Wireless Tracker - August 2010
Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Wireless Guide I try to provide you with in-depth information that
readily available anywhere else. Its content is original, and
from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry.
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Sprint Nextel Slices
Prepaid Segment Even Thinner -
RCR Wireless News
Sprint Nextel launched a new sub-brand called PayLo, which is a value
under its, until now, data-centric Virgin Mobile brand.
While it’s good to see more choices for
customers, I can’t help but think that Sprint Nextel is creating a mass
confusion with its myriad of prepaid brands and offerings, and now a
Boost focusing on value
voice plans (both CDMA and iDEN), does Virgin really need such an
with a new brand nonetheless? Some
a brand demographic targeting technique.
Do you buy into that?
If you can
get the phone and plan value you want, do you really care if it’s
Virgin, or even Sprint Prepaid?
Wireless Announces Ready Broadband
Launch in Fred’s Hometown Discount Stores
It’s great to see prepaid broadband continue to
gain traction this
year. Let’s not
take our eyes off Sprint
MVNO, as they appear to be expanding their distribution and product
appeal. I look
forward to the additional
retail deployments noted in the news release!
Prepaid Wireless Pricing Wars -
The Prepaid Press
There’s no doubt about it, despite what anyone is willing to admit,
been a price war since Boost launched its all-in Monthly Unlimited plan
2009. Now it’s time
for prepaid carriers
to focus on churn reduction (i.e. losing less subscribers), and
growth. It will be
interesting to see
who can survive over the next few years.
Sprint Takes Free
Wireless Service to Florida
Sprint expands its free Assurance Wireless program to Florida. There’s no doubt that
eventually there will
be free programs available nationwide.
Chief Schulman Leaves Company
Sprint Prepaid Group’s President, Dan Schulman, makes a surprise exit
mess of myriad of new prepaid brands. My theory is that Schulman
has been job
searching since realizing that working with the Sprint organization was
more challenging than he ever thought it would be (from a
perspective) in terms of not having the autonomy to do what he wants as
he wants. The 2Q10
this month showed pretty weak prepaid performance compared to 2009. I have a feeling that since
the Boost business has been negatively impacted. i.e.
Schulman either saw the writing on the
wall, or was given a heads up from his old buddy Hesse to start
looking. I have a
great respect for Schulman, and no
matter how things went down over at Sprint-land, he contributed a lot
prepaid space over the years, and I'm sure he'll be successful at AMEX.
Phone Legislation May
Compromise Consumer Privacy
Requiring ID to purchase a prepaid phone is not a new concept, and
again over the past few months. There
are so many issues with this idea, and the cost and complexity of
implementation that I doubt we’ll see this in play anytime soon.
$50 Prepaid Unlimited Plan
Verizon is targeting the offer as a save program across the Southeast
only. Definitely a
wise move. Though
let’s not get too excited, for without
data included, the plan truly isn't all that inspiring.
I expect that ultimately they'll have to
include data. That
said, depending on
their business model, they may be better off letting their MVNOs
market for them.
Chatr Wireless Prepaid Brand - Competitor Lawsuits Follow
Rogers launched a flat rate monthly unlimited plan
to compete with
disruptive carriers that recently launched in Canada.
Mobility and Wind Mobile have taken legal
action under the premise that Rogers is violating the competition act
abusing its dominant position in the marketplace.
I think such a lawsuit will be hard to prove,
and ultimately Rogers needed to react.
If they’ve learned anything from the prepaid wars in the
U.S., they know
that they must not ignore the plight of prepaid carriers who will
take over the postpaid market.
Service to Include AT&T Phones
Previously only on Verizon’s network, TracFone will be expanding its
Straight Talk offer to AT&T’s network. TracFone currently
TracFone branded products on both networks.
This is a true testament to the success that prepaid
have had. This, and
other programs, are
no longer trials, and retailers recognize the value they bring to the
Customers, Sprint Still on Shaky Ground
Q2 2009 – 777K net subscribers; Q1 2010
– 348K net subscribers; Q2 2010 – 173K net subscribers.
Need I say more? The
2009 launch of their all-in Monthly
Unlimited plan shook up the market, and even yielded industry rewards,
over the following year as the competition easily dropped their prices,
success has plummeted. Am
I the only one
who doesn’t see this as a surprise?
After all, differentiation by price has never been a
strategy; marketing 101, right?
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