Prepaid Wireless Tracker - October
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.
This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's in the
that you can easily keep informed. I believe in brief,
summaries/commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your day.
Each snippet includes a link to the original story should you
interested in the full details.
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Unleashed Unlimited Going Nationwide
The nationwide rollout of Verizon’s unlimited prepaid plan is great
news. However, as
long as it remains restricted to
feature phones, it will never gain any real momentum.
It will be interesting to see how Verizon
decides to compete in the prepaid space as no contract handsets become
powerful, with a large proportion of prepaid phone sales now being
Sneaky: Boost Mobile to charge you $5 more per month
if you use Android
Starting Oct 6th, new Boost customers using an
Android smartphone will
be charged $55 for its unlimited plan.
still remains a good deal, and an inevitable price increase if it is to
doubt competitors will
eventually follow. Unfortunately,
loses the simplicity of its pricing model, which was simply $50
across the board (except for the BlackBerry premium of course, but who
really wants one of those ;-); now pricing varies by device.
Boost Launches New Android 2.3 Smartphone
Boost to launch the Samsung Transform Ultra for $230.
Check out the specs; it’s interesting that
not too long ago a 1GHz processor with dual cameras was considered high
end. I suppose the
moderately sized 3.2
inch screen keeps the phone as mid-tier device.
Once the price drops to under $200, this will
become their new high sales smarthphone.
$25 Prepaid Plan
At $25 for 250 minutes, unlimited text messaging, and the ability to
AT&T can now compete with Verizon’s offering.
Add to that the ability to use this plan on a
smartphone (unlike Verizon’s prepaid plans), and AT&T appears
to be adding
some horsepower into its prepaid offering.
Slow to react, but they’re obviously spending more
how to play in the prepaid space before they completely lose market
Not Worried About Verizon
First I have to say that the reference to Jump Mobile (folded into
years ago) is laughable. What
article should have referenced was MetroPCS and Sprint (i.e. Boost and
Virgin). Anyway, I
agree that Verizon’s
plan is not much of a threat given that customers cannot activate
moment Verizon does so,
Leap and Metro will be in serious trouble, though I don’t expect that
for the better part of two years.
to Launch QWERTY Android JukeB Smartphone
It’s interesting how this BlackBerry (or legacy Treo) form factor is
considered to be low end. I
can’t stand the landscape sliding keyboards; what a pain! The screen resolution is
quite a surprise
given that 320x480 is now seen as relatively low resolution (look at
Motorola XPRT/Droid Pro). I
a super high resolution screen, while likely not that much more costly
phone this size, may yield text that is too small to read clearly. That said, with these
specs, I’d be surprised
if it sold for $150 as predicted in the article.
At $99, this phone would be a reasonable buy
for text entry centric users.
Leap's Cricket Prepaid Service Goes National
What can I say; launching with Monthly Bucket plans (as opposed to its
Unlimited) is a
under the same brand
should NOT be different based on the channel in which it's purchased;
poor strategy and difficult to execute well. I expect it has
with its MVNO relationship with Sprint (i.e. the cost structure). However, while that's an
doesn't absolve it from being a bad strategy.
Cricket needs to be nationwide with its unlimited plans to
truly prosper. Hopefully
it will get there before it's too
SIMPLE Mobile Intros
All-You-Can-Eat Talk, Text
and Web Plans Starting at $40
Simple announced a new $40 unlimited plan, which includes support for
smartphones. However, you'll want to bring your own phone, as
the ones offered are limited, and the decent ones are quite overpriced.
I like Simple Mobile as an MVNO to keep an eye on, though if
the AT&T merger with T-Mobile is approved, it will be
interesting to see what happens to Simple.
epay Signs Long-Term Prepaid
for Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless
epay signs an exclusive deal with Sprint for its prepaid brands in the
indirect sales channel. Given that epay, part of Euronet
Worldwide, already had a dominant position in their indirect
distribution network, I'm sure that Sprint negotiated a reduction in
processing fees for an exclusive deal. However, sometimes
short term savings are not work the long term financial exposure.
Consolidating to one player in that space is a dangerous
strategy that no doubt highlights the business' desire to avoid the
natural complexities of indirect distribution. While epay is
a very reputable company in the prepaid industry, generally speaking,
this is a poor strategy, likely stemming from a management structure
that is fearful of the wild wild west that is the indirect channel.
What's New at
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