Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- December 2012 Issue #54
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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so that you can move onto other tasks in your day. Each
includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the
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Growth Moves To Stealing Subscribers
While this has largely been true for postpaid for a number of years,
2012 was the inflection point for prepaid wireless as well.
Growth in prepaid has slowed dramatically from getting new
wireless customers to resorting to stealing from other carriers
(prepaid and postpaid). What this means for consumers is more
thoughtful execution, and an enhanced focus on the customer experience
as hardware and plan features become commoditized. I expect
see some further consolidation in 2013 amongst prepaid players as they
compete for customers share of mind, and retailer peg space.
Launches 4G Samsung Galaxy S III
November 23rd, Cricket launched the iconic Samsung Galaxy S III
smartphone. At $549.99 it's expensive, however, customers can
save money monthly over contract plans. Remember that this is
4G phone, unlike Cricket's iPhone 5, which only runs on its 3G network
(an iPhone limitation; not a Cricket decision). It's now
abundantly clear that prepaid carriers are getting top tier phones more
and more quickly. What used to be a delay of a year or more,
been whittled down to weeks. So now device pricing,
device availability, is the only real meaningful barrier to switching
from postpaid to prepaid.
TruConnect Expands Walmart-Exclusive Prepaid
Broadband Service Plans
initially launched as a pay-as-you-go data service that charged per
kilobyte with no expiration date; a feature that people have been
emailing me in droves about for literally years. These new
offer access to a variety of plans for moderate and heavy users, with
most plans allowing rollover of unused data, which is unique to the
industry. I've been using a MiFi2200 for a number of years
and while adequate, it's pretty old news at this point with no battery
or network coverage indicator, and limited battery life (2-3 hours).
Hopefully they'll be able to offer more inspiring devices in
near future. I am, however, excited about these new plan
T-Mobile Clearly Moving Focus to Prepaid As
It Struggles With Postpaid
There's no doubt that T-Mobile is focusing hard on prepaid.
only did their senior executives state as such, but their acquisition
(sorry..."merger") of MetroPCS supports that strategic direction.
That said, some purport that the Metro acquisition was more
spectrum than actual customer growth. Regardless, T-Mobile is
certainly pushing its no contract Monthly 4G plans. It's
certainly a risky bet, however, companies that focus on one strategy
and execute well have the best chance of succeeding, rather than being
distracted with a myriad of simultaneous strategies. Clearly
become very challenging for T-Mobile to compete in the contract space,
particular with no native iPhone offer. It will be
see how the next year plays out for this struggling carrier with
somewhat of an identity crisis at play.
FreedomPop Free Broadband Service Review
is a fairly thorough review of FreedomPop's free 4G no contract
service. I've been itching to test and review it, however,
don't offer 4G where I live, so the service is useless to me.
their program to really take off, they need to have a modem that is
backwards compatible with 3G, or wait until 4G is truly ubiquitous.
That said, the current limitation is probably a good business
decision as it allows them to test the program and business metrics
before their customer base becomes too overwhelming.
Boost Mobile Launches Bring Your
Own Sprint Device (BYOSD)
well, what do we have here; Sprint finally opening up to use of its
postpaid phones on prepaid! As the article notes, I agree
this may not be very inspiring as dealers have been flashing over
Sprint phones to Boost for years. In addition, limiting it to
relatively uninspiring and old phones really renders the "program"
pretty lame (for lack of a better word). In reality, they
allow any phone that's off contract to be used on prepaid to avoid
losing customers. While they will certainly see some
cannibalization of postpaid customers off-contract seeking to save
money by moving to prepaid, customers are savvy and will either find a
way to do it, or leave the Sprint family for a competitor.
Postpaid customers in fringe coverage areas must also
that on prepaid they won't have access to Sprint roaming partners, so
coverage won't be as good on prepaid. This isn't a
for customers living in major city centers. I think Sprint
really trial (ex. 6 months) allowing any off-contract Sprint phone on
prepaid to test the outcome. I bet they would see postpaid
(to non-Sprint competitors) materially decrease, and handset subsidy
costs decrease on prepaid.
Verizon Doubles Data On $80 Prepaid Plan
So now you get 2GB on their $80 no contract plan.
As a leading postpaid provider, Verizon is terrified that
a competitive prepaid plan would cannibalize its contract business.
Here is Verizon testing the market as it continues to dabble
prepaid. No serious offer here folks; sorry. It is,
however, amusing to see watch them SLOWLY evolve their prepaid
New At Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com?
- Added Cricket Samsung Galaxy S III & LG Optimus
Regard to 4G Phones
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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