Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- June 2014 Issue #72
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com I try to provide you with in-depth
information that isn't readily available anywhere else. The
content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in
the prepaid wireless industry for over a decade.
This monthly email provides you
with a quick glance at what's trending in the news so that you
informed. I believe in brief, to-the-point
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
If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me
a big favor and "pay it forward."
If a friend DID forward
you and if you like what you read, please subscribe to Prepaid Wireless
AT&T Launches The New Cricket
May 18th, AT&T relaunched the combined Aio and Cricket
the New Cricket riding on the AT&T GSM/LTE network.
They offer a
$25 unlimited plan for feature phones, and $40, $50, and $60
smartphones, which only vary by the included amount of high speed data.
The plans are decently competitive, and on a great network.
also get $5 off each month if you enroll in Auto Pay with a credit or
Recall that if you're a legacy Cricket (i.e.
customer, you can migrate your service and any credits you currently
have, however, unless you have an iPhone, you'll need to purchase a new
phone. If I were you, and have a decent phone that you can
happily use for awhile, I would hold out migrating as you should expect
to receive an offer (i.e. a financial incentive) to move! Or
search for an unlocked GSM phone on eBay (make sure it's not stolen or
otherwise on a black list!).
In addition, if you a big user of
Cricket's old international plan, you'll be disappointed with their
pathetic new offering; they'll need to fix that. Also, you'll
your Muve music app when you move to the AT&T network with the
Cricket. Overall, it's the legacy Aio executives (i.e.
wireless experience) running the show, while legacy Cricket employees
are job hunting; at least those unwilling to move the new headquarters
Hopefully they can retain enough good people to
the New Cricket programs. With AT&T cash, this brand
AT&T To Kill Muve Music
New York Times
AT&T is selling off Cricket's unlimited Muve Music service
it being reported as the most successful subscription service ever to
launch in the country. Perhaps that reputation includes some
as Cricket included the service as part of all of its plans after
having difficulty selling it as a separate add-on. That said,
understanding is that customers who use the service really like it.
really is a great deal, and for music lovers is a clear differentiator
from other wireless services. No doubt this sell-off has
its recent deal with the more recognizable Beats brand, as well
as the massive investment that would be required to improve the Muve
app and service. Note that legacy Cricket CDMA customers can
to use the service for at least the better part of the next year.
Pro-Marijuana Prepaid Wireless Service
thought I'd see it all until I discovered this new AT&T MVNO!
Their mission is to support efforts to legalize marijuana,
and as such
donate 20% of their revenue to NORML, a pro-marijuana advocacy
organization. Their plans are in the realm of competitive,
special from my perspective. If you want to support this
questionable whether your dollar is going further taking this
At the surface it would seem so, for the slightly higher cost
plan compared to other carriers would probably get you a larger
contribution to the cause, assuming you wanted to donate every month
The real question is whether this company will
survive. Prepaid carriers need approximately 40% margin to be
Giving away 20% of its revenue doesn't smell like a
sustainable/profitable business model to me. It will be
see what happens, however, I predict this company won't survive without
considerably reducing its donation, even if donations to NORML are tax
deductible. I personally appreciate the entrepreneurial
this prediction does not bring me any pleasure at all, however, it
seems inevitable. If they can make it work, will every cause
launch their own wireless service? Would you buy it, or just
AT&T's New Cricket Offers
This article is a bit misleading as they basically took Legacy
Cricket's financing programs and transplanted them into the New
Cricket. I still recommend saving up for the device that you
want, and buying it outright, rather than essentially entering into a
contract. The benefit over the postpaid subsidy model is,
however, that you can buyout the contract at anytime, and once you pay
off the phone your monthly cost decreases. This is in
contrast to postpaid, where you pay the higher plan price indefinitely,
even after you have long since paid off the subsidy. Like it
or not, these programs are here to stay. If you can get
approved for 0% interest, and don't mind having your cell phone
credit report, it's a nice option if you really don't want to save up
for the full cost of the phone.
Boost & Virgin Mobile Get Samsung
This is great news, for any respectable prepaid carrier needs to have
the latest iPhones and Galaxy S series phones (even at $600).
The next step in this progression is to launch in the same
week as postpaid carriers; it's only a matter of time.
AT&T's Cricket needs to get this phone fast in order
to present itself as a valid competitor. Legacy Cricket
(prior to AT&T) probably would have had this launched already.
I expect the acquisition activities slowed that down as they
didn't want to launch the CDMA version just prior to offering its new
AT&T LTE handsets.
Straight Talk Increases Data Allowance
Straight Talk's $45 plan now includes 3GB of data. In my
opinion, 3GB is the amount of high speed data that most people will
never exceed unless you're a heavy streaming video user. I
personally usually stay around the 2GB mark, but sometimes come close
to 3GB. Note that I'm on WiFi at home at in the office, and
have my camera set to only upload to Dropbox while on WiFi.
I was talking with some prepaid customers the other day who were still
confused by the data limits as they were still under the impression
that it's unlimited (according to the marketing). Please note
that there aren't ANY truly unlimited data plans in the country today.
Even those that don't specifically state what the high speed
data allowances are still have
"reasonable usage clauses".
Data usage is simply too high these days for carriers to
affordably offer unlimited high speed data. As networks
evolve, this could potentially change, however, more than likely,
customers will be expected to pay for the data we use. This
enables lower usage customers to take advantage of lower prices.
So long as carriers continue to increase the allowances as
customer usage needs evolve (i.e. increase!), this really shouldn't be
a concern. Good move Straight Talk!
Boost Mobile Launches New Plans &
So Boost eliminated its Shrinkage plans, which allowed you to reduce
your plan price by $5 after 6 on-time payments, up to $15 off per
month. They now have what they're calling Monthly Unlimited
which simplify their portfolio at $40, $50, $60
price points. I would have expected that the loyalty
encouraged by its Shrinkage program would have offered higher overall
customer lifetime value, and is certainly a good deal for customers.
Without inside information it's impossible to know whether
Shrinkage wasn't profitable, or whether it was too confusing for
customers, and operationally expensive to support. Also note
that while their plans are comparable to the competition, they don't
offer any discount for enrolling in automatic payments, as does
AT&T New Cricket, who also offer the same price points.
I'll try to find out the story behind this change.
Perhaps it's as simple as someone mandating that if they are
to offer a $40 plan, they can't afford to offer Shrinkage. To
add to the confusion, they still offer their Shrinkage plans online
along side these new plans...hmm...
Ready Wireless Wins Fastest Growing Company
Corridor Business Journal
Ready Wireless (a Sprint MVNO) won an award for one of the top 25
fastest growing companies. In the wild-wild-west of the
prepaid wireless market, and particularly brutal in the world of MVNOs
and MVNEs, this is a fantastic accomplishment.
Congratulations Ready Wireless team!
New At Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com?
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
Wireless Tracker Back Issues.