Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- March 2014 Issue #69
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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Boost Mobile Launches 4G LTE Promotion -
Cuts $20 Off Plan Price
Through the end of March, Boost is offering a deep discount on its $55
plan down to $35 for the first six months. The plan will only
allow 2.5G of LTE data before being throttled to 3G, however, for most
users that's more than sufficient, particularly if you turn on WiFi
while at home. Note that after the 6-month period, customers
then qualify for the Boost Shrinkage program, which takes down the
monthly cost by $5 for each on-time monthly payment, down
to a minimum
price of $35. We've been seeing somewhat of a price war these
past months in the prepaid space. Last month I detailed
Cricket's $100/month family plan for 3-5 smartphones.
Aio also recently reduced its pricing, and even Net10 has
beefed up their data plans. The risk here is that it's a race
to the bottom where only the carriers with the deepest pockets will
survive. In the meantime, it means great prices for customers!
AT&T's Aio Wireless Also
Cuts Plan Prices
the purchase of Cricket, it's obvious that AT&T is serious
prepaid, so beefing up its Aio prepaid offer comes as no
It's unclear whether its new $5 off deal for signing up for
payments is a straight copy of Cricket's
identical program, which
launched in 2012, as a step in the direction of aligning customers to
what will become a Cricket prepaid brand play. The benefit
customers will have is that they will already have an AT&T
compatible phone, while Cricket customers will either be required to
buy a new phone, or be given a new one by AT&T (which could be
great deal for those who hold out for an inevitable forced migration).
I don't expect this new pricing will bring in droves of new
however, it may very well help to keep existing customers until
AT&T migrates them to the new Cricket plans, which are likely
look very similar to what we see here.
AT&T's Aio Wireless Loses "Magenta"
year T-Mobile sued AT&T for the use of its
magenta brand colors
with AT&Ts new Aio Wireless prepaid brand, stating that it
intentionally confused prospective customers. Well, T-Mobile
suit. While the article doesn't describe any financial
were awarded, the cost to change out its branding will certainly shake
things up at Aio. That said, AT&T is planning on
brand once the Cricket purchase is completed (currently awaiting DOJ
approval), thus, re-branding doesn't seem likely at this point.
question in my mind (curious minds want to know!) is whether
specifically chose that color to combat T-Mobile; I suspect that it
did. You would think they had to see that lawsuit coming from
Vesta Announces DelayPay
Plan For Prepaid Customers
people aren't familiar with Vesta as they don't have a consumer facing
brand. Vesta processes billions of dollars of
credit, debit, and
electronic check payments worldwide for various different wireless
providers. For carriers they support, they host automatic
programs, text-to-pay, as well as your typical Web, IVR, and On Device
payment portals. For carriers that process payments using
systems, they can now offer DelayPay, which allows customers to opt
into deferring their monthly payment for 30 days. Repayment
two equal installments with a 5% penalty if it's not re-paid within the
30-day period. Personally, I'm not a big fan of financing
related to phones and service, however, for people who are having cash
flow problems, this type of payment delay could be a lifesaver that
allows them to maintain service for
a reasonable charge. At
least, it's great to see continued innovation in the payments space!
Boost Mobile And Virgin Mobile To
Launch Galaxy S5
While the launch date has yet to be confirmed, the flagship Samsung
Galaxy S5 will likely launch on or shortly after it launches on Sprint.
It's great to see that prepaid continues to gain ground on
postpaid, and is no doubt a serious contender. Interestingly,
Cricket has been among the first prepaid carriers to launch the
flagship Galaxy smartphones, as well as iPhones, and yet we have yet to
see a launch announcement. I expect that we'll see a delayed
S5 launch due to the expectation that they will launch it on the
AT&T network post-AT&T acquisition of Cricket; time
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