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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, February 2010 -- Price Wars Continue; Who Will Survive?!
February 01, 2010

Wireless Tracker - February 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 firsthand 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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TracFone Disconnects Free Cell Phone Plan for Poor
Denver Post
TracFone’s plans to bring its free cell phone service, SafeLink, to Colorado is halted due to 911 fee disputes.  Bottom line is that all prepaid services across the U.S. will ultimately be required to contribute to the cost of 91.  Carriers must determine the best way to cost recover, including a means to continue to provide free cell phone programs to low income households.  However, in the meantime, it looks as though Colorado loses out unless Virgin can find a way to launch its free Assurance Wireless program there.

Sprint Orders Liberty to Stop Bring Your Own Device Program
Prepaid Reviews
Perhaps as Sprint doubles down on prepaid with its purchase of Virgin Mobile, it has become more sensitive to competitors (albeit MVNOs) activating Sprint handsets.  Hopefully this fight is not over just yet.  If you’re out of your contract, it’s really better for everyone to allow people to take their handsets to any compatible carrier of their choice.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Sprint Finally Brings Prepaid Wireless to Its Own Brand
Though the title is a bit misleading, the news is that in January Boost launched its Monthly Unlimited plan on the Sprint CDMA network.  In 2007 it launched on the CDMA network as Unlimited by Boost, however, that program was discontinued.  The difference with this incarnation is that telco taxes are now inclusive in the plan price.

The Next Step in In-Flight Wi-Fi -- Video On Demand in the Skies
The title pretty much says it all.  With the right pricing model, or even ad supported programs, this is a great idea.  That said, holding a laptop on one’s lap, or using the tray table can become uncomfortable pretty quickly, so hopefully planes will continue to install in-seat TVs.

MetroPCS Cuts Prices, Issues Weaker Outlook
Metro undercuts Boost’s latest unlimited pricing by $10 (and now include taxes and fees) due to its market share struggles from increased competition.  While lower prices are good for customers, price wars are rarely sustainable and ultimately result in lower competition in the long run as carriers with shallower pockets get priced out of the market.  Hopefully prepaid carriers will continue to add services in lieu of simply cutting prices.

Page Plus Cellular Lowers Voice Plan Rates Again
Page Plus announced a further reduction to its pay-as-you-go pricing, which now ranges from $0.04 - $0.10 per minute (previously $0.06 - $0.12 per minute).  Page Plus is really starting to show that they’re a serious player and willing to contend with the best of them!

Prepaid BlackBerry Comes to Boost Mobile for $60/month
Boost launched the Curve on its Monthly Unlimited plan for a $10 premium over its standard $50 plan.  The device will run you $250, however, with no contract, it’s an offer worth taking note of.  I can’t wait to see prepaid Android handsets!

New Assurance Wireless Campaign Alerts Lower-Income Households in Tennessee

Virgin Mobile launches its free wireless service, Assurance Wireless in Tennessee.  We can expect some healthy competition in this space in 2010 with increased awareness via direct advertising campaigns.  Don’t be fooled, offering free cell phone service is profitable business!

Irvine-Based Boost Mobile 'Shuffles' to Super Bowl
OC Metro
Boost Mobile brings back the Super Bowl Shuffle this month, which promises to be quite a throwback!


What's New at

  • Added new WiFi in the Sky reviews page and linked to Sitemap & Prepaid Wireless Reviews page
  • Added new page Cell Phone Repair Tips
  • Updated Wireless Providers to reflect that Verizon now offers Monthly and Unlimited plans
  • Added new page Free WiFi Spots
  • Added new Google Android
  • Updated Compare PAYG page to reflect that Boost offers PAYG on CDMA
  • Added new Sitemap - 2 page and changed Sitemap to new format


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