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to-the-point commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your
day. Each snippet includes a link to the original story
you be interested in more details.
2016 Showed Steady Prepaid Growth
Unlike previous years, we
didn't see any hockey stick growth in the prepaid segment, nor any
ground breaking offers. 2016 was really a year of steady
virtually every carrier. Even Verizon showed real moves in
which it had neglected for essentially the past decade. As
networks improved in both quality and efficiency, we saw increased
competition with data bundles, though truly unlimited high speed plans
remain a phenomenon of the past.
The expansion of family plans,
including data sharing was popular, along with the introduction of data
carryover as a means of "innovating" with data while avoiding unlimited
offers. We also saw carriers move completely away from phony
of "unlimited" plans, which confused and infuriated customers when they
learned that after their high speed allotment was depleted, they would
get pathetic 2G (or even 1X) speeds. Lifeline programs also
healthy activity, including Sprint's acquisition of Access Wireless.
selection remained strong, and we definitely saw T-Mobile and Cricket
dominate, while Sprint continued to struggle. It will be
to see how 2017 unfolds. I don't expect anything
rather increased pressure on price and data allotment competition.
doubt though, that there will be some great deals to be had for prepaid
December 1st, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved the
extension of the Lifeline program for low income households to
broadband service. This includes both fixed home and mobile
It's basically a $9.25 subsidy that can be applied to any
service or voice and data bundle. As a result, households
advantage of Lifeline's wireless service will now have data access as
well. With this change has come the expansion of smartphones
of legacy feature phones. I dedicated a new page specifically
topic, which you can find at the link above.
The Lane Report
fee has been a long time in the making, and has been rolling out around
the country. Initially prepaid wireless was basically
though postpaid wireless customers have long since had this fee added
to their bill. These fees help to support the 911 network, so
no one likes fees, this is certainly for a good cause. This
testament to the growth and importance of the prepaid market, which is
now so large that states are hungry for this additional revenue.
reload will now cost you 93 cents additional, which is actually NOT
trivial. Considering that I pay $1 every 90 days for my
backup prepaid phone, that's almost a 100% increase in cost.
more typical plans, this still represents a
non-trivial increase in
cost for the lower priced plans. Note that this isn't the
carrier charging you this fee; it's the retailer selling you the
prepaid topup. Unfortunately, with the success of prepaid
types of fiscal responsibilities.
Digits frees you from your phone & lets you use your phone from
device, including access to multiple phone numbers! It's like
Hangouts on steroids, and far more versatile. I felt the
topic was so
intriguing that I wrote a dedicated page on the site to cover this
topic; check it out for all the details!
the growth of no contract wireless came the increase in purchases of
unlocked phones, which is said to now be up to 12%. That
like a lot when compared to the rest of the world, however, for the
U.S. this is a huge shift. Google offered the previous Nexus
now the Pixel, Amazon offers their ad-supported Blu line, and most
iPhones and Android phones can be purchased at their no-contract price.
Except for Amazon's phones, you'll pay a hefty price to
yourself from a contract. Though most carriers now also offer
financing or leasing options.
I'm personally not a fan of
financing/leasing, as this approach essentially locks you into a
contract, which needs to be paid off before you can make a carrier
switch. Regardless, if you can afford it, buying an unlocked
gives you supreme flexibility, and I have no doubt is a trend that will
continue to grow in the coming years.
those still looking for a sweet deal may want to check out Cricket.
Although they have limited supplies, and there are only a few
left, you can get a certified pre-owned HTC Desire 512 for $0.99, or
the following smartphones if you switch carriers: LG Escape 3
($19.99), Samsung Galaxy Amp 2 (FREE), Microsoft Lumina 650 (FREE).
These are not top-of-the-line phones, however, are extremely
respectable, particularly for the price. If you do select
don't forget to signup for autopay, which gets you $5 off every month.
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