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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, January 2010 -- Virgin Launches Free Cell Phone Service Assurance Wireless
January 01, 2010

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - January 2010 Issue


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At Prepaid Wireless Guide I try to provide you with in-depth information that isn't readily available anywhere else.  Its content is original, and created from first hand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry.

This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's 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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Free Wi-Fi at McDonald's Part of Trend | Science News (source article removed)
Starting this month, McDonald’s will be offering free Wi-Fi.  As free hotspots become more and more pervasive, does this put mobile broadband service at risk?  It will probably be awhile (i.e. many years), but it seems inevitable that Wi-Fi will ultimately be available everywhere and compete with prepaid broadband offerings.

Virgin Mobile Canada Poised for Reinvention (source article removed)
With new prepaid entrants surfacing in the Canadian market, we can expect Virgin Mobile Canada to adapt in order to remain competitive.  Although Virgin Mobile USA is owned by a different carrier (Sprint as opposed to BCE in Canada), we can expect change there in 2010 as well as it merges with Boost Mobile.  Overall a lot of changes for Virgin Mobile across both countries!

WIND Mobile Launches in Canada!
It’s been a long time waiting, but WIND Mobile has arrived in Canada with some pretty appealing phones and plans that will surely keep the big three running around updating their business cases and growth forecasts for awhile!

Virgin Drops Price of “Broadband2Go” to $99.99
Virgin Mobile drops the price of its USB modem from $149.99 to $99.99; not a bad deal for a prepaid broadband offer.  Hopefully people are able to resolve their installation issues that have been posted recently.

Cell Phones, Airtime Available for Low-Income Residents
Ocean City Today
TracFone Wireless expands its government sponsored free cell phone service, SafeLink, just in time to strengthen its distribution as Virgin Mobile launches its free Assurance Wireless offering.

Sprint Nextel Moves Boost Mobile Head to Oversee 4G Development
BloggingStocks (blog)
After just about 18 months at the helm of Boost Mobile, Matt Carter is moved to head up marketing for Sprint’s 4G WiMAX offering.  After the purchase of Virgin Mobile, and the subsequent assignment of Dan Schulman as President of the new prepaid business, one can suppose that keeping Matt around would be superfluous.

Boost Mobile Adds New Calling Features for 'International Connect' Offer
SYS-CON Media (press release)
Boost’s International Connect is now available on its Monthly Unlimited plan and includes unlimited calls to Canada (excluding Northern Territories) and landlines in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

WIND Launches With BlackBerry Bold 9700
Electronista (blog)
The headline says it all; click over to see a pic!

Virgin Mobile Launches Free Service for Low-Income Americans (source article removed)
Comtex Smartrend
Virgin Mobile launches Assurance Wireless, its own version of TracFone’s SafeLink program.  Initial availability includes New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.  Is access to wireless service now a basic human right deserving of government funding? 
See what others have said and share your thoughts!

Leap: Mobile Broadband Driving Growth
Leap has seen good growth with its prepaid broadband offer, and hopes to sign up these customers for voice service as well once their postpaid contracts are up.  Good theory; it will be interesting to see if it materializes.

New Fee Added to Prepaid Wireless (source article removed)
The Daily Advertiser
Starting today, January 1, prepaid customers in Louisiana will see a 2% service charge on their topup transactions.  Until now, prepaid customers have had the benefit of access to e911 service, however, have not been contributing to the cost as have postpaid customers.  As prepaid continues to grow, it’s understandable that without this additional revenue, the service would ultimately go bankrupt.  That said, no one likes additional fees.  Expect to see this law sweep the rest of the country over the coming years.

Virgin Offers Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Internet Data in Canada (source article removed)
By Gillian Shaw
Virgin Mobile Canada launched its prepaid broadband offer with a $150 USB modem and $45 per month for 1GB of data.  With WIND Mobile’s launch of prepaid broadband, we should expect that pricing will come down over the coming months.  In the meantime, people can start enjoying no-contract mobile broadband on Bell Mobility’s network!

What's New at

  • Updated WIND Mobile page to reflect that WIND has launched, and updated speculated phones with actual handsets

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