There are two main kinds of tariff that mobile consumers subscribers all over the world can use and they have slightly different names depending on where you are and your particular carrier. The main difference is when the customer pays for the service: prepay tariffs are where the customer pays for everything up front, typically in the form of buying credit, which may be applied to an account, either simply as cash or exchanged for airtime, text messages and data allowance. Sometimes, customers can see both credit and a bundled allowance. Prepay plans have the very real advantage that they are flexible and the customer is completely in control of spending: if one puts $30 onto the account, that is the most that may be charged until more is added. The flexibility is that the customer may decide not to top up one month, or even switch carrier completely. The other kind of tariff is where the customer is charged after use, although in some cases the airtime is paid for in advance and overuse is chargeable after the event. Some post pay tariffs are longer term, some are short term but in North America, the legacy style, two year plans are dying out.
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Today’s story concerns prepay, North American market where we’ve seen an unconfirmed report that tomorrow, Wednesday 6 January 2016, AT&T will be polishing a couple of their GoPhone prepaid plans. Customers on the $60 GoPhone prepaid plan will benefit from an increase of 20% data allowance, moving from 4 GB to 5 GB of high speed Internet access a month. Customers on the $45 GoPhone plan, currently benefiting from 1.5 GB of monthly data allowance, are seeing their data increase by 33% to 2 GB. In each case, the rumor is that the monthly rates are staying the same. Whilst this is a rumor, and should be taken with a pinch of salt until AT&T confirm this, should these plan changes follow the GoPhone usual approach, customers will benefit from increased data allowances from their next billing cycle.
It is not all good news, however: the $0.10 prepaid talk plan is being moved to a $0.25 plan, although the rumor states that customers currently using the ten cent plan can continue using this for the time being. It is unclear if customers will be automatically moved to the higher rate plan or if AT&T are implementing this change for new customers only.