Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- September 2014 Issue #75
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
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T-Mobile Increases Data By 4x To Complete
With Sprint's New Pricing
In response to Sprint's recent competitive pricing change,
T-Mobile has shifted its $40, 500MB plan to $45, 2GB. That's
definitely great value, particularly due to the fact that unlike
Sprint, T-Mobile's plans are no contract offers. Customers on
the $40 plan can still keep their plan, however, new customers not
needing more than 500MB now essentially get a $5 price increase over
what they would have previously had to pay. Keep in mind that
the average user uses within
2GB per month; 500MB would be considered
low usage in today's world.
AT&T's Cricket Reacts To T-Mobile With Switching
Following T-Mobile's incentive, offering new customers defecting from
other carriers a year's worth of free unlimited data, AT&T's
Cricket brand is now offering $100 bill credit to customers switching
from T-Mobile/MetroPCS. There's no doubt that ALL carriers
are competing heavily in the prepaid space as postpaid continues to
decline. However, customers should remember to look at the
long terms benefits of carriers you're considering.
Yes, $100 or a year of unlimited data is nice, however, switching
carriers can be a pain if you can't bring your phone with you.
So don't forget to consider the value of the
plan in the long
term, other available plans you may want to switch to as your usage
needs change (for example, Cricket doesn't offer mobile hotspot
functionality on its new plans), network coverage, customer service,
etc. Chasing the latest coupon doesn't always yield the best
long term cost or overall better experience!
Virgin Mobile Offers Social Network-Only
Mobile is now offering, via its Walmart-specific plans, the ability to
pay for unlimited access to specific social apps. Namely, for
month you can get unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or
Pinterest, or get all of the apps for $15 per month. This
usage by app simplifies things for customers who no longer have to
worry about how much data we need to be buying when not on
high speed data plans.
It does, however, call into question the idea
of Net Neutrality, which generally states that there shall be no
distinguishing/discrimination amongst any particular content that is
available on the Internet. Here you're paying for access to a
particular site/service for unlimited access. It's arguably a
area, and personally, for those with limited data needs via these and
other apps, this type of offering makes a lot of sense. We
definitely expect to see a lot more of this in the near future.
Microsoft And TracFone Partnership Offers
Free Phone to Diabetes Patients
Microsoft, TracFone, and Health Choice Network have partnered to trial
application that will remind participating diabetes
patients to refill prescriptions, display reminders to talk to their
doctor when the phone receives calls from their doctor, etc.
Participants receive a free Windows phone and TracFone
I'm not convinced that a free phone and service are necessary to trial
this medical care application. It's likely more of a
marketing stunt to gain attention for Windows phones and TracFone
service, however, it's good to see smartphones adding to the quality of
life. If successful, and once all of the bugs are worked out,
I expect the app would become widely available across more popular iOS
and Android smartphones.
Pay-As-You-Go Plans On The Decline
Prepaid no contract
wireless began by servicing customers who were
either credit-challenged and couldn't get approved for a postpaid plan,
couldn't afford a monthly plan, or otherwise wanted to stay anonymous.
As the prepaid market has been going upstream to capture the
more profitable market, pay-per-minute plan availability has been
quickly decreasing. There are still, however, customers who
can't afford, or otherwise do not wish to have a monthly plan.
Finding these types of per use plans has become more difficult.
That said, while they are decreasing in popularity and
availability, they still do exist. Carriers typically don't
market them, so you'll need to hunt around on their website, or use
this site to see what's available. I doubt that these plans
will disappear altogether, so there shouldn't be any cause for alarm
Launch “Simply Prepaid” Combo Prepaid
Android Headlines - Android News
So here's a very odd strategy from T-Mobile. They're taking
four of their prepaid wireless MVNOs, and combining them (still as
separate brands) into a offering call "Simply Prepaid". It's
bizarre because the value of an MVNO is to target a specific
demographic, including geography, and even distribution channels.
This announcement infers that all four brands would be
marketed together for customers to choose from. From a
customer perspective, one aspect of MVNOs that can get extremely
confusing is that their plans tend to be very similar as they try to
compete in a crowded marketplace.
T-Mobile, GoSmart Mobile, Univision Mobile, and Ultra Mobile will make
up Simply Prepaid. Perhaps this is a strategy to
price competition in order to keep profits healthier with the promise
of this strategy helping to grow each of the MVNOs overall.
In my opinion, this is a failing strategy that will confuse
customers and dilute the value of each of the brands overall.
In the long run, expect T-Mobile to kill off these other
MVNOs as they fold any unique features and value propositions into the
T-Mobile brand. I'll certainly be keeping my eye on how the
actual implementation of this strategy play out!
RadioShack Kills Its No Contract Wireless
The day that RadioShack announced that it would launch its own prepaid
brand (powered by Cricket) I stated that it would fail. With
knowledge of the prepaid space and the RadioShack brand,
the fact that this was a bad idea was obvious. Their program
offered no value beyond the Cricket brand that was already being sold
in RadioShack, and as a retail destination (for anything really) it
offers no value either.
The fact is that RadioShack is likely to declare bankruptcy in the
not-too-distant future. Please don't get me wrong, I don't
like to see companies fail, however, when an obviously poor strategy is
executed, no tears will be shed; sorry....
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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