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Prepaid Wireless Tracker #82, April 2015 - Prepaid Price Wars Continue!
April 01, 2015

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - April 2015 Issue #82


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.  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 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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Lack-Luster Activity In Prepaid
A quick note to highlight that March was a generally slow month for prepaid.  Aside from some pricing plays, there really wasn't anything truly inspiring to report.  This is clearly a sign that the industry has slowed, and is taking pause while it figures out what will be the next big play!

MetroPCS Undercuts Cricket & Boost in Continued Price Wars
Wireless Week
T-Mobile's MetroPCS has lowered the price of entry by offering a $30 unlimited plan, with 1GB of highspeed data.  Note that it only works on their older generation phones, and you can't bring your own device.  Depending on your data needs, this is a good deal, however, for an extra $5 you can get 2.5GB of highspeed data on Cricket and Boost.  It will be interesting to see where this race to the bottom ends!

T-Mobile Launches Data Rollover Program on Prepaid
Motley Fool

T-Mobile's Data Stash program allows you to rollover unused 4G data for up to a year, and they start you off with 10GB free.  Simple Choice plans with at least 3GB of highspeed data are eligible.  I recall in the early days of cellular when the industry shifted from a bucket of minutes to rollover minutes, to unlimited.  With data we've gone from unlimited to a fixed bucket due to data capacity concerns, and now to rolling over.  As data networks continue to evolve, I predict that we'll see unlimited offers come back.  However, in the meantime that's an expensive and risky proposition for carriers, so rollover is actually a very compelling feature for heavy data users.

All that said, keep in mind that this is also a marketing technique given that the average customer doesn't even use 3GB per month.  Thus, they get great press, while also getting some people to upgrade plans to 3GB in order to get Data Stash.  For example, I consider myself an average user, and I usually end the month at less than 2.5GB.  I do connect to WiFi for a good part of the day though.  Just some thoughts to keep in mind as you evaluate the true value of this feature for your personal situation.

Verizon Prepaid Now Offering Moto E Smartphone

In true under-the-radar fashion, Verizon made the Moto E available on its website for $99 for new customers.  While it's considered entry level by today's standards, it's actually a very capable phone with a 4.5" display, quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and an SD card slot.  That said, unless you're a die hard Verizon fan, their prepaid plans aren't compelling enough to recommend.

Virgin Mobile Discontinues iPhones Sales
Tech Times
So Virgin Mobile is no longer selling iPhones.  It's interesting because it was the second prepaid wireless carrier in the U.S. to offer the iPhone; 2nd only to Cricket by a couple of weeks.  It's likely that this is really just Sprint experimenting again, trying to encourage postpaid activations.  Also, Virgin is known for being more competitive on data-centric plans than its sister company, Boost Mobile.  Thus, given the higher average data consumption of iPhone users, targeting non-data centric plans to maximize profitability makes sense.  Ultimately, as inventory of iPhones become plentiful, it's highly likely that Virgin will resume selling iPhones.

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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