Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- August 2014 Issue #74
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
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Walmart Partners With Virgin Mobile to
Launch Customizable No Contract
has partnered with Virgin Mobile to offer a new prepaid service dubbed
"Virgin Custom," which allows customers to get monthly service starting
at $6.98 for 20 minutes of talk time, and 20 text messages.
add additional voice, text, and data services as desired.
controls are also included, which is a nice feature. This is
the ZACT Mobile service that was powered by ItsOn that Sprint recently
acquired. ZACT is being shut down
on August 3rd, and
customers will be
offered an incentive to migrate to the new Sprint program.
the one hand I appreciate that customers have additional options when
selecting service; however, on the other hand, the myriad of plans can
lead to complexity and confusion. I'm also not a big fan of
plans being precluded to certain retailers only. In my
carriers sell their programs shouldn't define what those programs are;
they should be universally accessible. Of course, retailers
Walmart are attempting to offer greater value than their competitors,
which makes a lot of sense for Walmart. However, it
unnecessary complexity for customers. Ideally they would have
this as a service plan option on their Walmart-exclusive Straight Talk
brand. Unfortunately, Straight Talk (i.e. TracFone) doesn't
the technology to deliver this type of program, which is why they
to go with Sprint/Virgin.
Verizon Finally Allows Prepaid Customers To
Ride the 4G Train!
Well, well, what do we have here; Verizon is finally allowing prepaid
no contract customers access to its 4G LTE network. As I've
reported numerous times over the years, Verizon has always been the
slowest of the large carriers to evolve its prepaid offers.
It makes sense for them not to lead in the race to lower
prices, and the decline of arguably more profitable postpaid customers.
To their credit, they've always evolved their prepaid program
just before their offers become completely uncompetitive and almost
irrelevant. This may also be a practical network engineering
strategy in that the eventually discontinuation of its 3G network is
now in sight. Regardless, now prepaid customers can get a
higher end phone (compared to a previously very restricted selection)
on their 4G network, as well as some limited time promotions to get
GoPhone Launches Nokia Lumia 635 Windows Phone
Mobile & Apps
We're seeing more movement on the GoPhone front these days as
AT&T has positioned its New Cricket brand as a direct
competitor to GoPhone. Inside sources reveal that there's
very little cooperation between the two business units, and while they
don't spend a lot of time directly competing, they are considered
competitors, and report to different executives. It's
interesting to see the Lumia 635 described as a mid-tier phone.
While strictly speaking it is,
less than 6 months ago, these
specs were considered high end (aside from the lower resolution
camera). I expect we'll start to see specs become less
important as they have with laptops. Any modern computer can
run any app, so competing on specs only becomes a worthless exercise.
We're not quite there yet, however, that inevitability is
clearly on the horizon!
Go Phone Launches HTC Desire 610
Another highly capable mid-tier smartphone is now available to GoPhone
Cricket Offers Lowest No Contract Price For Galaxy S5
Cricket currently has a $50 mail in rebate on the Galaxy S5, which
allows it to say that it's
offering this flagship device for the lowest
price. While this is certainly true, would you select your
next carrier solely based on an extra $50 off? Prepaid and
postpaid customers need to consider network, plan price, features,
etc., long before considering a $50 incentive. Six months
from now you won't care about the $50 cost difference. So,
just as a reminder, don't forget to consider all factors before being
lured in by price alone. That said, if you're a Cricket fan,
and looking to activate service, or upgrade from an existing phone,
this is a good deal on a fantastic smartphone.
Virgin & Boost Can Now Access Games
Mobile and Boost Mobile customers can now access the PlayPhone game app
store, and purchase downloads without
the need for a credit card.
There are a couple of things going on behind the scenes here.
PlayPhone basically competing in the app store space (dominated by
Apple, Google, and arguably Amazon as an up and coming competitor).
Another element is carriers desperate for additional revenue
particular in games and app downloads where Google and Apple have
essentially cut them out of the process.
If you're a PlayPhone
fan, or someone without a payment device to pay for games using Google
or Apple app stores, this may be exciting new. If not, I
will increase adoption and make carriers any meaningful additional
revenue. Most people would rather have their apps and games
one app store, which isn't going to be PlayPhone. In
are plenty of easy ways to pay for apps and games on Android and iOS
without the need for a credit or debit card, but that's a tutorial for
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
Wireless Tracker Back Issues.