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

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.