Wireless Tracker - November 2011
Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com I try to provide you with in-depth
isn't readily available anywhere else. Its content is
created from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless
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
interested in the full details.
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Offers Prepaid Phone Plans at
Walmart; 4G Plans Included
T-Mobile is really starting to add a lot of value/investment into the
wireless space, and is jumping right into no contract 4G data. If the
AT&T-T-Mobile merger falls
through, I suspect that T-Mobile will continue to aggressively address
prepaid market. It
seems evident that
they’re going to concede their inability to compete in the contract
they are just too far behind the leading three telcos, and without the
in its lineup, its disadvantage only continues to widen. That said, don’t expect it
to eliminate its
contract business for the foreseeable future.
Launches Pay-By-The-Day Plans
With various features bundled within its new $1, $2, and $3 daily
T-Mobile is hitting the prepaid market with a vengeance by covering all
plan types. You’ll
also notice that the
$2 per day plan offers 2G speeds, which is pretty uninspiring for those
however, that they
charge you only on days that you use the phone, which is a feature not
by all such daily plans. Prospective
consumers of these plans should ensure that you think carefully about
you plan on using your phone, as a daily plan can quickly add up to a
higher cost than simply committing to a full 30 days of service (i.e.
30 days = $90!).
Postpones Smartphone Data
Throttling Until 2012
My initial reaction was “finally, a good decision!”
However, the article is very clear that
Virgin is only delaying due to system limitations.
Rest assured that this delay truly is its
inability to execute this year, and not a strategic decision. Some might venture to say
that if they’re
truly concerned about the customer experience that they would not be
at all. That said,
I have always
believed (based on first-hand experience with such carrier statistics)
controlling their exposure for the 2-5% of “abusers” really does help
costs down for everyone else. In
words, throttling is a GOOD thing for the vast majority of users as it
keep data pricing as low as possible.
LG Optimus Gets
Slider Keyboard On Virgin Mobile
The launch of this prepaid smartphone is definitely a logical
the Optimus brand. I’m
one of those
people that simply can’t get used to a virtual keyboard. Though with a screen this
small (3.2”), I’d
prefer to see a BlackBerry style portrait keyboard.
I suppose the opening and turning process for
many isn’t a big deal, however, for me, if I’m going to have to take
step, I’m going to want a much larger screen to make up for this
design currently exists in the prepaid market on Android phones. They’re actually still
quite scarce in the
postpaid market. Maybe
Pro/Motorola XPRT will make its way to prepaid at some point!
Launches Android ZTE Warp
With a 4.3” touchscreen, 1GHz processor, 5MP camera, and the latest
Gingerbread operating system, I think it’s fair to say that prepaid
offerings are on fire this year! So
as these types of off-brand manufacturers can hold up to the
handsets like these will continue to lessen the gap between prepaid and
Cricket Adds The
ZTE Memo To Its Lineup
While it’s not a smartphone, the ZTE Memo feature phone offers a
style candy bar format with a QWERTY keyboard for text hungry customers. While I’m a fan of this
style of handset, at
$99, I think the price is too high; at $49 a handset like this would
the shelves. I
predict a major price
drop within 4 months of launch!
Introduces Additional Prepaid Broadband Plans
DataJack adds three new no contact broadband plans, now offering four
starting at $9.99 per month for 200MB.
As an MVNO on the Sprint nationwide 3G data network, the
broadband options for consumers continues to expand.
Unfortunately, no pay-per-use (i.e.
non-monthly plans) currently exists, which I understand is in high
the inquiries I’ve been receiving for at least the past year.
payLo Seeks to Take T-Mobile
This article is good to highlight the competition with T-Mobile’s new
4G push. However, I
had the site updated
months ago with the 30MB of included data on the $30 PayLo plan, so how
newsworthy is a little bizarre. I
couldn’t find any reference on the Boost website, or any other news
regarding a $25 15-day unlimited plan.
If this plan exists, I’ll find it; however, in the
meantime, I’d be wary
of some of the items you read in the news from sites/people that
understand the prepaid market!
Cricket To Sell
Android Feature Phone
This is somewhat of a peculiar strategy.
In my mind it can only really make sense if using a
version of Android makes the device less expensive and easier to
all of the apps, it may not require a
fast processor, resulting in a lower handset costs, but may generally
much better than other OEM feature phone operating systems. When you think of it this
way, this could be
a great way to have a fast, sleek feature phone that users are used to
(ex. contacts, text messaging), with a lower general cost. I don’t expect these
phones would be able to
run full Android due to the lower specs, though I’m sure some will
hack them. The key
here will be for
Cricket to NOT advertise this as an Android phone as that will cause
confusion (and high returns) as customers realize that it’s NOT a
smartphone. It will
be interesting to
see how this plays out.
$100 Unlimited Family Plan Promo For The Holidays
Metro is offering four or five lines at $25 each, discounted from the
$40 per month plan. You
can also get two
lines for $35 each, or three lines for $30 each.
While this is a good deal (available until December
31st), keep in mind that it requires a rebate
process. So you’ll
need to send in a few pieces of
information about your purchase (only non-LTE/4G phones are included in
promo), and receive your rebate via a MetroPCS Visa prepaid card. In other words, you’ll
still have to fork
over the regular payment, and then ensure that you use all of the funds
prepaid Visa card to get the advertised value.
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