Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- February 2012 Issue
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Sprint Eventually Plans to Bring 4G LTE to
So Sprint will offer prepaid 4G using it's WiMAX network. My
first thought was, of course, that's a no-brainer. What I
found to be somewhat embarrassing for Sprint is their comment regarding
using this offer to stay ahead of the competition. Really?
I wonder if this statement was made in error, or complete
naivety. Sprint is already well behind the market in terms of
offering prepaid 4G, and getting their offer to market will be
necessary to stay in the game. To stay ahead of the
competition, they're going to need to be far more innovative than this!
SIMPLE Mobile Heats
While I don't know that this press release reveals anything really new,
generally speaking, I really like Simple Mobile's offering.
You can bring your own unlocked GSM phone or buy one from
them. Then select one of their well priced unlimited offers,
and you're done. It really is brilliant. I think
the key for Simple Mobile will be to continue to expand its
distribution and brand awareness. The only really key element
that I see lacking is an easier way to guide customers to a source(s)
of pre-owned, quality unlocked GSM phones. If you don't
already have your own phone, buying a nice mid- to high-tier smartphone
from them is "simply" too expensive. I'm currently seeking
partnerships to help re-sell pre-owned unlocked smartphones; please
contact me if you're interested.
Virgin Mobile to Throttle Smartphone Data in
Smartphone users will start to see their speed reduced to 256kbps when
they reach 2.5GB in a given month. Really, this should not
impact most users unless you're streaming a lot of Netflix or the like.
I think this is their strategy to deter heavy/free usage for
customers who have rooted their phones to access the free hotspot
feature. So long as the data limits remain reasonable, and
increase as people's normal usage evolves, I have no fundamental
objections to reasonable throttling limits.
Marquee Android Smartphone Added to Boost Mobile Lineup
This 4" touchscreen, 5MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing cameras, 1GHz
processor, thinner than the iPhone smartphone actually gets really good
reviews. You can get it on Boost Mobile's website for
$279.99, and you can expect that this price will drop close to $200
within a few months. A nice option to consider for sure,
though I would wait for at least the first price drop.
Cricket's Muve Music Reaches 500,000
At 500K subscribers on its unlimited music subscription service,
Cricket's Muve is now second in the U.S. only to Rhapsody; not bad.
As it rolls out Muve to all of its phones (or at least all of
its smartphones), no doubt we'll see this number grow substantially.
Now just find a way to let us access Muve music on multiple devices
(ex. a PC), and you've got a serious iTunes competitor!
MetroPCS to Offer Live TV
Metro partners with Mobile Content Venture to offer live TV to its
customers; it will be called Dyle Mobile TV. They don't
mention whether it will cost anything additional, though I suspect it
will. I suppose the real question of the day is whether
people watch live TV anymore? Particularly if you're on the
move looking to kill some time watching TV on your phone, why would you
want to watch live TV? Wouldn't you prefer to access your
shows recorded on your home DVR, or be able to playback a recent TV
show you missed, which allows you to play and pause at will?
I suppose only time will tell, but my prediction is that
people won't want to pay for this service, and adoption will
Huawei Mercury Android Smarpthone Comes
to Cricket Wireless
With a 4" touchscreen, 8MP rear-facing and VGA front-facing cameras,
1.4GHz processor, and Android Gingerbread 2.3, some say this is the
best prepaid smartphone on the market today. With the screen
quality, and the faster processor, it is certainly a contender for
being a sleek and fast device, and at $179.99 it's arguably much better
value than Boost's LG Marquee. So there you have it, another
step forward for the prepaid smartphone market.
Leap & MetroPCS
Could Be Sweet Consolation Prize for AT&T
I included this article as a kind of comic relief, as well as another
opportunity to caution those who put too much faith in financial
analysts or unqualified market commentators. Both Leap and
Metro PCS operate on incompatible CDMA networks (compared to
AT&T's GSM network). If the Sprint-Nextel merger
taught us anything is that this type of merger of incompatible
technologies is more of a hassle than its worth; not to mention a
costly proposition. Yes, getting their spectrum would be
nice, and yes, they're both rolling out 4G LTE networks (the same
technology as AT&T's 4G network), however, there are far less
synergies than value here. Of course the scale of this topic
is much smaller than the Sprint-Nextel deal was; nonetheless, to
propose that this makes any sense at all is fundamentally silly...at
least in my opinion.
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