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T-Mobile prepaid service to offer free Facebook access

The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

NEW YORK (Reuters) - GoSmart, the prepaid service of No. 4 U.S. operator T-Mobile US, said on Monday it would offer its customers free access to Facebook Inc whether or not they subscribe to its Internet service.

GoSmart said it hopes the offer will help the company attract customers and encourage some existing customers to spend more money on its service.

Prepaid services like GoSmart's allow customers to pay for their service in advance rather than in a recurring monthly bill. Once a niche market segment, prepaid is becoming more competitive with bigger rivals such as AT&T Inc looking to expand there.

Customers who opt for GoSmart's $25 per month talk only plan or its $30 talk and text plan will be able to use Facebook, but at slower speeds and these customers will not be able to click on links to other sites unless they pay for data.

T-Mobile executive Gavin Dillon said while some of these customers would be content with using Facebook on slower speeds, it could entice others to upgrade to service plans ranging from $35 to $45 per month, which include data.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew)

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