Light Reading

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
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...

From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.