AT&T takes its Aio prepaid service nationwide


AT&T’s(s t) experiment with a separately branded prepaid mobile service is about to go nationwide. Aio Wireless will be available to any U.S. customer in mid-September via its online portal.

My colleague Kevin Tofel covered the details of Aio’s pricing in May when AT&T took the service live in Houston, Tx. and Tampa and Orlando, Fla. The unlimited talk and texting plans come with data buckets ranging in size from 250 MB to 7 GB. Customers can select from Aio’s feature phones or smartphones or bring their own  AT&T-compatible device.

Aio’s hefty and cheap data plans clearly target heavy data users unwilling to sign up for AT&T’s contracts. That’s why it was odd that at launch Aio didn’t run over AT&T’s LTE network, only its HSPA systems. AT&T quickly rectified that in June, however, sending out an update to customer’s SIM cards that allowed their phones to tap into the LTE network.

Now that the service makes a bit more sense, AT&T has been using Aio to strike at T-Mobile(s tmus) and its no-contract inexpensive smartphone plans. AT&T certainly isn’t keeping its intended target secret. It’s home page states loud and clear “Say Goodbye to T-Mobile.”

AT&T AIO Goodbye T-Mobile

T-Mobile is fighting back, though it’s using a slightly different tactic. It’s suing AT&T, claiming the maroon-ish color Aio uses in its branding is too similar to T-Mo’s characteristic magenta to be a coincidence. Verge reader RJohnstone posted this handy color comparison in that tech news site’s comments section, so you can judge for yourself.

Aio T-Mobile color palette



Now if they would only add short code text support! So strangely frustrating they do not currently. Will stick with my Unlocked Tmobile on GoPhone in the meanwhile.


It takes a little work to manage each account/phone number, but the savings are well worth it. There is a unlimited talk text and 7GB data plan. This is what I am going to after my contract with Verizon falls off.

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