country – at no extra cost. But before you jump on GoPhone Unlimited, you need to be aware of the fine print.

The catch

Data speeds on this plan are limited to 3Mbps. That’s plenty fast enough for your day-to-day web browsing and social media use, but it does mean that video streams are restricted to standard definition only (480p), with a maximum speed of  1.5Mbps.

It also seems that AT&T’s ‘network management’ policy of throttling unlimited data customers that exceed 22GB of monthly fast data still applies to prepaid subscribers. So you’re free to stream, download and post all you like, but heavy data users may find their speeds slowed during busy traffic times.

The pricing and speed restrictions are on par with AT&T’s newly-launched Unlimited Choice prepaid plan. With $60 per month pricing for an individual line, the 3Mbps-limited plan is a cheaper, albeit slightly slower, option for AT&T users wanting to avoid the pricey $90 Unlimited Data Plus.

Can I find a better deal?

If you’re not hugely into watching videos via smartphone, or are happy with standard resolution, 1.5Mbps streaming limits shouldn’t be an issue. But customers who want unlimited data precisely so they can enjoy more streaming media in HD might want to go elsewhere for their fast data needs.

Unfortunately, comparable prepaid options from Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless also include limited streaming, with a 480p resolution cap. MetroPCS, however, gives customers the option of switching its ‘Data Maximiser’ video streaming limit on or off, even on the $60 unlimited data plan.

Otherwise, customers with fast data needs who want all-HD streaming may need to stick to a postpaid plan. Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom is currently priced at $50 per month, while T-Mobile’s One unlimited plan starts at $70.

Verizon customers can take home unlimited data for $80 per month, while staying with AT&T for unlimited 4G LTE data and HD video will cost customers $90, as outlined above. 

AT&T’s new unlimited GoPhone plan is available to all prepaid customers now. To find the best unlimited data deal for you, start comparing below. 

Carrier Inclusions  
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Plan - Free for 1 Year - Verizon Customers Only
  • Unlimited Data
  • No Contract
  • $0/mo + $12.99 Upfront
ROK Mobile
ROK Mobile
  • Unlimited Data Plan Sprint
  • Unlimited Data
  • No Contract
  • $45/mo
ROK Mobile
ROK Mobile
  • Unlimited CDMA plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • No Contract
  • $50/mo
Ultra Mobile
Ultra Mobile
  • $49 Monthly Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • No Contract
  • $50/mo

About AT&T...
iPhone SE

AT&T in one of the big four cell phone carriers in the United States with a massive customer base and huge network footprint across the U.S. 

  • Where to Buy: Online, in-store, over the phone
  • Bring Your Own Phone: If you have an unlocked GSM phone and your phone supports AT&T's LTE bands, you can bring your own phone to AT&T
  • Locations: AT&T's network and services are available nationally. AT&T's headquarters are in Dallas, Texas
  • Tethering: Customers can use their AT&T plan as a mobile hotspot, though usage is specific to each plan. Unlimited plans on AT&T have a hotspot cap of 10GB per month. 
  • Network: 4G LTE network using band 17 and band 5 (700Mhz, 850Mhz), band 2 and 4 (1900Mhz, 1700/2100Mhz). Many MVNOs (smaller carriers) also use the AT&T network. AT&T also supports HSPA (3G) & (3.5G) HSPA+.
  • Coverage: AT&T consistently ranks #2 in network coverage tests.
  • Prepaid: AT&T's pre-paid brand is call GoPhone -- AT&T also owns Cricket Wireless.
  • Taxes & Fees: AT&T will charge state taxes and fees on top of your monthly cell phone plan cost.

Fact: With over 147 million customers in the US and Mexico, AT&T is one of the largest wireless providers in the world. AT&T also owns Cricket Wireless. Take a look at AT&T's current wireless dealsAT&Ts phone line-up, or our review of AT&T



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