Update October 28,2015: Brightspot will no longer be offering wireless service to customers after January 14, 2016. Until then, as long as you have money in your account, your Brightspot service will be active. For all Brightspot users, T-Mobile offers free month of service if they move their account to T-Mobile.
T-Mobile MVNO Brightspot that’s offered exclusively at Target has notified its customers on shutting down their operations by the end of this year. Brightspot has sent a text message to its customers with the following content:
“Brightspot and T-Mobile are partnering to bring you even better wireless plans. No need to take any action now as brightspot service will continue through the end of this year. Look for more info in the coming weeks on how you can easily transition to T-Mobile plans which offer more value, 4G LTE data and can save you money.”
Brightspot’s shutdown scheduled for the end of 2015 has been rumored for some time now. A HowardForums user has been told by a Target employee “that the service is being discontinued” and that all phones have been offered for a half price. Also, on The Breakroom.org, which is a forum for Target employees, it says:
“Brightspot endcap: program will be discontinued and replaced with Bring your own device (byod).
Brightspot airtime will move inline to support a few additional months of service for guests. Airtime will come down in future revision.”
Now that it’s official, customers are advised to transition to T-Mobile prepaid service plans. This is a logical move since the carrier already uses T-Mobile to provide service although Brightspot doesn’t offer LTE like T-Mobile does, only HSPA+, unthrottled. However, HSPA+ shouldn’t necessarily be slower than LTE since LTE on Simply Prepaid plans is throttled to 8Kbps. Just to compare, the Brightspot plans are:
- $30 plan – unlimited talk and messaging only, no data
- $35 plan – 300 voice minutes, unlimited messaging and unlimited data with first 3 GB at high speeds
- $45 plan – unlimited talk, messaging and data with first 1 GB at high speeds
- $55 plan – unlimited talk, messaging and data with first 3 GB at high speeds
- $40 plan – unlimited talk, text and data with first 1GB of 4G LTE
- $50 plan – unlimited data, text and data with first 3GB of 4G LTE
- $60 plan – unlimited data, text and data with first 5GB of 4G LTE
There is also a Walmart exclusive $30 plan with 100 voice minutes, unlimited texts and 5 GB of data and a $35 unlimited talk and text plan. While some of the above mentioned T-Mobile prepaid plans can compete to Brightspot’s, there are also $10 pricier prepaid plans on T-Mobile that offer un-throttled LTE data allotments, data roaming, mobile hotspot, international texts and unlimited talk and text. The plans offer 1GB, 3GB, 5GB and unlimited un-throttled 4G LTE data for $50, $60, $70 and $80 per month, respectively.