Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- February 2016, Issue #92
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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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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Boost Mobile Jumps On Family Plan Bandwagon
RCR Wireless News
atrocious finish last year with massive prepaid losses, Boost has
jumped on the family plan bandwagon. I suppose that poor
performance was inevitable after having laid off virtually everyone at
the company over the past 2-3 years who actually understood the prepaid
market. And to think that Boost was once the indisputable
leader in prepaid for a period of time.
Anyway, here we've
got what looks like a Cricket Wireless look-a-like program.
For $70 you get 2 unlimited lines with 5GB of unthrottled data each;
two additional lines can be added for $25 each. The $90
Family Plan gets you 3 unlimited lines with 1.5GB of unthrottled data,
and the $100 option gets you 4 unlimited lines with 1.5GB of
unthrottled data. Clearly the $70 plan is the better offer,
and worth the extra $5 over the $90 plan if you need three lines
($70+$25=$95) to get the 5GB of data included. Boost's new
offers are definitely competitive, however, with companies like
T-Mobile and Cricket obviously more dedicated to the success of their
no contract programs, I expect Boost will continue to have difficulty
competing over the long term.
Sprint Sidelines Virgin Mobile!
announcement actually caught me off-guard for the first time in over a
decade! Since Sprint's acquisition of Virgin, I have been
that the having the Virgin and Boost brands was a complete waste of
resources. They've tried to position Virgin as data centric,
ultimately, they target the same customers, and don't offer sufficient
differentiation. Hearing Sprint's leadership state that
de-emphasizing Virgin was surprising, and refreshing!
is that they could eliminate the Boost brand, and simply integrate
those offers into "Sprint Prepaid" with the same success, while
eliminating the cost of a
separate brand that has no meaningful value.
That said, I understand that it's one step at a time for
executive who are only starting to wrap their heads around the prepaid
industry ;-). You'd think that the fact that Virgin wasn't
at all prior to its acquisition by Sprint would have been a clue to its
real value, but I digress...
MetroPCS Targets Sprint Customers For
T-Mobile's MetroPCS is directly targeting Sprint's postpaid customers
by offering free phones to switch, and highlighting their lower cost
plans. Sprint's Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile brands are
also eligible, however, Metro is really seeking to target customers who
are new to prepaid. The reality is that due to
100% market penetration, growth becomes about stealing customers.
Pulling in postpaid customers to prepaid is the next logical
source as the price discrepancy between postpaid and prepaid is far
easier to highlight compared to competing head-to-head with prepaid
Karma Continues Tinkering Its Unlimited Plan To Protect
Against Heavy Users
After its $50 "Neverstop" unlimited plan (with speed of 5Mbps) was
being leveraged (seen as abused) by customers who were basically using
it as a replacement for home Internet, it throttled speeds down to
1.5Mbps. This was a poor decision, as it basically crippled
the performance and overall appeal of the program. Thus, it
has now announced that the higher 5Mbps speed is now back, however,
abusers who use more
than 15GB of data per month will be severely
Personally, I commend them for back-stepping on its earlier poor
decision to throttled all users, and 15GB per month is extremely
reasonable for customers who use the service for its intended purpose.
The reality is that the market is fierce, and customers will
ultimately drive businesses to achieve a stable profitable business
model (or go bankrupt) as abusers are always there to teach these
corporations painful (and expensive!) lessons.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Available On Boost
& Virgin Mobile
The Samsung Galaxy J3 is now available on Virgin and Boost for $180.
Although it's considered a mid-tier phone, it's quite a good
deal for those looking for a solid smartphone.
The only real
feature that customers find noticeable is its 5MP camera, which is
quite a distance from higher tier phones that typically range from
13-16MP. However, with a 5" Super AMOLED screen, 16MB of
internal memory, and expandable microSD slot up to 128GB, it's really
arguably a Galaxy GS5 derivative. Performance-wise, the
average user will be perfectly content with its slower quad core
processor. I always find it amusing that technology evolves
so quickly that what used to be considered high tier so quickly becomes
mid-tier specs! This phone is a great option for customers
who want a more than decent phone without having to fork over (or
finance) a $500-$600 smartphone.
Verizon Prepaid Gets LG Optimus Zone 3
The LG Optimus Zone 3 is available for
free on several of Verizon's
prepaid monthly plans. It has a 4.5" screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB
of internal memory, expandable microSD card (up to 32GB), and a 5MP
rear camera. This is obviously a low end smartphone, however,
for the truly price sensitive (this phone is free!), and for kids, this
is a great offer. Unfortunately, if you're looking for a
great deal, you're not going to find competitive plans on Verizon
prepaid. Thus, prospective customers really need to look at
their total cost of ownership before getting swayed by this type of
free offer. Of course, it's great to have options!
AT&T Bumps Up GoPhone 4G Data
In January AT&T bumped its prepaid GoPhone data allowances on
its $45 and $60 plans from 1.5GB and 4GB,
respectively, to 2GB and 5GB,
respectively. This is really a move to stay competitive (or
shall I say "relevant") as people continue to wonder why AT&T
keeps its lame GoPhone brand alive, despite aggressively marketing and
evolving its far superior Cricket brand. Anyway, if you're a
GoPhone customer, you'll definitely want to verify that you've been
migrated to this new offer!
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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