AT&T Prepaid (formerly GoPhone) is AT&T's own prepaid brand and can be obtained directly from the carrier or at select retailers, such as Walmart. They offer different monthly smartphone plans, or a pay as you go daily option, as well as data-only hotspot & tablet plans.
Currently Available Plans:
- Phone Plans:
- Walmart Phone Plans
- Offers change semi-frequently, but often include mobile hotspot
- Tablet / Hotspot Plans:
- 2GB, 5GB, 8GB (Hotspot OK)
- Tablet Prepaid Unlimited Plan (See below)
Tablet Prepaid Unlimited Plan
Out of AT&T's prepaid options, the Tablet Prepaid Unlimited plan is the most interesting and is also one of our "top pick" data plans.
The plan is a session-based prepaid plan designed for tablets, cellular-enabled cameras, and gaming devices. It was first released in 2010 with the launch of the cellular iPad, and quickly retired (but customers grandfathered in as long as they continued to renew).
AT&T brought the plan back in June 2017 and made it available to all tablet devices. Later cellular-enable cameras and gaming devices were added as options, but tablets remain the most useful device for this plan.
The plan originally cost $29.99/month with autopay (or $35 on a month-to-month as needed basis) but that price will increase by $5/month starting in May 2019.
This is a violation of the plan terms of service that could be enforced in the future!
Because of this lack of enforcement, the plan has become very popular as an inexpensive unlimited data option in hotspots and cellular embedded routers.
There are even vendors, particularly on eBay, that will set you up a line using their tablet's (or a spoofed) IMEI number. You then become a direct AT&T prepaid customer.
Tablet Prepaid Unlimited Plan News Stories:
- AT&T Increases Prepaid DataConnect Unlimited Tablet Plan by $5/month Posted on: April 18, 2019
- AT&T Brings Back Unlimited Tablet Plan for $29.99/month Posted on: June 6, 2017
- End of an Era: Old AT&T iPad Unlimited Data Plans Now Subject to Network Management Posted on: April 28, 2017
For Our Comparative Pricing Grid:
Guide to Cellular Data Plan Pricing
We do not keep a prepaid AT&T plan in our testing arsenal.
Policies & Perks:
- Carrier Networks Used: AT&T
- Carrier Relation: Direct prepaid
- Plan Types Available: Phone, Tablet, Hotspots, Connected Devices
- Device Types Permitted: Phones, Tablets, Hotspots, Cameras, Gaming Devices
- Device Purchase Required: No, but can purchase a device
- Mobile Hotspot Use:
- Phone Plans:
- Capped Data Plans: Yes - all
- Unlimited ($65): None
- Unlimited + Hotspot ($85): 10GB Hotspot Data
- Hotspot Plans: Yes, all data (these are all capped plans with no unlimited data option)
- Unlimited Tablet Plan: No mobile hotspot use - however, many folks take the SIM card out of a tablet once activated and successfully utilize it in a hotspot device (this is very much against AT&T's terms of service.)
- Phone Plans:
- Throttling: Plans experience full network speeds until the data cap (if any) is reached. Speeds are then throttled to 128kbps for the remainder of the month.
- Network Management: Unlimited Phone Plan ($65) (w/o hotspot feature) is always subject. All other plans are subject at 22GB.
- International Roaming: All plans except the 1GB option include unlimited voice, text & full allotment of on-device data in Mexico & Canada. AT&T may cancel your plan for using more than 50% of this service outside the US. The 10GB of hotspot data for the +hotspot unlimited plan is restricted to the US only. The Tablet Unlimited Plan is US only.
- Domestic Roaming: (unconfirmed) - AT&T Prepaid seems to include domestic roaming, and likely has similar limits to postpaid accounts.
- Plan Period: 30 days
- Data Roll Over: Unused data on tiered plans rolls over to the next month, as long as the account is kept active.
- Overage Charges: None
- Additional high-speed data can be purchased for capped plans by the MB or GB
- Streaming: Most plans come with Stream Saver (SD) which can be turned off to experience full HD video. The cheaper unlimited plan is always kept at SD. The Unlimited Tablet Plan does not include Stream Saver.
- Unlimited: Yes
- $65 Plan: No mobile hotspot use, always network managed
- $85 Plan: 10GB mobile hotspot use, network management at 22GB
- Tablet Plan: No mobile hotspot use, network management at 22GB.
- Device Lock/Unlock Policy: AT&T Prepaid devices are eligible for unlocking after 6 months of active service.
- AT&T Prepaid Walmart Exclusive Promo - 25GB for $40 Posted on: June 11, 2019
- AT&T Prepaid Double Data Promotion For New Customers Posted on: May 15, 2019
- AT&T Prepaid 16GB for $40 - Limited Time Offer Posted on: April 12, 2019
- AT&T Prepaid $20/Month AutoPay Discount is Back until April 2019! Posted on: February 18, 2019
- AT&T Offers $20 AutoPay Discount on Prepaid Unlimited Plans - Limited Time Promotion Posted on: November 5, 2018
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Unlimited Tablet Plans:
The tablet unlimited plan can only be activated from your tablet, not online or in stores.
- For iPads use this link: att.com/ipadlanding
- For other tablet models and compatible devices: https://buyasession.att.com/sbd/Common/ShopRatePlans.action