Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- April 2012 Issue #46
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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information that isn't readily available anywhere else. Its
content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in
the prepaid wireless industry.
This monthly email 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
so that you can move onto other tasks in your day. Each
includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the
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To Offer Free Wireless Broadband
to launch this summer, FreedomPop will offer 1GB of free monthly data,
with the option to buy discounted prepaid wireless plans.
also earn additional free data by participating in certain social
activities. They describe the model as being similar to Skype
co-founder is involved with this company). They'll be
devices that work on Clear's network, but don't mention anything about
backwards compatibility with 3G. 4G coverage will eventually
everywhere, but in the meantime, this will have limited/targeted
appeal. I think that's a good thing as FreedomPop gains
with their business model and operations, and how customers ultimately
interact with their free and paid services. It will be
see how this goes.
Launches Prepaid Wireless Broadband
can review the pricing by following the link, but the key point to
highlight is that it's 4G only. This means that there's no
compatibility to 3G, so you'd better be sure that you live, work, and
play where you have 4G coverage otherwise the service will be useless
to you. Also, I found the note regarding customers being able
self-throttle the speed to maximize data usage to be somewhat odd.
Maybe it's just me, but if I'm engaging in a activity on my
I want it to complete as quickly as possible. Slowing things
doesn't save any data; it simply makes me wait longer for it.
I would run out of time and therefore consume less content online in a
given session on the computer, but that seems like an odd
theory/approach, don't you think? Anyway, it's always good to
entrants into the prepaid mobile broadband space!
Plus Adds More Data
Plus has doubled the data of its $55 plan to 1GB, and its $39.99
Unlimited Talk n Text plan gets five times the data
it previously had
at 100MB. I have to say that Page Plus has been one of those
smaller players that has consistently either increased the value of its
plans, or decreased pricing. Unlike some of the larger
seem to make more dramatic swings in both directions, Page Plus takes
smaller, more methodical steps towards better and better customer
value. Keep it coming Page Plus!
Walmart Names T-Mobile Supplier Of The Year
Given T-Mobile's challenges in the market as
of late, this is a nice pat on the back from the largest retailer on
the planet. If you've ever worked with Walmart on a business
level, you'll know that they are extremely demanding, and often
discount the needs of the carrier, both in terms of branding and cost
structure. I imagine that T-Mobile was more accommodating
than most, and with high revenues and profits for Walmart, T-Mobile is
now in their good graces. Good job! I just hope
that T-Mobile can be profitable in Walmart and sustain the value that
they've been offering.
Signs Wholesale 4G LTE Agreement With Clear
This seems like a wise move by Cricket to help accelerate its 4G LTE
expansion, which it has already begun. Hopefully the
financials are such that they can offer customers good value while
remaining profitable. As wholesale agreements are often
expensive, if customers don't use Cricket's native 4G network enough,
the company could lose money if too much data is used while on Clear's
network. Time-to-market and long term profitability are
always a delicate balance!
to Launch PreCash Mobile Payment Application
The app will support utility payments, insurance and car payments, etc.
There's no mention of being able to pay your wireless account
though. I'm all about mobile payment applications, however,
this approach seems somewhat lack luster. Though I expect it
will provide reminders and have nice widgets and the like.
That said, if you've got a credit or debit card, why wouldn't
you just setup
autopay for each of your bills, and not have to worry about managing a
multitude of payments on a weekly basis. Manual payments may
provide you with more control to review bills before paying them,
however, I'm not sure that I'd want to be reviewing them on my phone;
I'd rather use my PC, download statements, and use online banking; but
that's just me!
Gets Hammered By The Market For Offering Rebates
So MetroPCS is spending more money to acquire customers in a
competitive market, and the analysts are surprised? The
reality is that the wireless market in general (prepaid and postpaid)
is more dynamic than ever. Metro could have simply increased
their subsidy and applied a straight reduction to the price of the
phone. Rebates, however, tend to be more profitable as a
surprising number of customer never send in their rebate, or fail to
meet the requirements. Personally I hate rebates for
just that reason. Too many valid rebates get rejected because
people are either late with sending it in, don't provide the needed
receipt or UPC code, etc. This ultimately leads to customer
frustration and churn. Regardless, there's no doubt Metro is
working hard on customer acquisition, and analyst in general do more
harm than good with their typically shallow view of company operations.
Offer Lower Plan Option - As A Promotion
Boost is offering a $45 plan on three of its phones that does NOT
include unlimited Web. What the article doesn't note is that
it's a promotional offer from March 29 to May 31. The beauty
of Boost's previous strategy was its unlimited everything approach; a
simple and easy to understand approach. This new plan muddies
the waters, and seems somewhat uninspiring given the restrictions (no
Web and limited phone selection). This is only marginally
news worthy, but in the spirit of keeping you informed of market
changes, I thought best to include it nonetheless.
Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA Receive Award For Customer Service
If you search online you'll find an endless number of complaints about
wireless customer service, and how awful they are. So if
you're looking for a industry recognized carrier for high customer
service scores, you'll want to take note of these Sprint prepaid brands.
Postpaid Wireless Market Looks To Prepaid For Growth
The title says it all, and my only feedback is "I told you so."
Prepaid makes a lot of sense, and customer are now more aware
than ever of the value (and quality) that is now available on prepaid.
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