Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- August 2015 Issue #86
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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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
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HTC Continues Its Battle For Market Share
With The Desire 626s
its tremendous early success at the start of the smartphone boom, HTC
has been struggling in recent years. They're definitely
to regaining share in the U.S., and have been aggressively pursuing
carriers with reasonably priced, well featured smartphones.
HTC Desire will be available on Sprint Prepaid, T-
Mobile, and MetroPCS.
The specs are actually quite respectable, with a nice HD
and 8MP rear camera. The price will really determine its
At $170 on T-Mobile, you're getting great value. It
interesting to see what price point it lands on the other two.
$150 or less, I believe they'd see great results. Whether or
HTC can be profitable at this price point, however, remains to be seen.
ZTE Seeks To Compete With The Axon
is a Chinese company also trying to make headway in the U.S.
started off largely with low end handsets, and were prominent in the
old Cricket's lineup. The Axon, however, is a different
altogether. Compare it to Samsung and LG flagship devices,
you'll find a formidable competitor at a lower price point.
However, it doesn't have an SD card slot, which leaves you
with 32GB of internal memory. Also, customers should also
the Alcatel OneTouch Idol, which has similar specs can be had for $250.
profitability is still in question, however, I'm loving this feature
set, and the fact that the phone comes unlocked. Expect to
strong in-store marketing of the ZTE Axon.
America Movil Offers North America Free
America Movil is Mexico's largest telco company, and plans to
extend its unlimited calling, texting, and data to its prepaid
customers. This makes sense after facing increasing
with AT&T's entrance into the market via its acquisition
Keep in mind that they also own TracFone, which
itself acquired Simple Mobile and Page Plus. America Movil
extremely deep pockets, and we can expect to see these roaming benefits
transition State side to its U.S. brands.
Helps Prepaid Customers Track Usage & Carrier Messages
app helps prepaid users track balances, and provide a user friendly
interface to access carrier messages and offers. Some people
believe that carriers don't want you to keep a close on your balance in
order to generate higher revenue. The theory being that the
aware you are of your costs, the less you'll spend. The
is that carriers simply have poorly evolved platforms and
customer friendly tools, and are continually seeking to improve the
customer experience to keep you happy, and avoid expensive customer
That said, I wonder whether Mubble is a real business, or
just seeking to build enough critical mass to sell out (likely to a
carrier). If not, they'd better have some patents, otherwise
carriers will simply copy these basic features, and render this app
irrelevant. In any case, I applaud smart people with good
who can get a product to market, and wish them all the success, whether
generating cash flow, or selling out!
Cricket Expected To Finally Launch Mobile
well, what do we have here! Cricket finally completed
on mobile hotspot capability, which was sorely lacking from from its
New Cricket offer compared to the old/legacy Cricket (pre
acquisition by AT&T). However, if they do
charging $10/month to access your plan's data allowance, they may see
some backlash though. "So you want me to pay an extra 10
access the data I already paid for?" Really they should offer
separate data allowance, and upon depleting that allow you to use your
No doubt they'll be playing around with hotspot
pricing, including raising plan prices, and including mobile hotspot.
At that level it becomes a marketing exercise, and how the
resonates will largely depend on how important mobile hotspot is to
customers. For example, if you're not a hotspot user, you'll
favor lower plan prices.
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on
this topic as details surface.
Helio Is Back!
still haven't determined whether the resurrection of Helio is
interesting, shocking, or just plain ridiculous. I recall
they first launched, they were unique as they were offering only
smartphones (at a time when smartphones were new to the market).
Their phones were high end, and their plans were just as
expensive. They were targeting price-incentive techies.
the time they got going, however, they had merged with Virgin, which
was subsequently acquired by Sprint, who then shut down Helio.
resurrection brings one low priced plan, claiming they're better
than Boost and Virgin as you can roam with Sprint roaming partners,
which is not allowed on Sprint's prepaid brands and other MVNOs.
They also claim no taxes, however, don't clearly articulate
that relates only to telecom taxes; State sales tax still applies.
Also note that although data is unlimited, ALL data usage is
128kbps; i.e. EXTREMELY slow.
So what's the point of this brand?
I can't help but wonder if some Sprint exec owed Helio's
owners a favor for canning their program in 2008?
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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