First we had news of T-Mobile killing off their "Classic Plans" and subsidized devices, then we found out about their plans to sell Apple products, and now we have confirmation from FierceWireless that the carrier is planning on testing a new prepaid brand called GoSmart Mobile in select markets. If all goes well the company "plans a potential national launch sometime in 2013".
No details on which markets will be included in the initial testing phase or which devices will be supported on the network, although we can assume that any T-Mobile GSM compatible phone will work. As of right now the GoSmart official site lists only the Alcatel OT 838 (2.4 inch screen and 2 megapixel camera), which reminds me of a BlackBerry knockoff.
GoSmart Mobile looks to be offering three plans as of right now:
- A $30 plan for unlimited voice and text
- A $35 plan for unlimited voice, text, and 2G Web
- A $45 plan for unlimited Voice, Text and 3G (up to 5GB) Web. With unlimited 2G after that.
One glaring omission is the lack of 4G data, which can be had on other MVNOs that use T-Mobile's towers like Solavei or Straight Talk. Even T-Mo's in house prepaid plans offer the higher HSPA+ speeds so hopefully this will change before the national launch.
Between their own offerings, the soon to be merger with MetroPCS, and now GoSmart Mobile, the carrier is setting itself up to be a powerhouse in a cluttered prepaid field. Consolidating the three in the near future will hopefully provide enough of a push to get the option of a major prepaid service into the mainstream. Having switched over to their $30/5GB plan myself recently I find this news spectacular. Doing quick math over the average of two years I'm saving roughly $1,440 from what I was paying with Sprint. And that's with better speeds. Granted I live in a great coverage area but they are currently upgrading their infrastructure.
If Google keeps driving down the prices of high-end, unlocked phones like the Nexus 4 and T-Mobile can give great service at a cheap price, we can finally put the big two (sorry Sprint) on notice that they can't keep us bent over the barrel forever.