Ptel Bolsters Prepaid Mobile Plans, Starting at $20 a Month

The $20 plan includes no data use, while a $25 plan offers unlimited data at 2G speeds. Plans start at $35, including data at up to 4G LTE speeds in various amounts.

Ptel prepaid mobile plans

Prepaid wireless vendor Ptel Mobile has launched or updated five no-contract phone plans starting at $20 with no data capabilities, and ranging up to $65 a month, including up to 4GB of data.

The plans were unveiled by Chicago-based Ptel in an Aug. 7 announcement. The company's plans offer users service through T-Mobile USA's 4G LTE network.

An all-new $20 monthly plan includes unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited international texting, but no data, while a monthly plan that includes unlimited talk, texting, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), global texting and unlimited data at 2G speeds has been dropped in price to $25 per month, down $10 from its previous $35 monthly pricing, according to the company.

Another plan that gets a $5 price drop is the updated $35 monthly plan, which includes unlimited talk, texting, MMS and global texting, plus 500MB of data use at up to 4G LTE speeds. That plan formerly was offered at $40 per month. An existing $50 monthly plan includes unlimited talk, texting, MMS and global texting, plus 2GB of data. That plan formerly was offered at up to 4G speeds, but the speed has now been bumped up to 4G LTE capabilities.

An all-new top plan at $65 a month includes unlimited talk, texting, MMS and global texting, plus 4GB of data at up to 4G LTE speeds.

"Serving our customers since 2001, PTel Mobile continues to adapt to the needs of our subscribers and the ever-changing landscape of no-contract wireless service," Omar Abhari, senior vice president of operations of PTel Mobile, said in a statement. "Our new plans show a true variety that can appeal to an array of consumers—whether they're looking for an affordable option, starting at $20 per month or a plan with 4GB of data, PTel Mobile offers it all."

PTel Mobile is owned by PlatinumTel Communications, according to the company. Ptel Mobile also offers mobile service from another of its brands, GIV Mobile, which gives 8 percent of a subscriber's monthly payment to charities of the subscriber's choice, according to an eWEEK report.

Earlier this week, T-Mobile released figures that it claims now give it leadership in the growing prepaid wireless marketplace. T-Mobile US said in an announcement that it now has 15.64 million prepaid wireless customers, compared with 15.19 million such customers for rival Sprint. Meanwhile, AT&T has 11.34 million prepaid customers, while Verizon Wireless reports 6.04 million prepaid customers, according to T-Mobile's announcement. The source of the statistics was not revealed in the announcement.

T-Mobile's claims came a day after a rumored merger with Sprint came apart. For months, Sprint had been rumored to be seeking a merger with T-Mobile so that the two struggling companies could join together and fight harder to compete with mobile powers Verizon Wireless and AT&T. But all the talk for months was just rumors since neither company would comment publicly about any such alliance.

T-Mobile had merged in May 2013 with prepaid wireless carrier MetroPCS, bringing it more customers and tripling its market reach to 45 major metro areas and nearly 10,000 stores, according to an eWEEK report at the time.

In June, T-Mobile's prepaid wireless offerings got a boost when the company announced the availability of Apple iPhone 5S smartphones for prepaid customers for the first time, according to an earlier eWEEK story.

T-Mobile's latest prepaid wireless customer news also came the same day that rival and merger hopeful Sprint announced that it is replacing its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Marcelo Claure, the founder and CEO of Brightstar, a subsidiary of SoftBank, which is also Sprint's parent company.

Meanwhile, even as the merger rumors have been swirling recently around Sprint and T-Mobile, another player, French telecom Iliad, has made its own bid to acquire T-Mobile, according to a recent eWEEK report.

The original Sprint, T-Mobile merger rumors heated up in June with a report in The New York Times that a deal was pending for Sprint to buy its rival for $32 billion. None of the involved companies, including T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom, ever confirmed or officially announced such a deal.