Light Reading
AT&T plans to go nationwide with its prepaid subsidiary, Aio Wireless, which is being sued by T-Mobile for using the color magenta.

AT&T to Take Aio's Prepaid LTE Nationwide

Sarah Reedy
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
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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...

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive