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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, June 2010 -- Sprint Announces New Brand Along With New Pricing!
June 01, 2010

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - June 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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Sprint Shakes Up Prepaid Mobile Data/Voice Pricing
Sprint announces Virgin’s new Beyond Talk plans.  It looks as though the $10 premium you’ll pay for a fully unlimited plan on Virgin, over Boost’s $50 plan, is access to better phones.  While not explicitly written as their strategic position, I believe this to be the only logical explanation for the pricing and positioning of the new plans.  What do you think?

Virgin Mobile's Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Data Now a Better Deal
Virgin offers a new $60/5GB data plan, which is basically on par with postpaid offers.  I’d still like to see a pay per use offer, though my understanding is that such a plan may not be profitable at a price point that won’t disgust customers.  Certainly MVNOs would have the most difficulty offering such an option.

Sprint, Walmart Launch Common Cents Prepaid Wireless Program
Sprint announces its new pay per minute plan exclusive to Walmart with a unique “round down to the nearest minute” program at $0.07/min; definitely a great value.  I feel for companies that have named their brand after a particular price point – Net10; yikes!

Alaska Airlines Launches Inflight WiFi Today on Six Aircraft
PR Newswire (press release)
Alaska Airlines offers free Gogo WiFi through July 31st, though it’s currently only available on six flights.  I can’t wait for the time when ALL flights have WiFi!

PlatinumTel Wireless Announces the Least Expensive Pay-as-You-Go Cell Phone Plan (press release)
PlatinumTel announces an amazing PAYG price point of $0.05/min and $0.02/txt msg , which they’re calling “Real Paygo.”  This market is getting competitive to the point where it seems unlikely that the myriad of competitors will be able to survive in the long term.

Sprint Hopes Prepaid is the Path to Prosperity -
As much slack as Sprint has been getting for their focus on prepaid, I think it’s a smart “risk” to take.  Though if they take their eye of postpaid, they’ll most certainly find themselves in big (or shall I say bigger) trouble!

Shares of Leap, MetroPCS Rise on Analyst Report
It makes sense that as carriers like Leap and MetroPCS offer smartphones that can compete with handsets available on postpaid, that business will continue to look positive.  Assuming such handsets will materialize this year, success will be a matter of a reasonable price point given that prepaid is either not subsidized at all, or only marginally subsidized.

T-Mobile Launching New Prepaid, Mobile Broadband Options on May 16th
While their prepaid voice plans are really not all that inspirational, their $0.99/hour for unlimited broadband usage is certainly new to the market.  It will be interesting to see whether customers who need infrequent, short usage will find value in this flexible, but potentially very expensive, option.

What's New at

  • Updated Apple iPad page with AT&T data rate plans
  • Updated Compare PAYG page with new Sprint Common Cents Mobile plan
  • Responded to Apple iPad Review:Not a Review at All
  • Updated all T-Mobile plan types with news regarding new pricing
  • Updated Airline Internet page with new info re. Alaska Airlines Gogo service
  • Responded to Apple iPad Review: Apple iPad - I Believe In Magic Again
  • Updated Compare PAYG page with new PlatinumTel Real PAYG plan

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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