Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- June 2016, Issue #96
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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do not have any affiliation,
nor do I get paid by any of the sites that I link to below.
are simply topics that I deemed interesting, and provide a link for you
to learn more, and I give credit to the source by listing their name
under the title. Enjoy!
Offers 10GB Family Plan
is experimenting with a family plan, which largely mirrors Cricket's
family plan efforts over the past several years. For $70 per
get two lines with
unlimited talk and text, and 10GB of data; 3 lines
for $95, 4 lines for $120, and 5 lines for $145. Recall that
signing up for autopay also receive a $5 monthly credit.
you're not on autopay and forget to pay your bill, you get
incoming calls and texts, which is a nice customer experience touch.
Cricket offers more family plan options overall, however, at
comparable 10GB plan, this Boost deal provides much greater value.
This offer is only available until an unspecified "early
so if this meets your family's needs, you'll want to jump on it quickly!
T-Mobile Strikes Back at Cricket Family Plan
month Cricket brought back unlimited high speed data with a new $70
specifically targeted T-Mobile by offering a $100 bill
credit. This month T-Mobile is striking back with its
with a 6GB offer for $30 per line, up to 5 lines. While not
data, as I noted last month, only very power users will even
10GB. The average high data usage customer really should be
with 6GB of data unless they're never connected to WiFi at home and/or
work, and consume a lot of streaming video. It's a limited
only offer, so you should jump on this quickly if there's a possibility
that it might meet your needs, particularly if you're already a
T-Mobile and AT&T Highlight the
Convergence of Prepaid and Postpaid
article is really a good summary of
how postpaid and prepaid have
evolved over the past few years. Prepaid carriers were
target postpaid as direct competitors rather than just staying in the
no contract arena to compete. The reality was that prepaid
offer the same/similar network, the same services, and the same phones
at a lower monthly plan cost. To help reduce some of the
and obviously higher postpaid plan prices, contract carriers
decouple the handset subsidy from the plan cost.
In fact, they
started to shift away from costly handset subsidies, and moved to
financing, leasing, and the outright purchase of phones.
in addition to overall plan price reductions, has resulted in a
decrease in ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for postpaid customers,
while prepaid has seen an overall increase in ARPU. Thus, the
profitability gap between these two services has been eroding, which
has translated into
postpaid carriers putting more effort into prepaid.
As I've said for the better part of a decade, postpaid will
disappear in favor of no contract offers, which has been the norm in
European countries since day one.
Sprint and i-wireless Merge Lifeline Programs
RCR Wireless News
this somewhat bizarre deal, Sprint's Lifeline program, Assurance
Wireless, will merge with i-wireless' Access Wireless Lifeline program.
It's odd due to the fact that Assurance is a much larger
using the Access brand for the combined company likely relates to
Sprint distancing itself from prepaid to focus on its core business.
Oddly, they're doing this at a time when the market is
spending more resources growing their prepaid businesses.
always seems to be on the wrong side of nationwide strategies and
Access executives will be running the business despite
Sprint's 70% ownership. It may sound odd, however, i-wireless
essentially getting a 30% stake in a much larger business than it
previously had, so overall it's a win for them. I would
however, that Assurance has a much greater brand presence, so in that
respect it's a little odd. Anyway, it will be interesting to
this evolves, and whether Sprint takes any active involvement, or will
remain a largely silent owner.
Hands-On Review of $130 Cricket Microsoft
I reported the availability of this phone in last month's
newsletter given its great value. While I don't usually link
reviews, I believe this is a compelling offer that those of
you considering may want to research further given that it's a Windows
operating system. Unless you're tied into the Apple
ecosystem, or very comfortable with Android, a Windows phone like this
could be worth exploring for someone looking for high value, and
capable features. Personally, I'm too tied into Android to
find a compelling reason to switch operating systems, however, that
doesn't mean that keeping an open mind isn't worthwhile!
Verizon Beefs Up Data Plan Permanently
In February Verizon was trialing increased data allowances.
Now it has confirmed that it will continue with its $45 plan
with 3GB of data, and its $60 plan with 6GB of data. The
catch here is that you have to sign up for autopay to
Otherwise the data allowances drop to 2GB and 5GB for the $45
and $60 plans, respectively. Keep in mind, though, that the
trial had the $45 plan being increased from 1GB to 2GB, so these new
plans are seeing some much needed data bucket increases. It
looks like Verizon is paying just a little bit more attention to its
prepaid business by trying to get it to be at least marginally
competitive. Verizon fans should be happy with these
increases; not compared to other carriers, but compared to Verizon's
previous prepaid plans!
Cricket Wireless Wins Industry Awards - But
Are They Warranted?!
Cricket won two awards; the first for innovation in prepaid.
This was for simplifying the user experience by offering
straightforward plans on a industry leading 4G LTE network, and for
including taxes and fees.
I definitely agree that they've
been working hard to simplify a complex market, however, most no
contract carriers now include taxes and telco fees. Their
second award was for migrating from the legacy Cricket platform to the
new AT&T (previous Aio) platform. What I find curious
is the note around needing to integrate the two platforms, for the
opposite is actually true.
They actually kept them completely separate with a migration strategy
of requiring legacy customers to purchase a new phone that would be
compatible with the AT&T/Aio/New Cricket platform. I
actually had a legacy Cricket phone, and called them to inquire about
any deals or promotions. I was offered a $50 credit, which
was essentially useless given that I was trying to replace a Galaxy S5
in perfect condition. After a number of calls, I gave up and
discontinued service. I would say that overall their
migration was NOT award winning.
In fact, they lost a lot of
customers, and certainly didn't do any IT integration whatsoever.
It kind of makes you wonder who schmoozed who at some Vegas
convention to get these relatively meaningless awards ;-).
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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