Dallas – AT&T switched gears and will begin offering an LTE-equipped smartphone for use with its GoPhone repaid plans.
The announcement follows last month’s decision to allow people to add GoPhone service to an existing LTE phone or to an LTE phone that they buy at full price from AT&T.
Only 4G HSPA+21 service was available previously with GoPhone service. Only HSPA+21 is available with AT&T’s prepaid Aio Wireless brand, launched in May as a subsidiary. Aio service is available exclusively through Aio Wireless-branded stores operated by third parties and at Aio’s web site in a handful of markets to date.
The first LTE-equipped GoPhone is the Samsung Galaxy Express, available June 21 for $249 online, AT&T company-owned retail stores, and other GoPhone retailers.
The phone can be activated with one of the GoPhone prepaid plans for smartphones, including a $60/month plan with 2GB of data, unlimited nationwide calling, and unlimited messaging. Additional data is available for $10 per 1 GB. A $40/month plans allows for 200MB of data, 500 minutes of nationwide calling, and unlimited messaging. Additional data is available for $5 per 100MB. And a $25/month offers 250 minutes of nationwide calling, unlimited messaging, and an optional data package of 50MB for $5 a month. GoPhone smartphone users can also choose a $50 unlimited talk and text plan with Wi-Fi data only.
The Galaxy Express features Android Jelly Bean OS, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 5-megapixel rear facing camera with 720p 30 fps video recording, 1.3-megapixel front facing camera with VGA 15 fps video capture, 1GB RAM, 8GB embedded storage, and 32GB MicroSD card slot. It also features S Beam, which combines NFC with Wi-Fi Direct to enable sharing of large files such as videos with other S Beam-capable devices.
AT&T GoPhone plans are also available for quick messaging and basic phones with several plans. One $35/month plan offers 500 minutes of nationwide calling, unlimited data and unlimited messaging.