updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
Service currently limited to Houston, Orlando, Tampa
AT&T has officially launched Aio Wireless, an awaited MVNO carrier offering cheaper prepaid plans. Aio is offering Basic, Smart, and Pro tiers for phones, all of which including unlimited calling and texting. Basic costs between $35 and $40, and includes 250MB of data. Smart costs $55 per month for 2GB, and the $70 Pro plan ups the data cap to 7GB. Once a cap is exceeded, Aio begins throttling speeds. A special $15 tablet plan provides 250MB of data.
The carrier is selling various Android and Windows Phone devices, as well as the iPhone 5 and 4S. A 5 costs $649, while a 4S is $499. Alternately, people can choose to use their own unlocked phones.
There are two main drawbacks to Aio's service. 4G speeds are limited to just 4Mbps, despite LTE being capable of exceeding that rate several times over. The carrier is also currently restricted to residents of Houston, Orlando, and Tampa, although Aio says it's planning to deploy nationally in coming months.