Yesterday, T-Mobile officially launched a prepaid plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB of hard capped data for $15/month. A similar plan is being temporarily offered on Metro-By-T-Mobile as well. Today, AT&T has responded with offers of its own. Starting on March 27th, AT&T Prepaid will offer an unlimited talk and text plan with 2GB of high-speed data for $15/month. AT&T owned Cricket Wireless will also be offering the same plan. Neither provider will be charging an activation fee.
AT&T Prepaid and Cricket Wireless state that the plans are being made available to give relief to people facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 crisis. Both plans are said to be limited-time offers which are in contrast to T-Mobile's new plan but similar to Metro's offering. T-Mobile's plan will be a permanent fixture. Metro's $15 plan is basically a 50% off discount on its $30 plan and will only be available for 60 days. AT&T Prepaid and Cricket have not specified exactly how long their plans will be made available. They are however available to both new and existing customers. Unlike T-Mobile's offer, sources confirmed that data will not be hard-capped with either plan.
Besides the new plan offering, both AT&T Prepaid and Cricket Wireless are temporarily enhancing their customers' phone plans. The wireless brands are both giving customers that have data caps 10GB of additional data to use each month for 60 days. New customers who activate service with AT&T Prepaid after April 26 will only receive the extra data allotment for 30 days. Perhaps by accident, Cricket Wireless does not have the April 26 stipulation listed in the press release they put out today about their offer.
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Those with an unlimited high-speed data plan on either provider will automatically get 10GB of hotspot data each month added to their plans. If the plan already comes with hotspot data it will get an extra 10GB of hotspot data to use. The extra hotspot data allotment will only be made available for 60 days before reverting back to normal. Those who signup with AT&T Prepaid after April 26th will get the extra hotspot data for just 30 days. Cricket Wireless also omitted this date stipulation from their press release, so it may not be applicable to them.
Update: 3/27/2020 - AT&T Prepaid announced more details about the plan which you can purchase here. Additional details about the plan are that it includes Rollover data, unlimited texting to over 100 countries, ability to stream videos in 1080p and mobile hotspot.
BestMVNO reached out to industry analyst Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research for commentary on the new offers from AT&T Prepaid and Cricket Wireless. Said Moore:
"Cricket and AT&T Prepaid are clearly matching the $15/month 2GB plan that Metro and T-Mobile prepaid have launched. But they're pushing the envelope further by offering the plans with unlimited 2G data. It will be interesting to see whether Boost and Verizon prepaid respond. For consumers, the timing is good, as incomes plummet due to the coronavirus."
It will be interesting indeed to see how Boost and Verizon respond now that T-Mobile got the ball rolling.