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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, July 2010 -- Virgin Launches Prepaid MiFi Mobile Hotspot!
July 01, 2010

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - July 2010 Issue


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At Prepaid Wireless Guide I try to provide you with in-depth information that isn't readily available anywhere else.  Its content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry.

This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's 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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Virgin Mobile Launching Prepaid MiFi Offering
Virgin Mobile launched the Novatel MiFi device that was Sprint’s original MiFi device.  It’s great to see a prepaid hotspot offering.  I look forward to the day when prepaid broadband will have the latest and greatest devices as they become available, rather than have to wait over a year to see they show up on prepaid.

Virgin Atlantic to Get In-flight Phone Calls, Web access
While it’s exciting to see in-flight broadband continue to gain momentum, I’m not sure how happy I would be to be stuck listening to people’s phone conversations.  I expect that over time there will be restrictions imposed on what what’s considered acceptable behavior.

Starbucks to offer Free WiFi
What’s better than prepaid WiFi – FREE WiFi!  I expect to see full cities begin to offer free WiFi over this coming decade; we’ll see.

Boost Mobile Wins Multiple Stevie(R) Awards
MarketWatch (press release)
The award was presented for Boost’s 2009 turnaround after its launch of the $50 talk, text, and Web plan.  They certainly paved the way for a full on price war, and gained attention from would-be postpaid customers.  However, I’m not sure how innovative discount pricing is, and I don’t expect such success is sustainable now that such all-in plans are becoming common-place.  Notwithstanding, congratulations Boost!

Prepaid Wireless Broadband @ Walgreens
Though broke this news previously, just a reminder that Ready Mobile Prepaid Broadband can now be found at Walgreens stores across the country!

Boost Mobile Brings Android to Prepaid with Launch of Motorola i1
2010 will be the year that Google Android prepaid handsets entered the market!  Not sure how many people are running out to buy an iDEN (i.e. SLOW data) Android handset, but let the revolution begin!

Simple Mobile Refreshes Calling Plans
Although a pretty small MVNO of T-Mobile, essentially selling SIM starter kits, it’s interesting to watch how these unlimited plans are evolving in the prepaid market.  While not a huge player, Simple is said to be doing quite well!

SouthernLINC Wireless unveils $50 Prepaid Unlimited Monthly plan
IntoMobile (blog)
SouthernLINC, a regional iDEN player announced a$50 Boost-like all-in unlimited plan.  For those SoutherLINC customers waiting for some unlimited love, along with a prepaid Android offering, you’re in luck!

Proposed Federal Bill to Require ID on Prepaid Phones
Gerson Lehrman Group
Requiring ID to sign up for a prepaid phone has been discussed in the past, however, it’s reared its ugly face once again.  Although controlling terrorism is certainly important, with identity theft also being a critical issue, this could have a significant impact on the  prepaid industry.  When I’ve seen work on this is the past, it was always quite complex and expensive for prepaid carriers to implement.  That said, as prepaid becomes more appealing to legacy postpaid-type customers, it’s not as though prepaid growth will be devastated, however, it would immediately eliminate a particular demographic (similar to the unbanked), most of which are certainly not terrorists.

i wireless Sneaks $50 Unlimited Everything Prepaid onto T-Mobile's Network
Another $50 all-in prepaid unlimited plan on T-Mobile’s MVNO i wireless.

Coinstar Sells Off E-Payment Business
Wall Street Journal
inComm continues to expand its reach with its latest acquisition of Coinstar’s prepaid processing business.  And let the consolidation continue!

Sprint Nextel Expands Wireless Service for Poor in Prepaid Push
Kansas City Business Journal
Sprint announced the expansion of its free cell phone service, Assurance Wireless, to Maryland and Texas.  Anyone in these states can check out their website for eligibility!

What's New at

  •  Updated PagePlus Unlimited plan to new $44.95 price (previously $39.99) & corrected mistake on picture messaging (should have been unlimited instead of $0.25/min)
  • Added Virgin to Best MiFi Plans and updated content to reflect that there are now true prepaid MiFi offerings

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