Why Prepaid Wireless?
Why prepaid wireless?
This is a really interesting topic! It has become
interesting in recent years as the prepaid market has
changed so dramatically. No contract wireless has become a
topic that's in the media virtually every day. Let's
review the standard
why prepaid wireless has drawn so much attention, and then
talk about why
things are so much different now.
Back when it first
launched, people were
drawn to prepaid wireless because of the following benefits:
- Doesn't require a
credit check - People who wanted a postpaid account but couldn't
qualify would get prepaid.
require a deposit - People with lower credit would often
be required to put down large deposits in order to get a postpaid
- No surprise bills -
Anyone who has had a postpaid account has at
one time or another received a large bill due to extra charges that
were completely unexpected.
control - Similar to #3, there's no way to spend more than
expected because you know exactly how much you're adding to your
- Anonymity - Prepaid
wireless does not require a name, address, or social security number.
Though laws are in play that are seeking to erode this
the spirit of national security.
However, with these benefits, customers also had to make certain
- Higher handset prices - Due to the fact that
there is no contract, carrier handset subsidies are lower, and often
zero (i.e. no subsidy at all).
- Higher price per minute - For the
convenience of no commitment,
you had to pay a lot more per minute. So, ironically, heavy
often pay more per month than the average postpaid consumer.
- Limited services - With the objective of
costs low, and the thought that prepaid customers were less valuable,
the amount and breadth of services was often limited. For
example, games, GPS navigation, and sometimes even voicemail, were
either unavailable or expensive add-ons back when no contract wireless
So what's different today?
- Per minute pricing has come down so low, that
with the right
plan, you can actually get prices that are the same and
often lower than
- The variety of plans offered is astounding, including
unlimited plans, so going prepaid no longer requires any real sacrifice
in terms of the available plans.
increasing competition in prepaid and in the wireless
industry in general, handset pricing has come down considerably.
So although you'll often pay more for your phone than you
if you had a postpaid contract, the prices are extremely reasonable.
- The quality and selection of phones has improved
dramatically, including high end Android and iPhone smartphones.
- You can get most, if not all services on even the most
Why Prepaid Wireless - The Conclusion!
The answer to why prepaid wireless is actually a
question in return. Why get a postpaid plan?!
Consider that for access to
the same or similar phones, the same services, and the same network,
you don't have to be tied to a contract, including no surprise
know what you're thinking; it's too good to be true?! Well,
yes, there are still some considerations (see below). But
generally speaking, in my opinion, prepaid will continue to grow and
take over postpaid as the dominant choice, and we've already seen a
shift in the mindset that people have towards prepaid. More
will move away from its status as a second class product, to the
product of choice for most, even those with great credit.
say no to Cell
Note that not all prepaid carriers are nationwide, though most have
accomplished that at this point through roaming agreements with other
carriers, and they don't charge customers for roaming. While
handset selection has increased dramatically, the latest and greatest
handsets tend to take some time to show up on prepaid.
we've seen that lag decreasing significantly in recent years.
Some prepaid providers still charge reload fees in
channels, which is simply unacceptable.
Why Choose Prepaid Wireless?