& cplSiteName &

AT&T to Take Aio's Prepaid LTE Nationwide

Sarah Thomas
8/30/2013
50%
50%

AT&T is getting serious about prepaid, announcing Friday it will take its new contract-free brand Aio Wireless nationwide starting mid-September.

Aio, which runs over AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s LTE network, could give T-Mobile US Inc. a run for its money as both are targeting value-minded consumers in the US. But, right now, T-Mobile is more worried about Aio's color choice than its strategy. The Magenta operator last week filed suit against AT&T for its use of a similar hue of magenta in Aio marketing, noting that AT&T wants a "free ride from T-Mobile's success as America's Un-carrier by using magenta in its marketing." [Ed. Note: If color were patentable, wouldn't Crayola have done it?]

AT&T first launched the Aio brand in three cities May and has so far expanded to 11 southern cities in the US. The subsidiary offers plans ranging from $40 for 250MB of high-speed data, throttled at the cap, to $70 for 7GB. (See Hello Aio! AT&T Joins Prepaid MVNO Crowd.)

Why this matters
AT&T is going from having only a marginal prepaid strategy with its GoPhone line to a big push for prepaid over LTE with Aio to potentially a huge prepaid presence if its acquisition of Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) closes. (See AT&T to Acquire Leap Wireless for $1.19B.)

It's clear that prepaid subscribers, while not bringing in as much ARPU as the postpaid crowd, are becoming an important focus for the big wireless operators. That's in part because first-time smartphone buyers are where new growth is at, but also because T-Mobile's "uncarrier" strategy is starting to poach customers on the low end. T-Mobile added 1.1 million customers in the second quarter, its first quarter of customer growth in four years. (See T-Mobile Adds 1.1M Subs.)

For more

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
9/2/2013 | 5:31:58 PM
Re: Valid lawsuit
Haha. Excellent food analogy, Peter! That is the cycle that operators are hoping for. Given that Aio's pricing is so similar to T-Mobile's, plus both throttle speeds, I wonder what it would take for someone to make the switch, even with the ease of doing so?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
9/2/2013 | 5:30:09 PM
Re: Valid lawsuit
I suppose that's logical, kaop, and certainly is T-Mobile's position. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out, legally.
pzernik
50%
50%
pzernik,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/1/2013 | 7:57:17 PM
Re: Valid lawsuit
Poaching is a good word Sarah....Prepaid customer lack the loyalty component of traditional customers but these eggs are the easiest segment of the population to crack (steal from competitors), certainly tasty for breakfast and bring home the bacon (buy a phone at full cost), might stay for lunch (actually pay their bill), and turn into steak and eggs for dinner (become loyal post-paid customers).
kaop
50%
50%
kaop,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/1/2013 | 7:46:00 PM
Valid lawsuit
T-Mobile has a point because the company's nickname is Magenta.  Also, Aio's prepaid business is same as T-Mobil's no-contract model and aimed directly at the same value conscious consumers.
PaulERainford
50%
50%
PaulERainford,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/30/2013 | 12:00:37 PM
Patently wrong
T-Mob's position reminds me of BSkyB appropriating the word 'sky', so Microsoft had to ditch its Skydrive. I'm claiming the colour 'fucshia' as my own. Though I may have spelt it wrong.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/30/2013 | 11:54:29 AM
Re: Shades of magenta
Yeah the Twitter feud between them has been rather entertaining. 

Including AOI's response, here.

Pricing for AIO doesn't seem particularly revolutionary. It also looks like they're slowing down LTE to around 8 Mbps and banning tethering to ensure they don't cannibalize postpaid customers?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/30/2013 | 11:25:16 AM
Shades of magenta
It's been funny to see T-Mobile CEO John Legere defend this lawsuit on Twitter. (Btw, follow him @john_legere if you're not already. He's a hoot.) But, I have to say, it seems a little silly. Look at the logos. The colors aren't even all that similar...

From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.