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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, March 2011 - MetroPCS Launches First 4G LTE Smartphone!
March 01, 2011

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - March 2011 Issue


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At Prepaid Wireless Guide I try to provide you with in-depth information that isn't readily available anywhere else.  Its content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry.

This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's in the news so that you can easily keep informed.  I believe in brief, to-the-point summaries/commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your day.  Each snippet includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the full details.

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Virgin Mobile Sets New Standard in Low Cost Smartphones
I’ve used the LG Optimus on other carriers; it’s a great handset, and certainly a welcome addition to the Virgin lineup.   2010 really saw the growth of prepaid smartphones, and we’re only seeing that accelerate in 2011!

PlatinumTel: Prepaid Plan for Android Smartphones
By Robbi
PlatinumTel now offers the Sanyo Zio Android smartphone.  While it’s not an Android phone that I can recommend (based on my hands-on review), it’s good to see PlatinumTel start its smartphone lineup.  I personally find the mechanics of their smartphone plans a bit bizarre, leaving many open questions, but maybe that’s just me.  Perhaps I’ll have a chance to test it at some point and report back.

Page Plus Cellular Adds More Data, Messages to Prepaid Cell Phone Plan (press release)
Page Plus announced that it increased the text and data allowance for its $29.95 plan from 1,200 texts and 50 MB of data, to 2,000 texts and 100 MB of data.  This is a smart move for a niche company that often goes unnoticed, despite some fairly competitive offerings.

Spot Mobile's North American Partner Starts Distribution
Spot Mobile enters the prepaid MVNO market with the value proposition of direct international calling at discounted rates.  It’s able to compete in the international long distance space due to assets it acquired from Yak America.  I hope they do well, for competition is always good, however, I would certainly not want to be a shareholder in a prepaid (or postpaid) wireless MVNO in this market.  Only time will tell.

Cricket Brings Music Download Service to Chicago
For those interested in Cricket’s unlimited music download offering, it’s now available in Chicago.  With only one compatible handset currently available, and customer preferences regarding how we like to consume music, I’m not yet optimistic that this service will drive the results Cricket needs to compete.

Verizon Blocking iPhone 4 from Page Plus Bring-Your-Own-Device Service
No surprise here.  Verizon (and more likely Apple) has prohibited the iPhone 4 from being used on its prepaid MVNO Page Plus.  It’s just a matter of time before this ban is lifted.  Even if it takes years, Apple will ultimately need to concede that prepaid is the wireless model of choice, and no longer has the stigma it used to.  i.e. Having an iPhone on a prepaid plan doesn’t diminish Apple’s brand!

MetroPCS Announces Its First LTE Enabled Android Phone
PC World
Finally!  We’ve been waiting for a “real” smartphone to become available on MetroPCS’ next generation 4G LTE network, and now we have the Samsung Galaxy Indulge.  Though at $399, it’s likely to remain a low volume handset.                   

MetroPCS COO: “We think feature phones are dead”
Prepaid Reviews (blog)
While I have no doubt that feature phones (i.e. non-smartphones) will ultimately be phased out of existence, I believe it will take at least five years before we can even begin to speculate when that will be.  As smart as smartphones are, they’re probably some of the most difficult handsets on which to make a basic phone call, and battery life is really pathetic.  Until these (and other) basic usability issues are resolved, there will always be people who just want to be able to pick up their phone, make a quick call, and have it last all weekend without being concerned about remember to bring a charger with them.  In other words, while this prediction is certainly true, it’s not only obvious, but incredibly premature to be discussing at this point. 

Smartphone Boom Reverberates Down to Leap
ConnectedPlanet (blog)
I don’t care what anyone says; 600K smartphone sales in one quarter is a lot of smartphones! has been predicting the introduction and proliferation of prepaid smartphones for some time now.  It’s great to finally see carriers catching on to this reality as I can assure you that this is not a trend, but rather the future of prepaid wireless as it continues to take over postpaid wireless plans.

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