|Back to Back Issues Page|
Prepaid Wireless Tracker #105, March 2017 - Verizon Adds New Low Cost Plan; Poof - RingPlus Is Gone!
March 01, 2017
Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- March 2017, Issue #105
Verizon continues to beef up its prepaid offerings, now with a new $40 plan with unlimited talk and text, and 2GB of high speed data. As with the other plans, if you pay on time, they'll rollover any unused high speed data to the next month. You also get free international texting to over 200 countries. It appears as though an executive at Verizon flipped the switch, and is now supporting a rollout of true prepaid plans!
It's now official that RingPlus is now shut down. They claim a myriad of disputes with Sprint, their host carrier. The fact probably is that profits were slim, as is the case with most MVNOs, and they couldn't manage the business any longer. No doubt Sprint and its plethora of brands and MVNOs probably made RingPlus' efforts that much more difficult, however, we'll probably never really know the truth about what happened. What's disturbing is that they don't have any notices on their home page. There are discussions in the forum around a deal they put together with Ting to migrate customers, to provide them with some account credits. That said, people in the forum generally don't seem very enthusiastic about Ting meeting their needs. Hopefully if any of you had RingPlus, you were able to migrate somewhere before losing your number!
What I love most about this article is the statement regarding prepaid customers being much lower cost than postpaid customers. This is due to lower cost to acquire new customers, maintain them, as well as the overall upfront costs to get them activated. I find this amusing because having worked in telecom for over a decade, I kept hearing executives and analysts state that prepaid customers are lower ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), and overall much less profitable, and hence less desirable. We would continue to tell them that the overall costs profile is so much lower that net profits are actually higher than postpaid. At that time no one would listen! It astounds me that it took the industry this long to come to such a revelation. Oh well, at least they finally figured it out!
U.S. Cellular beefed up its data allowance to keep up with competitive pressures. Its $45 plan now includes 3GB of high speed data (up from 2GB), the $60 plan up from 5GB to 6GB, and a $75 plan with 12GB. It also offers even more value through its special retail (ex. Walmart, Dollar General) Ready Connect Prepaid plans. The Ready Connect plans are also eligible for a monthly discount if you sign up for autopay. That said, U.S. Cellular has been struggling with profitability recently, so no doubt if they don't get enough new customers, and the ones they have use too much data, their business model will suffer even further.
Continuing its new focus on prepaid, Verizon launches a great value mid-tier smartphone with the LG K8 V. At $144 it has a respectable 5" HD display, quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD card expansion slot, and 8MP and 5MP rear and front facing cameras, respectively. If Verizon continues beefing up its prepaid plans as it has started doing as of late, and continues to offer phones with value like this one, they may actually become a contender after essentially a decade long hiatus from doing anything meaningful in the prepaid space.
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!
View Prepaid Wireless Tracker Back Issues.
|Back to Back Issues Page|