T-Mobile USA today announced that it’s launching a new nationwide budget wireless service called GoSmart Mobile, targeting consumers looking for low-cost unlimited plans that won’t dock them with overage charges.
GoSmart joins a crowd of wireless ventures serving the fast-growing market for pre-paid unlimited wireless plans.
It’s also the first time Bellevue-based T-Mobile has launched a completely separate branded wireless service, aside from products it launched with Wal-Mart a few years ago, according to Shailendra Gujarati, GoSmart marketing director.
“We are looking at customers whose predominant needs when it comes to wireless are talking, texting or entry level data services,” he said.
Those customers include younger buyers, college students and people with incomes in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 per year. Or anyone tired of paying more and more for wireless service.
Gujarati said wireless bills for families are growing at about 7 percent a year and now average around $70 per month. GoSmart’s pitch to such families is affordable prices, simplicity — with no sneaky fees — and a nationwide network.
T-Mobile has been testing the GoSmart brand in nine markets since December and today announced that it’s rolling the service out nationally. The service runs on T-Mobile’s existing network.
GoSmart offers unlimited talk and text plans starting at $30 per month. A plan with “unlimited” Web data at 2G speeds costs $35 per month and a plan with “unlimited” Web data at 3G speeds costs $45 per month. Data speeds are throttled back if more than 5 gigabytes per month is consumed.
GoSmart is offering two handsets — a $49 basic phone and a $99 Android model — but during the test phase most customers brought their own GSM handsets to the service. The company charges $8 for a SIM card and activation kit.
The phones and service will be sold online and through a network of about 2,000 independent phone dealers. It won’t be sold through T-Mobile’s Web site, its stores or national retailers.
Under its primary brand, T-Mobile has been offering unlimited plans starting at $30 to customers who bring their own devices to the network. Those plans won’t be displaced by GoSmart, Gujarati said.