Confirmed: AT&T launching prepaid family plans on GoPhone, with discounts up to $20/month per line

AT&T today confirmed to FierceWireless it plans to launch family plan options on its prepaid GoPhone service. AT&T joins Sprint’s Boost Mobile, T-Mobile’s MetroPCS and other prepaid providers in offering discounts to customers who activate multiple lines of service. The launch also represents a further effort by AT&T to continue to grow its prepaid customer base.

AT&T said that GoPhone customers who purchase its $45 (unlimited talk and text and 3 GB of high-speed data) or $60 per month (talk, text and 6 GB of high-speed data) prepaid plans are eligible for the family plan options. The family plan options essentially provide monthly service discounts depending on how many lines of service are added. For example, a customer could add one additional line of service and receive a $5 per month discount on that line. The discounts range up to a $20 per month discount for the fifth line of GoPhone service (and options up to 10 lines of service, with $20 per month discounts, are available to small businesses).

AT&T’s GoPhone family plan options are largely similar to those offered by other prepaid carriers. For example, Sprint’s Boost Mobile charges $35 for the first line of service and offers multi-line discounts ranging from $5 per month on the second line of service to $35 per month for the fifth line of service. Similarly, T-Mobile’s MetroPCS offers a first line of service for $50 per month and a second line for $25 per month, with 5 GB of high-speed data.

“This is a significant move from AT&T, as together with the current GoPhone BOGO offer, it shows that AT&T is serious about GoPhone sales. However, execution will be an issue and competitors such as MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Straight Talk still offer more value,” Jeff Moore of Wave7 Research told FierceWireless.

AT&T’s prepaid business, which stretches across its GoPhone and Cricket brands, continues to stand as a major driver for the company. In the second quarter, the company reported branded domestic phone net adds – both postpaid and prepaid – of 185,000, which the company attributed to the strength of its Cricket brand.

Specifically, AT&T said it lost 10,000 total subscribers during the second quarter, with 72,000 postpaid net adds and 365,000 prepaid subscriber net adds mostly offsetting losses of 446,000 reseller subscribers.

Further, the company counted 6.4 million branded smartphone gross adds and upgrades during the second quarter, which AT&T said included 1.6 million prepaid smartphones.

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