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This section 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 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.
gist of this article is that Verizon spent quite a bit of thought
energy on a prepaid campaign targeting Millennials. What gave
a chuckle is how much time they must have put into this holiday
commercial when their prepaid plans are so sub par compared to the
competition. Consumers these days are far too smart to be
by such marketing ploys. They'll spend about 5 minutes online
comparing prepaid plans, and quickly find that Verizon is near the
bottom of the options. Looks like a disconnect between the
marketing budget and the overall prepaid pricing strategy.
this past month was the first time Verizon actually made meaningful
changes to its plans, so maybe this is indicative of a change in its
Kansas City Business Journal
couple of months ago Sprint announced it was selling its Assurance
Wireless Lifeline program to i-wireless to be combined with their
Access Wireless Lifeline program. In an unexpected twist,
announced it is now seeking to acquire 70% of i-wireless, which still
involves merging the Access and Assurance brands. Access will
continue to be run by the i-wireless founder.
In my opinion
are simply fancy accounting moves to offload liability while enhancing
revenue. It appears as though the combined business will be
under the Access brand, which is a little surprising given the
longevity of the Assurance brand. Or perhaps issues with the
quality of its program, including customer service, is motivating them
to reboot under the smaller Access brand.
Mobile World Live
no doubt that despite a poor execution of the migration of Cricket to
the AT&T network following the acquisition, Cricket has been a
strong contender in the prepaid market. So long as
continues to allow Cricket to compete on price and features, and
doesn't hold back the brand for a fear of losing postpaid customer, it
should fair well in the long term. I'm not sure how important
move to 5G will be given that they're currently throttling prepaid data
speeds. Despite the throttled speed being more than
there's clearly still a LOT of 4G speed to leverage.
discussion or marketing around 5G would be purely marketing propaganda
in my opinion.
Also, keep in mind that Cricket's latest president is pretty
to the market, as was its former one. So long as pricing and
bundles remain competitive, they should be able to easily ride the wave
of prepaid growth despite the general lack of senior executive
interesting piece of this article is that Verizon has made significant
improvements in the third quarter in terms of its prepaid subscribers.
This caught my attention due to the fact that Verizon has
basically been a deadbeat in the prepaid market for the past decade.
In more recent years they have made small changes to their
to stay relevant; not even to be competitive! The fact that
are gaining more prepaid subscribers is a testament to two factors (in
First, prepaid continues to grow, while postpaid
continues to decline (across all carriers), thus, this shift was
inevitable. Second, there are some die hard Verizon fans
simply prefer to be with, or stay with the brand.
Verizon postpaid customers who have come to the realization that
signing a 2-year contract makes no sense. Many of these tend
stay with Verizon, as they are fearful of the vast prepaid world, or
simply prefer the Verizon brand in general. It will be
how they perform over the next couple of quarters.
reading my note above about how Verizon is not competitive, which has
been consistent for the past decade, they introduced two new plans that
I can only describe as their first foray into being competitive!
Not the leader in prepaid, but definitely valid, competitive
offers with their new $50 and $70 plans, which include 5GB and 10GB,
respectively. These also include mobile hotspot and data
carryover. Note that the carryover amount is capped at 5GB
10GB for these plans, which is still respectable; we can't expect them
to allow an unlimited liability that would come with unlimited
Also, recall that Verizon currently has exclusive
access to Google's Pixel smartphones, which I'm hearing are fantastic,
and now also available on prepaid. For the first time in over
decade, I can say: "Good job Verizon!" THAT SAID, please
compare these plan to other providers (ex. Cricket offers better
overall value, though doesn't include data carryover) before making a
To better compete with Apple's iMessenger app, Google and Sprint have
partnered to launch RCS (Rich Communications Services), which is
essentially the next generation of SMS. It allows the sharing
of high resolution images, group chats, and read receipts, which has
been lacking from standard Android messaging apps. Of course,
there have always been third party messaging apps that provide some of
these features, however, most standard users tend to stick with the
build-in app. Of course this will become more relevant as
it's rolled out to additional carriers, but they have to start
Verizon has eliminated its $15 and $30 plans, forcing smartphone
customers to buy up to at least its $45 plan. Feature phone
users can still access the $30 plan, which is a WiFi only plan.
That plan never really made much sense for smartphones,
particularly given our data-centric usage these days. It
probably resulted in more complaints and confusion than it was worth.
Needless to say, Verizon has been cleaning up its prepaid
portfolio this past month!
Cricket now offers its $50 plan with 8GB instead of 5GB. You
can also get it for $45/month by signing up for autopay, which is a
discount that works on any plan. People are stating this is a
limited time offer, however, I can't see any reference to that, nor an
end date, on their website. I don't doubt, however, that
they're trialing this plan, which is also an additional enticement for
the holiday season. If you're considering Cricket, now is
definitely a good time to consider them!
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