By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Alpharetta, Ga. — AT&T has created a new subsidiary to market no-contract 4G wireless phone service under the Aio Wireless brand.
Aio Wireless, based here, launched service in three markets — Houston, Orlando and Tampa — and plans to roll out in multiple markets across the U.S. over the next year with a quartet of what it calls simplified, value-price plans and a variety of unsubsidized smartphones.
The service and products are available on AIO’s website and in select stores in the three markets.
Phones are available from Samsung, ZTE, Nokia and Apple, including the 16GB iPhone 5 at $649, iPhone 4S at $549, iPhone 4 at $449, and reconditioned iPhone 4 and 4S models. Other smartphones range in price from $49 to $249.
The company also offers a 7-inch cellular-equipped ZTE tablet at $179 and two feature phones from Samsung and ZTE at $29 and $49, respectively.
Aio also sells SIM cards at $9.99 for users who bring their own device to the network.
Aio offers 4G data download speeds up to 4Mbps on AT&T’s HSPA+21Mbps network.
Three phone plans range in price from $35/month to $70/month, and all offer unlimited talk and MMS messaging along with full-speed data up to select amounts, after which data rates slow.
The $40/month Aio Basic plan costs $40/month with 250MB of high-speed data and is available only for feature phones. For smartphones, Aio offers two plans. The $55 Aio Smart plan offers 2GB of high-speed data, and the Pro plan offers 7GB of high-speed data. The Aio Tablet plan offers 250MB of high-speed data at $15/month for the ZTE tablet.
Aio service is available only at Aio-brand stores operated by third parties and selling Aio service exclusively. Aio is also available at Aio’s website in the current markets where Aio is available, a spokesman told TWICE. Retailers interested in becoming Aio dealers can visit www.aiowireless.com/becomeadealer.
The company, however, is open to distribution changes in the future. The company “will continue to evaluate this model,” the spokesman said.
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