Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- January 2014 Issue #67
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com I try to provide you with in-depth
information that isn't readily available anywhere else. The
content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in
the prepaid wireless industry for over a decade.
This monthly email provides you
with a quick glance at what's trending in the news so that you
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
If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me
a big favor and "pay it
forward." If a friend DID forward
you and if you like what you read, please subscribe to Prepaid Wireless
2013 Was A Formidable Year For Prepaid Wireless!
This past year was certainly predictable, and played very
much as I have been predicting. Prepaid closed the handset
quality gap, and now provides most of the latest and greatest handsets.
Price plans remained competitive, and coverage and service
quality generally improved. Device financing, and the move
away from handset subsidies created quite a flurry of activity in the
industry. Most notably, the large carriers saw massive exodus
from postpaid to prepaid, and finally got serious about prepaid as a
critical source of future growth. With that realization
T-Mobile purchased MetroPCS, and AT&T launched AIO
followed later in the year with a move to replace AIO with a Cricket
acquisition (expected to close in early 2014). Both carriers
and customers are no longer denying that the future is no contract, and
in 2014 we will continue to see key strategic movements to support this
Phone Unlocking Will Become The Norm
topic of unlocking has been a contentious one for many years.
According to this article, carriers are open to the idea so
postpaid customers pay full price for their phones, and prepaid
customers maintain service with the carrier for at least one year
before the unlock code is provided. The reality is that
not historically provided unlock codes due to the fact that they've
invested heavily in phone
subsidies, and can't have customers leaving
for another carrier before they recoup their investment.
addition, it's not only about breaking even, but earning a healthy
profit, which is typically at least 40%. Despite our
objections, requiring customers to pay full price before providing
unlock codes is certainly fair. The future really is
zero subsidy model where customers must pay full price for our phones.
When wireless was not considered as essential as it is now,
customers to sign up with more affordable out-the-door prices made a
lot of sense. This is not longer the case as wireless
exceeds 90%. Phone financing as a separate service really
makes a lot
more sense than heavily subsidizing phones where customers are wholly
unaware, or at least unappreciative; it's a model that is no
sustainable, nor needed.
T-Mobile Offers Free Unlimited Facebook
Without Data Plan Required
Next iPhone News
GoSmart customers now get free unlimited access to Facebook.
is that it's on their 2G network, meaning that images will load slowly,
and videos will be pathetically slow. The objective is to get
buy up to a faster data plan after you get hooked on the convenience
and fun of having mobile access to Facebook. It really is a
strategy, however, it could backfire if the experience is so poor that
people simply discontinue using it, not understanding that the
experience will be much better with a decent data connection.
will be interesting to see how this unfolds; apparently it's doing well
in other countries. Ultimately, I expect that T-Mobile will
program to 3G access with the upgrade path to 4G, which will
much better customer experience. The future really is
access, meaning that you'll get free access by permitting personal ads
to be displayed, as well as a flat monthly access fee for a particular
service or bundle of services. For example, $2.99 per month
unlimited Facebook access, with the objective of not having customers
worry about how much data they're consuming, and ultimately becoming
more dependent on mobile applications that translates into additional
purchases. Profitability will of course be the key, so look
out for a
lot of experimentation in this area in the coming year.
E911 Tax Comes To Prepaid Wireless
Maple Valley Reporter
Starting today prepaid wireless customers will be charged an
each time we make a topup purchase at retail. It
took some time for postpaid wireless to adopt this tax as government
came to realize that 911 funds were quickly dwindling as customers
moved from landlines to wireless. Historically prepaid was so
small that it was overlooked (or at least ignored), however, now that
it's set to out pace postpaid, the authorities need to ensure that
funds continue to flow as needed. So while this is
disappointing news, it's a necessary evil. Keep in mind that
since it's a per transaction fee, you're better off topping up more per
transaction, otherwise the fee will become proportionally quite large.
For example, a $1 fee on a $5 topup is 20%!
Revol Goes Under - Shuts Down Service This
Revol announced that it will discontinue service on Jan 16th; i.e. the
company is bankrupt! This really shouldn't come as a
surprise, and we will continue to see regional players throw in the
towel over the next year. Competition and operating expense
in wireless in general, and even more so for prepaid wireless, is
severe. Smaller carriers must have a strong, and unique value
proposition to really attract customers. Otherwise it really
comes down to a commodity service. Revol customers who didn't
take up the free phone plus free month of service offer to convert to
Boost, which expired December 24th, should start considering your
options now. If you do want to go with Boost, I would
recommend reaching out to them even though you missed the deadline, as
there's a good chance they'll still provide some kind of offer.
T-Mobile Shook Things Up With Their 2013 Fight & It
This is a fantastic article that provides a great summary of not only
T-Mobile, but all of the major carriers and how they've been
performing. T-Mobile is specifically called out due to their
large efforts in 2013 to optimize customer value, as well as the
introduction of device financing, and other services that align with
their new "uncarrier" strategy. Despite being the smallest of
the four major U.S. carriers, T-Mobile's efforts created ripples in the
industry that resulted in reactive financing programs and other plan
adjustments by not only competitors like Cricket, but also more
formidable players like AT&T.
New At Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com?
Refreshing, consolidating, and simplifying content across the site to
optimize the visitor experience continued this past month.
many hundreds of pages, this process takes time. If you enjoy
site, the most valuable thing
you can do to help is to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, as
social presence is becoming an increasingly important factor for
search engine rankings. Thank you in advance!
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!