AT&T Prepaid has launched a new wireless plan and it is a peculiar throwback to the past with a 3Mbps speed cap. The new plan is priced at $50/month or $40/month with autopay billing. It includes unlimited talk, text, and data. The first 30GB of data consumed in a monthly billing cycle is available at the 3Mbps speed limit. After 30GB, data speeds are further reduced to 1.5Mbps. Additional plan features include talk, text, and data usage in Mexico and Canada and international texting to over 230 countries. Data usage in Canada is limited to 25GB per billing cycle before speeds are reduced to 512Kbps. Hotspot use is prohibited, content identified as video will stream no faster than 2Mbps. This plan is exclusive to single-line customers; it cannot be added to multiline accounts. Taxes and fees are extra.
What's peculiar about this plan is that AT&T once had a similar offering through its other prepaid brand, Cricket Wireless. In July 2017, BestMVNO reported on Cricket Wireless's launch of a promotional two-line for $80 unlimited data plan with a 3Mbps speed cap. That was followed up with the September 2017 launch of a regular rate card plan priced at $55/mo or $50/mo with autopay billing. Like the two-line promotional offer, it came with a 3Mbps speed cap, international texting to 38 countries, and talk text and data roaming in both Mexico and Canada. The plan was available for nearly 3 years, having been retired in July 2020.
It seems odd to me that AT&T would elect to bring back a plan through AT&T Prepaid very similar to what it first offered seven years ago through Cricket Wireless. It is unimaginative and seems out of place in today's market, particularly at the price point it's being offered at. Furthermore, given that the plan was removed from Cricket's lineup 3.5 years ago, I have to believe it wasn't something that appealed to potential subscribers yet now it's back with AT&T Prepaid.
This plan might be a more reasonable offering if its cost were reduced by half. There are just too many plans on the market right now offering a better value than this. Regardless of price, a speed-capped plan won't be suitable for everyone. In a 5G world where data speeds are capable of being multiple times faster than what they were when Cricket discontinued its offering in 2020, and with the continued growth of video consumption on mobile devices, a maximum speed cap of 3Mbps seems like it may be out of place in today's market. So if AT&T Prepaid wants people to actually subscribe to this plan, increasing its speed limit to 5-10Mbps and lowering its price to $20/month should make it more appealing. Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below.
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