AT&T has announced that it has re-opened official support and access to GoPhone prepaid service to iPhone after a three-year blockade that began with the release of the iPhone 3G.
At the launch of the original iPhone, customers were able to officially activate iPhone on GoPhone without having to institute workarounds, while the launch of the 3G and 3GS forced AT&T to officially exclude the iPhone from prepaid access due to heavier data usage and the drive to sell postpaid accounts while it still had exclusivity. That forced many to use workarounds for GoPhone access until the loopholes were closed indefinitely, the last wave of changes allowed iPhone access again starting 18 months ago.
Now, AT&T is also opening GoPhone access to 4G LTE and HSPA devices, albeit with limitations on plan selection, as as the iPhone and 4G LTE/HSPA+ devices will all require separate data plan packages on the low-end $50/$25 plans, while the higher-end $65 smartphone plan will be reconfigured to support the aforementioned devices without losing Visual Voicemail support or other features required for full HSPA/LTE access on GoPhone.
As of May 24, 2013, new GoPhone customers who activate with an iPhone or 4G/LTE device can use network data. Visual Voicemail is also available, from May 24, 2013, or later, for customers who activate on a GoPhone monthly plan designed for smartphones.
Visual Voicemail is supported on $65, $50, and $25 monthly plans (with compatible devices). Visual Voicemail supports Windows 7.5 or higher, Apple 3GS or newer (with iOS 6.0 or higher), and Compatible Android Devices
While the update to GoPhone service is welcomed, it does follow AT&T’s launch of its first spinoff brand in AiO Wireless, which is a wholly-owned flat-rate prepaid service provider available in select markets in the same vein as T-Mobile’s GoSmart Mobile. Current customers that wish to take advantage of the new changes will be able to call AT&T customer service to manually reprovision their accounts and devices starting today, while over-the-air updates will be pushed out next month on the 21st to enable all devices to be fully GoPhone compatible.