Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- November 2014 Issue #77
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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Is Prepaid Still Relevant?
When I first came across this article I literally laughed out
loud thinking this is the most ridiculous question to be exploring.
The article is actually very well written, and it occurred to
me that there are still a lot of people out there who don't understand
that prepaid is no longer for the credit challenged or anonymous
criminals. For me it's been nearly a dozen years since I've
been working in the prepaid industry, so it's really a no brainer.
Also, this market has been legitimized over
and over again by
carriers like T-Mobile shifting to be fully no contract, AT&T
buying Cricket, and Sprint continuing to evolve its treasure chest of
wholly owned prepaid brands as well as MVNOs. If you, or
anyone you know, are non-believers in the coming of prepaid
wireless, this is definitely a good read!
Verizon Thinks Prepaid Wireless Market Is
Verizon thinks that the prepaid market isn't worthwhile.
honestly, I highly doubt that's really what they're thinking internally
even if that's actually what they said to external parties.
company with no real compelling prepaid offers, the only other thing
they could say is: "We know prepaid is the future of wireless, and that
we're way behind the entire industry building out a strategy."
reality is that they've
toyed around with different brands and
programs, and none of them have shown any market leadership or
innovation. The fact is that postpaid is still dominating
being on the decline), so they're happy to cruise along; however, the
tides are shifting, and they will ultimately need to make a more
meaningful move in the no contract space as well. It's really
matter of time. When they're up against the wall, and really
the shift, they'll make a change. Whether or not they're
that now is still unknown, but it's certainly no surprise that they're
not making any big moves at this point. But to say the market
is insane, and is highly unlikely what they truly said or actually
MetroPCS Launches Tablet Offer
The specs of this $149 tablet certainly
aren't state of the art, but
plenty enough to accomplish any standard task. I like the
idea of adding it to an existing MetroPCS plan for $10 rather than
activating an entirely new plan just for the tablet.
Personally, I think a separate mobile hotspot modem, or using
your smartphone as a hotspot is a more flexible solution.
There are so many tablet options on the market.
There's no doubt you could buy a better tablet on eBay (new),
and use your MetroPCS smartphone as a hotspot for an overall better
approach. That said, many people just want everyone pieced
together for them, and to keep things as simple as possible, so this
would definitely be an appealing offer. Regardless, offering
customers more options is definitely a positive step.
Loses Prepaid Customers in Q3
The notable portion of this article is that AT&T lost 140K
prepaid subscribers in the third quarter. They blame the
expected loss due to the transition from legacy Cricket to the new
AT&T program, however, that likely only contributed to a
portion of the losses. The reality is that their new program
is pretty much in-line with the prepaid market, with very few standout
features. A $5 monthly discount for using autopay is
definitely appealing, with Virgin Mobile being the only other carrier
to offer a flavor of it (iPhones only). However, they don't
offer mobile hotspot capability, nor Muve Music (their legacy unlimited
music program), and they don't advertise that they're an AT&T
subsidiary on the AT&T 4G nationwide network. So
all-in-all, customers don't really understand upfront the value of the
new brand, and the offers aren't obviously more compelling than the
plethora of other
prepaid plans out there. No doubt there's
some senior level management at the New Cricket sweating a bit at this
Cricket Re-Launches In Walmart
Prepaid Reviews (blog)
Cricket has had somewhat of bumpy relationship with Walmart over the
years. A brief summary is that shortly after launching their
initial CDMA program in Walmart (over 5 years ago now), it basically
flopped. They pulled it out, then later re-launched after
fixing some product issues, including a change in the Cricket
management team. It never became a large contributor, and was
arguably on its way out again when AT&T took the reigns.
The new GSM program, however, has promise, and it should be
interesting to see how it performs over the next 12 months.
What made the legacy Cricket CDMA program so
awful was that Cricket
designed a completely different product; different plans, different
topup channels, different activation procedure, etc. And they
didn't design it very well. The reason was due to their core
product behaving more like a postpaid (activate in store) product,
rather than a retail (cash-and-carry, activate later) product.
With the new GSM version, this issue is gone, which means a
solid program across channels. Hopefully they'll be able to
launch in the remaining 1,500 or so Walmart stores to get nationwide
Most Gorgeous Smartphone In The Country
I have to admit that this is a great looking device, and at $150,
despite the moderate specifications, it feels like a great deal.
That said, practically speaking, do we really want an
edge-to-edge bezel? Most
people put cases on their
smartphones, so a case for this device would likely not be able to wrap
around three of the edges (at least not in a meaningful way).
To me that makes it more prone to damage, and less
comfortable to hold. Also, with our without a case, your hand
is bound to cover some portion of the screen, which could affect
usability, not to mention overall structural strength.
All-in-all, I think this design is taking aesthetics a little
too far beyond what's functional.
Boost Launches iPhone 6
In case you missed it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are now available on
Boost. Prices range from $550 to $850 depending on the model
and memory option. Still on the expensive side when compared
to similarly, or better-featured Android phones; however, if you're a
simultaneous prepaid wireless and iPhone fan, you'll be happy to have
these options available.
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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