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Prepaid Wireless Tracker #56, Feb 2013 - T-Mobile Launches Unlimited UNTHROTTLED Prepaid Data Plan!
February 01, 2013


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At 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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T-Mobile Launches Unlimited Prepaid Data With No Throttling For $70


Although most prepaid carriers are priced at $55-$65 for unlimited talk, text, and Web, they've spent the better part of the past year implementing throttled plans.  Here T-Mobile is going against the grain with a truly unlimited, unthrottled 4G plan, including handset flexibility by allowing you to also bring your own phone.  If there was previously any doubt about how serious T-Mobile is in essentially converting its business to a no contract company, this moves confirms that they're taking it extremely seriously.

Sprint As You Go Launches With Weak Handset Selection
On January 25th, Sprint officially rolled out its new Sprint As You Go offer.  Follow the link for a detailed discussion that I posted on launch day regarding this lack luster program.

Walmart To Get Prepaid iPhone 5 Under StraightTalk Brand
While I hesitate to say that this is huge, it is a great step forward for Walmart and Straight Talk.  Straight Talk has been doing extremely well as a Walmart exclusive brand, and bringing the latest iPhone into the mix helps to ensure that it remains relevant (and even competitive).  I'd like to learn more about their financing plan.  At $25/month, it would take over two years to payoff an iPhone 5, which is madness.  In two years the phone will be lost, stolen, broken, or at best an irrelevant piece of hardware.  I expect they require a deposit of some degree (ex. $200).  Regardless, it's great to see popular phones like the iPhone continue to penetrate the most relevant prepaid brands.

Verizon Revises Prepaid Plans To Stay Relevant

It's good to see that Verizon is essentially reducing its pricing.  It's still not very competitive, however, it's not so far off as to be ridiculously out of touch with the market.  With a limited smartphone selection for prepaid, and no 4G, it's clear that while Verizon is keeping its toes in the prepaid game, they're not a serious contender.  With massive domination in the postpaid market, this strategy makes a lot of sense for them; at least for now.

T-Mobile To Take New GoSmart Brand Nationwide In February
As expected, T-Mobile's new prepaid brand, GoSmart completed a successful trial in late 2012, and will be rolling out nationwide starting next month.  With T-Mobile already announcing its fundamental shift to prepaid, it's not exactly analogous to the manner in which Sprint manages its prepaid sub-brands (as noted in the article).  However, it does allow T-Mobile to experiment with different handsets and pricing, including throttling, without creating confusion within the core T-Mobile offerings.  It will be interesting to see how 2013 unfolds for GoSmart in terms of what niche it ultimately targets.  I suspect it will remain priced at the lower end of the prepaid market, with additional feature limitations and handset selection compared to its T-Mobile prepaid plans.  However, with the ability to bring your own phone, there's an additional dimension of flexibility that will have a broader appeal than it otherwise would.

What's New At

  • Updated Millenicom on 4G Broadband to reflect various MVNO networks being used
  • Updated T-Mobile note on Best MiFi Plans to reflect that Walmart has 60 day expiration
  • Updated Boost & Cricket phones on 4G Phones

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

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