Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- February 2015 Issue #80
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
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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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Mobile Launches 4G Data Sharing Plans In Walmart
Virgin is now offering 4G family data sharing plans exclusive to
Walmart. The plans have very good value, which isn't unexpected given
the partnership with Walmart. What irks be about these plans
that it's available only on certain handsets. I understand
the sharing app is pre-installed, however,
installing an app on any
phone really isn't difficult, and can be pushed via SMS when a customer
It's still unclear whether customers can later upgrade
or swap smartphones with other non-Walmart Virgin phones.
business and customer perspective that would make the most sense;
however, Walmart often implements cumbersome rules that
keeps customers coming back to its stores. While
that's understandable for
Walmart, it makes for a restrictive program from the customer's point
of view. Note that virtually every carrier, prepaid and
is focusing on shared data plans this year, so expect a lot of
T-Mobile Launches Simply Prepaid
Plans To Compete On Value With Virgin
The Next Digit
response to Virgin's
family data shared plans, T-Mobile has launched
new Simply Prepaid Plans, which, although aren't shared plans, offer
good value at the individual level. So you get less data,
however, it's not shared, and the plan price per person is low.
These types of offers make it difficult for people looking
multiple lines to compare because they're not apples to apples.
The key for a family to make the best decision is to have a good
understanding of what your individual data needs are. From
you can do the math of the per person cost breakdown, and the amount of
data in the plan.
Cricket Sells Muve Music To Deezer For $100 Million
clarify, Cricket developed Muve Music as a service to differentiate its
prepaid service from
the competition. They've played around
raising plan prices, but including it for free, as well as offering it
as a paid add-on. They subsequently spun off the brand as a
separate company, and are now selling it to Deezer for $100 million.
Not bad for a project that lasted approximately 6 years!
Whether Deezer can compete in the U.S. as a paid add-on
I expect Cricket will ultimately phase it out in
favor of a Beats or other offering. They probably have a
in the contract that requires Cricket to offer it as a service for a
specified period of time. In my opinion, Deezer really needs
expand beyond Cricket if they are to succeed in the U.S., and I predict
that won't happen. The service simply isn't good enough in
of usability to compete with more established brands.
Cricket CDMA Shut Down Schedule
you're a legacy Cricket CDMA customer you'll want to study this
shutdown schedule. Thus far I haven't been impressed with
proactive offers to convert, or lack there of. It will be
interesting to see how aggressive they get in the final hours.
reality, they should offer a free phone that is similar to the one you
already purchased. For example, if you have a Galaxy S4 on
they should give you a free GSM Galaxy S4.
It doesn't look like
it's going to work out that way though. I expect they'll lose
lot of customers that they could have otherwise retained.
seem to be forgetting the fact that it's cheaper to give an existing
customer a free phone and keep them happy and on their network, than to
spend money marketing to replace those customers. Hmm....
Cricket Offers Feature-Packed Low Cost ZTE
Grand X Max+
is a very capable phone for $200, however, I wouldn't say that
it's on par with the iPhone or Galaxy S series phones available on
Cricket to replace them as a flagship smartphone. That said,
the price, it's quite a competitive offer. In particular, you
don't usually see a 5MP front and 13MP rear camera in a phone this
price off contract. I would definitely recommend looking at
screen quality before making a final conclusion.
I expect the
margins on this phone are extremely thin for ZTE (assuming the build
quality is at least decent), and they're using this to build their
brand in the U.S., which has been lacking in recent years. If
it's up to par, then Cricket/ZTE could have a
hit on their hands!
Verizon Launches Bigger Data Buckets With 90-Day Expiration
PCC Mobile Broadband
has always been the last carrier to follow prepaid trends, which they
can afford to do as the #1 postpaid carrier. Over a year
later, they're now
doubling data, which essentially brings them in line with the industry
standard data allotment. With a 90-day expiration on the data
allowance, you get a pseudo rollover of unused data for that period of
time, which is the only saving grace of their otherwise uninspiring
offer. It's at least good to see that someone over there is
actually thinking about prepaid! Again, unless you're a die
Verizon fan, there's really no compelling reason to go with their
prepaid program at this time.
Boost Will Increase 1 GB to 2.5 GB for $35 Plan With Auto
up for autopay (Auto Re-Boost in Boost-land), and you can get a $35
unlimited plan with 2.5GB of highspeed data. That's a great
value! For those considering Boost, another consideration is
they don't currently support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), so unlike
most other carriers these days, you're stuck buying Boost-only phones.
If that doesn't concern you, this is a very competitive offer
Launches Unlimited 4G For $50
through April 5th, MetroPCS customers can get the $60 plan that
includes unlimited 4G data for $50. It's actually a great
however, customers should know their actual data usage before signing
up, as they may be better off on a $40 plan with a different carrier
that includes less data, but more than fulfills their actual usage
needs. If your usage does in fact warrant unlimited highspeed
data, this a good deal , and you can keep it as long as you remain a
T-Mobile Offers Bad Credit Customers Access To High End Phones
industry standard is for carriers to use credit scores to define
whether they'll allow you to finance a phone, rather than pay full
price upfront. T-Mobile, however, is now taking matters into
their own hands by
allowing you to prove your credit worthiness to them
directly. How do you do this? By paying on time for
consecutive months. The credit bureaus basically track
payment behavior on your mortgage payments, car loans, etc.
Having direct payment experience with a customer is certainly
valuable data. It's an interesting approach, and I'd like to
see the data on its results, though it's doubtful they'll ever
report how many of these customers ultimately default on payments once
they get approved after the 12 month period.
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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