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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, July 2011 - Sprint & Cricket Take Prepaid Smartphones to a New Level!
July 02, 2011

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - July 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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Sprint Steps Up Prepaid Game With Motorola Triumph Android Smartphone
ZDNet (blog)
The specs of this phone are truly impressive for any of today’s mid to high end smartphones; however, launching this phone on Sprint’s prepaid Virgin Mobile brand is really quite impressive.  Given Sprint’s propensity to stress about cannibalization of its postpaid business by its prepaid brands, I can only imagine the debates/arguments that took place getting this smartphone approved!

Huawei Glory Coming to Cricket Wireless - Brings 1.4GHz And Gingerbread
Android Police
All I can say is “wow”!  If Cricket can get this smartphone to market on time in November, it will truly be a force to compete with if the price in fact comes in under $300.  I couldn’t tell if it has a front-facing camera (for video chatting).  That and the potential build quality could be the only factors keeping this handset from being at the top end of the smartphone market.  Definitely a handset to look forward to!

Battle Heats Up in Lifeline Mobile Market: Assurance Wireless Growing Strong
PRLog.Org (press release)
There’s no doubt that Sprint has been rolling out its free cell phone service, Assurance Wireless, in a big way since 2010.  Whether or not it ultimately overtakes SafeLink is not necessarily relevant to most people, other than to say that these programs are more readily available and continuing to grow rapidly.  In other words, customers win in the end!

Assurance Wireless Arrives in Kentucky
It’s always nice to report when Sprint rolls out its free service offering, Assurance Wireless, to additional states, with this time being Kentucky.

Cricket Wins Data Speed Test - Or Does It?
Philadelphia Inquirer
So is this a desperate attempt by Cricket to find a point of differentiation against MetroPCS, or naive executives in an unexpected apples to orange comparison?  I’m hoping it’s the former as that would be slightly less sad.  Within the next year, Metro and Cricket will essentially have access to the same pipe technology; time to compete on phones, services, and customer service please!

AT&T's New $50 Unlimited Talk, Text, And Web Prepaid Plan Started June 26
Well well, what do we have here?  AT&T finally getting into the game with an offer than is actually competitive.  Though, before we get too excited, as prepaid customers are starting to expect a decent selection of smartphones on these unlimited plans, AT&T is charging a premium for prepaid smartphone users.  That’s ok, they’ll get there eventually; let’s give them another year!

Prepaid Wireless Consumers To Pay 911 Charge At Time of Purchase
South Carolina customers are now part of the growing number of states that are requiring retailers to collect e911 fees each time prepaid customers reload their phones.  I talked about this inevitability awhile back, indicating that prepaid customers have been getting away with not paying this fee.  Given its growth, it was only a matter of time before regulators were going to focus attention on the 911 infrastructure revenue potential from collecting fees from prepaid wireless customers.

Hands On With the Cricket Huawei Ascend 2
PC Magazine
The Ascend 2 appears to beef of its specs just enough to make it a usable entry level smartphone.  Having used the original Ascend, I can say that that phone is borderline infuriating with its slow performance in doing simple tasks like loading the phone app, selecting a contact, and making a call.  The Ascend 2 is really what the original Ascend should have been in my opinion.

SIMPLE Mobile Upgrades $50 Unlimited Rate Plan
Simple Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, also gets into the fully unlimited game by adding unlimited data to its plan.  Simple Mobile isn’t big, however, I like to keep up with some of the smaller niche players, and Simple is one that I’ve got on my radar.  It’s good to see them playing along with the big boys.

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  • Added Android App review for Vplayer

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