Prepaid Wireless Tracker -
June 2011 Issue
Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Wireless Guide I try to provide you with in-depth information that
readily available anywhere else. Its content is original, and
from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry.
This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's in the
that you can easily keep informed. I believe in brief,
summaries/commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your day.
Each snippet includes a link to the original story should you
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T-Mobile USA Sweetens Prepaid Data Access Offerings
In the wake of stiff competition, as well as the pending AT&T
T-Mobile ups the ante by improving its prepaid data plans. 2GB of data on a
smartphone certainly didn’t
cut it; upping that to unlimited is a wise move.
Though, at $70, this plan is far from inspiring
in the currently hyper-competitive prepaid landscape.
HP Offers Prepaid
3G Laptop Data Plans
Certain lines of HP laptops will now offer prepaid HP Data Pass
running on the Sprint broadband network.
While I like the idea of prepaid broadband proliferation,
the usefulness of data plans (whether prepaid or postpaid), a device
be used by multiple PCs (ex. USB Modems, MiFi Hotspots) is probably a
route for most people. Also,
most people will find that pricing is nothing notably competitive
prepaid broadband plans already available in the market.
Leap's Mixed Bag for Q1,
Despite its net losses, Cricket’s stats were looking good enough to
stock a boost. Despite
and media around its Muve music unlimited model, if it doesn’t offer
service on its smartphones, I can’t see this product going anywhere. Perhaps it’s an investment
limitation, or a
DRM issue that needs to be resolved at the handset level by its OEMs, I
know; however, notwithstanding, without a broader compatible handset
in 12 months no one will be talking about Muve.
Hopefully that won’t be the case, and what we’re
witnessing is a
cautious rollout strategy.
Clearwire Drops Rover Prepaid WiMAX Brand
I suppose it’s arguable that offering its own prepaid branded product
of its own branded products for that matter) never made any sense. When I chatted with the
Rover online support
via their website, they noted that their product is still available,
and no end
date for product availability is currently known (or at least it’s not
shared!). I suspect
will simply migrate to a Sprint branded product with no contract.
Fight vs. Verizon Wireless
It’s amusing to see AT&T and Verizon continue to attempt to
and the industry feel as though they’re still interested in the prepaid
pricing has come way down,
however, still lacks true data (i.e. don’t be deceived by the pricing). At some point they’ll need
to either jump
into prepaid wholeheartedly, or decide that their core prepaid business
remain in the MVNO space.
Verizon Adds $50 Unlimited Prepaid Plan
I’m really liking the Unleashed plans, however, excluding smartphones
offer again speaks a “one-foot-in” mentality.
I’m still a large proponent of having ALL phones available
on ALL plans,
where only the price of the phone changes depending on whether it’s
(i.e. subsidized) or prepaid. I
only time will tell.
MetroPCS Worried Over
I suppose it goes without saying that MetroPCS (along with Cricket,
a host of others) are concerned over the proposed AT&T,
AT&T’s arguments to
the contrary, my gut tells me that such a merger would not be good for
consumers in the long run. It
interesting to see how the case unfolds.
Sprint's Likely Buyer May
Be CenturyLink After AT&T
The most interesting aspect of this article is the comment regarding
buying MetroPCS or Leap (i.e. Cricket) as a means of growing its
avoid a sale of the company. Cricket
the obvious candidate as it has not shown the same strong performance
Metro, and it already has roaming and MVNO agreements in place with
Cricket. That said,
I really can’t
believe that a purchase of either of these carriers (or even both of
would do anything for Sprint’s position in the marketplace, other than
solidify its fate as a prepaid wireless carrier as its postpaid
continues to struggle.
Leap $400M Debt Offering
May Spur LTE Deployment
Cricket clearly needs to prove itself in 2011 in order to remain off of
chopping block. While
I’m not sure
whether a $400 investment in 4G is going to keep them competitive, it
to have all of the right pieces in place.
The big question is whether they lagged too far behind to
jump back into
the game. No doubt
execution will have a lot to do with the future health of the company.
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