AT&T offers data, new plan for prepaid customers amid COVID-19

AT&T has introduced a new low-cost wireless plan for Cricket and AT&T prepaid customers, along with additional data allowances for two months amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Available starting Friday (March 27) the prepaid plan includes 2GB of high-speed data with unlimited talk and text for $15 per month with no activation fee. AT&T said it’s only available for a limited time, but did not put an exact timetable on the offer.  

Among other steps the carrier said it’s taking to ease financial stress while the country continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus outbreak, AT&T is increasing data allotments for new and existing Cricket and AT&T prepaid customers for two months.

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Cricket and AT&T prepaid customers with capped data plans will get an additional 10GB per month for 60 days or two billing cycles.

AT&T is also adding 10GB of data for hotspot use for Cricket customers on unlimited plans, including those that don’t have a mobile hotspot. Cricket customers on the $60 per month unlimited plan with 15GB of mobile hotspot data will get an additional 10 GB for two billing cycles.

AT&T prepaid customers with an Unlimited Plus plan with tethering will get 10GB more of tethering per month for 60 days.  

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AT&T’s latest move comes a day after competitor T-Mobile launched its own low-cost postpaid $15 per month plan offering 2GB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and text, along with a similar prepaid offer for Metro by T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile had intended to launch its T-Mobile Connect postpaid plan after completing its merger with Sprint, but did so ahead of schedule in response to the virus outbreak. T-Mobile’s Metro prepaid offer is for a limited time over the next two months.  

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the U.S., with more than 81,000 known cases as of Thursday, according to the New York Times. Efforts to slow the spread have included orders from several states and local governments telling residents to stay home and temporarily closing nonessential businesses.

Wireless carriers have taken a variety of steps to ease strain on customers during the crisis, including removing data caps, pledging to keep customers connected for two months even if they’re unable to pay, and waiving overage and late fees.

On the prepaid front, Sprint’s Boost Mobile customers on unlimited data plans get 20GB of additional mobile hotspot data through April 30, and those on tiered plans automatically receive 20GB of data.  

For Verizon’s consumer prepaid customers, the carrier added 15GB of high-speed data through the end of April.