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Prepaid Wireless Tracker #90, Dec 2015 - Get Unlimited Data For Music Streaming w/ MetroPCS
December 01, 2015

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - December 2015, Issue #90


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At 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 can easily keep informed.  I believe in brief, to-the-point summaries/commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your day.  Each snippet includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the full details.

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MetroPCS Includes Unlimited Music Streaming
T-Mobile announced that MetroPCS, its prepaid brand, will allow customers on its $40, $50 and $60 plans unlimited access to music streaming, which won't count against their data plan.  This is essentially T-Mobile's "Binge On" feature that it just launched on its core brand, minus access to streaming video.

This is generally good news for customers, however, it has raised some controversy around Net Neutrality issues, which stipulate that certain content shouldn't be favored over other content.  While this program technically complies with regulations, it does spur some debate over whether it's a technical loophole, or even a slippery slope.  Regardless, for music lovers who are running low on your data allowance each month, this will certainly be a welcome free feature!

T-Mobile Seeking To Steal Sprint Customers With $200 Offer
DSL Reports
T-Mobile continues their aggressive moves to acquire customers by offering any Sprint customer (including prepaid) $200 to switch.  I actually do believe that T-Mobile has better plans and a better network, however, customers shouldn't get caught up on one-time incentives like this.

You should also consider the long term consequences of changing, and make sure that it meets your needs.  In particular, the monthly plan cost (including all taxes and fees), as well as network coverage where you live, work, and play.  It still amazes me how motivated consumers get for one-time cash incentives; thinking bigger picture is critical!

Should You Be Concerned With Off-Brand Prepaid Wireless Carriers?
This article highlights the fact that there are definitely differences between prepaid and postpaid beyond just no contract vs. contract.  Although I feel that the article is a bit alarmist, it does have some valid points.  Customers need to understand these differences, and determine what's important for them.  For example, Cricket being capped at 8Mbps vs. 40+Mbps on AT&T sounds significant, however, is 8Mbps sufficient for streaming media?  Absolutely!  Many people don't even get that speed on their home service.

Thus, depending on your personal situation and usage, the differences between prepaid and postpaid may not be material.  That's really why prepaid is taking over; the gap has been diminishing tremendously over the past decade to the point where carriers are having to artificially create differences to minimize cannibalizing their postpaid programs.

Verizon Inches Forward With New Prepaid Plans
Here we go again.  Verizon continues to inch forward their prepaid program in an attempt to at least remain relevant.  They now have two plans for feature phones (i.e. non-smartphones), and three plans for smartphones.  As per usual, their pricing is not at all compelling, though it's nice to see them at least thinking about their plans.

I like the fact that when you buy additional data it's valid for 90 days, which provides a better value.  As I've been preaching for years, Verizon will no doubt turn on the heat only when absolutely required.  That time is slowly approaching as postpaid sales are seeing declines, and the vast majority of the market really is moving towards prepaid.

New Cricket Wireless Rewards Program
Android Headlines - Android News
Cricket's new rewards program allows users to earn points for various actions like signing up for autopay, and paying on time.  Most notably, however, is the core of the program, which is based on 3rd party marketers.  For example, completing a survey will get you points.  In fact, non-Cricket customers can also join the program, though they'll earn less points than Cricket customers for the same tasks.  This type of rewards based marketing has been in concept across the industry for many years.  It was inevitable that it would eventually see the light of day.

The real question will be whether the rewards offer sufficient incentive to engage customers, while not being intrusive.  Done correctly, 3rd party companies can gain valuable marketing and consumer insights, and customers could even earn free service (though free service doesn't appear to be on the list of rewards at this point).  It will be interesting to track the progress of this program.

T-Mobile's Hidden $30 Smartphone Plan

This is actually an unusually useful tip!  Under its "Other Prepaid Plans", T-Mobile still has a $30 plan with 100 voice minutes, unlimited text, and 5GB of high speed data.  This is a pretty competitive deal.  It's odd that they even still have it on their website, but never advertise it, and make it relatively difficult to find.  To get this plan you'll need to have an unlocked smartphone and a T-Mobile SIM card, then call to activate service!

Smartphones For Under $10 At Walmart!
International Business Times
These two phones are reminiscent of first generation iPhones, and users will likely experience some lag depending on the apps they're using.  However, for under $10 I think it's fair to conclude that smartphones are accessible to virtually anyone who can afford an occasional cup of coffee!

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

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