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T-Mobile takes GoSmart Mobile national

T-Mobile has taken the leap we expected. Late last year we learned that they were experimenting with a new prepaid service, and last month we learned that they would take GoSmart Mobile nationwide in February. Yesterday they took the leap, officially announcing the service. It is now available at over 3,000 locations nationwide, as well as GoSmartMobile.com. As we saw in the trial run, its offerings will be competitive with the major prepaid services currently available.

GoSmart Mobile is featuring its $35 monthly plan, which offers unlimited minutes and messaging, plus unlimited web. The only issue is that the web is at 2G speeds. Still, that makes for an interesting comparison with Straight Talk. They offer unlimited minutes, messages and 3G web for $45 per month. Is 3G really worth the extra $10 per month?

If it is, GoSmart has a $45 option that includes 5GB of 3G data, which is throttled to 2GB speeds after the user exceeds the limit. This is a bit more straight forward than Straight Talk’s floating limit policy. That is, if you use 2GB in the first five days of your GoSmart billing cycle, you still have 3GB for the rest of the month. With Straight Talk you might get throttled after those first five days.

At this point the GoSmart phone lineup is quite lacking. It has the ZTE V768, a touchscreen Android device, but it still runs the ancient Android 2.3 software and is the size of the old iPhone models. The other available phone, the Alcatel OT 838, is a BlackBerry-like phone that provides few useful features in the modern mobile world. Facebook integration is nice, but it’s nothing groundbreaking.

The biggest draw for GoSmart will be its SIM card kit, which is for use with unlocked phones and T-Mobile-branded phones. There are restrictions, which can be found on the GoSmart Mobile website.

By offering a prepaid service without its main brand, T-Mobile is apparently opening up avenues for its prepaid growth. It has seemingly worked for Sprint. For T-Mobile, a company increasingly focused on prepaid, it could prove a profitable move.

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