GoSmart, a prepaid mobile access provider owned by T-Mobile, plans to offer free unlimited Facebook access to all customers - even those GoSmart customers who don't pay for a data plan.
GoSmart, which launched in February, offers talk-only plans starting at $25. Unlimited talk and text costs $30, with unlimited talk, text and web for $35. Add 5 GB of 3G-speed data for another $10 - $45 per month. All plans are contract-free.
Currently GoSmart only offers three phones; one is a simple talk and text model from Alcatel with a built-in keyboard; the other two are low-cost Android models priced at just under $100. But as a T-Mobile subsidiary they operate on T-Mobile's GSM network, so GoSmart also offers $8 mobile SIM kits for customers who prefer to bring their own device to the network - including an iPhone 5 nano SIM kit.
The Facebook plan provides free access to all GoSmart customers, even those that opt for the plans without web or high-speed data access. GoSmart says it'll start offering the deal in January.
Prepaid wireless carriers are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves, and T-Mobile has been remolding itself as the "Uncarrier" throughout 2013. The company began carrying the iPad this fall and offers free data access for users who already have a postpaid account with them. GoSmart would seem to be modeling itself in this vein - finding a way to offer customers something for free to entice them to sign up for service. And with about half of Facebook's customers accessing the service through some sort of mobile device, providing free access to Facebook could very well be a good reason for many budget-conscious customers to jump on board with a GoSmart-compatible device.