Unlimited Wireless Plans
Unlimited wireless is the king of all prepaid wireless plans!
Some small wireless
started launching unlimited monthly services going back to 2006.
example, MetroPCS and Cricket Communications (under parent company Leap
Wireless at the time) were regional carriers that focused solely on
providing unlimited prepaid wireless plans. They
regional (i.e. not nationwide) and therefore only a limited population
were exposed to
types of plans in any meaningful way.
The rest of the nationwide prepaid wireless carriers just cruised along
with their Pay
As You Go, Daily
Plans, and Monthly
In fact, these "other" carriers were cruising along with
blinders on. What I mean by that is that while they knew
unlimited carriers like MetroPCS and Cricket, they didn't see them as a
real threat. Some of these other carriers at the time
Mobile, TracFone, Boost Mobile, and Net10. By the
2007 rolled around, these larger carriers were literally getting
killed, and referred to those providing unlimited wireless service as
"disruptive carriers." Either their naivety or ego stopped
the most senior executives from seeing that the unlimited model was not
only appealing, but also financially sustainable.
2008, Boost Mobile got on the unlimited band wagon (in an attempt to
save their dying business!), and it could be argued that they brought
flat rate unlimited prepaid wireless to the masses. The next
number of years entailed fierce competition with heavy national
expansion by the originals (MetroPCS and Cricket). Needless
say that prepaid heated up in a big way, and really began to get
mainstream attention, which was important for it to move away from
being seen as only for the credit challenged. The initial
these unlimited plans was to offer unlimited voice service for a fixed
price. Of course, as the market heated up, unlimited voice
expanded into unlimited text messaging, then unlimited Web.
Ironically, despite Boost's role in popularizing unlimited plans, fast
forward to current day, and they're not doing well at all competing in
this now massive market. Cricket, on the other hand, is
thriving after its acquisition by AT&T, and MetroPCS is doing
well under T-Mobile.
best plans still included all of the basic features as unlimited,
an attempt to remain profitable, as well as to offer a lower entry
point, prepaid wireless carriers also started offering unlimited voice
only plans with the other features offered in familiar monthly
allocations, add-on bundles, or lower priced monthly plans that
included only unlimited voice. Here are some common features
these plans to look out for as you compare unlimited:
- Are there any other services that are also unlimited?
plans include everything anymore! And don't be fooled by
plans stating "unlimited data". There's always a fixed amount
of high speed data, with unlimited "super slow speed" data thereafter.
you miss your monthly payment, what are the rules around getting
reactivated? Consider additional fees, losing your service or
- Are there fees for changing plans?
much does it cost to add money to your account? Some
still charge you convenience/service fees to add money/make a
payment, so definitely compare these fees to the monthly charge.
Sometimes one plan will seem cheaper than another, however,
payment fee may be much larger. So be sure to look at these
together when comparing the total monthly cost of each plan.
Generally speaking, I recommend avoiding companies that
fees to topup. Those that do, typically offer fee free
like credits cards or Autopay.
Lastly, some are telecom tax inclusive, while others aren't,
so understanding the true monthly cost is super critical.