Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- January 2016, Issue #91
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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2015 - Year In Review
At the end of each year I like to
reflect on how the past year in the prepaid wireless industry
has gone. Overall, I would depict this year as evolutionary,
revolutionary. 2014 was a significant year of prepaid
maturation and mainstream acceptance, however, 2015 was more about
tweaking than anything else.
We saw the most movement with the
expansion of family plans, with an emphasis on data sharing.
that wireless is over 100% penetrated, carriers spent a lot of focus
on offers to steal customers from one another, which is essentially the
only way to acquire new customers these days.
cash credits for switching were a large focus, as well as revamping
existing plans with increased high speed data allowances.
cost smartphones with exceptional specifications were also pervasive
this past year. We also saw Cricket sell off Muve Music, and
shutting down its legacy CDMA network after migrating all customers to
AT&T 4G network. In addition, TracFone launched a new
Wireless, emphasizing shared data plans, T-Mobile added data rollover
to its prepaid plans, as well as launched Univision and GoSmart Mobile
in Target. The previously defunct Helio returned, and Google
its much anticipated Project Fi no contract plans. Lastly,
previously a data only provider, launched prepaid wireless plans,
including no data expiration, which is a first for the industry.
while there weren't any revolutionary changes in the overall industry,
certainly saw new goodies launched, including increased
international roaming offerings. There's certainly no doubt that
prepaid is alive and well, and we continue to see the trend away from
contract plans. That said, while postpaid carriers are
playing in the
prepaid space, there's still a hesitation with Verizon remaining
uncompetitive in prepaid, and Sprint trying to convert prepaid
customers to postpaid. It will be interesting to see how 2016
New Provider Krew Mobile To Offer Free Lines
Marketwired (press release)
is an interesting new MVNO. For $39 per month, you get one
with unlimited talk, text, and data (2GB of highspeed data), and two
free kids lines. The kids lines can only
unless given parental access, which can be up to 30 one hour blocks of
unlimited talk and text per month. Kid lines can also get
accessing the parent's account hotspot. It's not yet clear
network(s) it will run on. I like the idea of parental
free kid lines, however, I recommend comparing to Ready Mobile's child
restriction capabilities. I also think they tried to get too
the "Krew" name. This service will be launching in
definitely keep my eye on this launch!
Prepaid Wireless Customers In California Get
Capital Public Radio News
Surcharges have long since been added to landline and wireless users
with contracts. I'm not sure why prepaid
wireless was able to
avoid this tax for so long, though I certainly enjoyed saving all that
money! This surcharge is used to subsidize 911 services, as
well as free phone service for low income households. As
prepaid wireless has become mainstream, California has come to notice
the drop in income for these programs, or at least the lost revenue
opportunity. It makes sense that they would go after this
easy money, though, unfortunately, that means that we all have to pay
more. You could always try activating with an out-of-state
address that doesn't have these surcharges, though that would certainly
be undermining the spirit of supporting these valuable programs.
The surcharges are effective today, Jan 1st, with a minimum
Shaw Enters Canadian Wireless Industry With
Wind Mobile Acquisition
Shaw, a cable and Internet provider, is purchasing Wind Mobile's less
than 1M customer base for $1.6B. Wind's pricing is very
inexpensive compared to Canada's big three carriers, and was a
refreshing competitor in the space. It makes sense that Shaw
needs to get into mobile, however, in the long run it seems unlikely
that they will keep prices as low as they've been. The
reality is that the objective of Wind's shareholders was likely always
to build the business up enough to cash out. Canada has
always had high prices (voice and data), and Rogers, Bell, and Telus
never had any incentive to drive prices lower. It's unlikely
that Shaw's presence will do anything more than introduce a new brand
to collude with the existing ones.
AT&T Mobility CEO Lurie Lacks True Insight Into
AT&T Mobility's CEO speaks to prepaid being about choice, and
how they treat them as valuable customers rather than second hand
citizens. It's truly amusing to read about these so-called
experts stating the obvious. The fact that Lurie, and other's
like him, get paid millions of dollars is truly remarkable (for them).
The reality is that Lurie knows very little about prepaid
wireless, and any success Cricket has had under AT&T has been
in spite of Lurie, not because of him.
Sprint Seeks To Convert Prepaid Customers To
Sprint wants to lure the appropriate prepaid segment to move to what
they deem their more profitable postpaid product. What's
truly laughable about this strategy is that
prepaid has evolved so far
that very few customers that are happy with prepaid will move.
Why would they? The only benefit of postpaid is
access to their roaming partners. So if you're in an area
with poor Sprint coverage, you'll have better coverage on postpaid,
however, the subset of those customers really is small.
On the contrary, if you're not happy with your prepaid service (Virgin
or Boost), you certainly won't want to pay more for a postpaid plan
that also locks you into a contract! The fact is that the
entire industry is moving towards no contract prepaid wireless.
Learning how to improve the overall customer experience and
quality will be the way to delivery high profit margins.
Cannibalizing prepaid customers to postpaid will not help.
If anything, they should be moving postpaid customers to
prepaid, rather than lose those customers to T-Mobile, and other
carriers with better service and
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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