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
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Innovating Access Technology With G.fast

10|1|14   |   3.42   |   (0) comments


Exploring the potential of G.fast technology from the point of view of the Broadband Forum, Huawei – and an end-user.
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed