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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, September 2010 -- Virgin Launches Unlimited Broadband, Prepaid 4G Arrives!
September 01, 2010

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - September 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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Virgin Mobile USA Moves to $40 Unlimited Offer for Prepaid Mobile
Virgin yet again changes its recently revamped Broadband2Go offer with a $40 unlimited offering.  After initial launch challenges, it appears to be available and working now.  This definitely puts a lot of downward pressure on mobile broadband pricing in both the prepaid and contract space. 

Verizon Offering New Prepaid Mobile Bandwidth Options
TFTS (blog)
Shortly after Virgin’s announcement, Verizon announced its $80, 5 GB plan.  I don’t think there’s much that can be said here, but wow, are you serious?  How far off of the competitive mark can a company be?!  Anyone running out to get this new plan?

Clearwire To Serve Prepaid Segment
Stock Markets Review
Although Clear (I thought they dropped the Clearwire name a long time ago!) has been offering no contract, month-by-month plans since its initial launch, it’s now offering a full-fledged prepaid 4G offer under a new, so-called youth-oriented brand.  In addition to this article, you can check out for even more details.  If you’re a true mobile warrior, however, you’ll be disappointed by the fact that it’s currently a 4G only offer (i.e. no backwards compatibility to nationwide 3G coverage), though I expect this will change before too long with at least the addition of a 3G add-on that they currently offer on their core plans.  Though keep in mind that their current Rover modems only support 4G, so if an add-on is offered in the future, you’ll need to buy new hardware.

Cricket Wireless Looks to Go National
CNET (blog)
More information from last month regarding Cricket’s MVNO partnership with Sprint to take their brand nationwide.  A really good discussion with a lot of strong points and logical strategy.  As I noted previously, hopefully the cost model will enable Cricket to grow profitably as they expand nationwide, particularly with a data hungry Android smartphone now part of its handset lineup.

MetroPCS to Launch LTE Network, Samsung Phone in September
It appears as though a MetroPCS 4G launch is going to be a reality.  Interestingly, they’re skipping right over 3G.  Though they only note a 4G phone, it seems inevitable that they’ll follow up with a 4G broadband offer as well.

Leap Ups Its Prepaid Wireless Offerings
San Diego Union Tribune
Cricket discusses the launch of its first BlackBerry and Android smartphones, as well as their revised/simplified plans, including the inclusion of telecom taxes in the base monthly price.  The reality is that with these offers Cricket is playing catch-up, though a prepaid Android handset really is exciting.  Note that I’m not counting Boost’s Motorola i1 Android phone as a real contender due to its iDEN handicap.

Rogers Launches First Prepaid BlackBerry Curve 8520
Rogers launches its first BlackBerry.  As always, it’s great to see the proliferation of prepaid smartphones, however, at this point they’re really playing catch-up, and the price certainly isn’t all that inspiring.

Verizon Wireless Offering Prepaid BlackBerry Plans
By Andrew Munchbach
Verizon also is said to be offering a prepaid BlackBerry, with pricing rumored to be similar to its postpaid plans.  Again, nothing too innovative; just keeping up with competition. 

SafeLink Wireless Raises Lifeline Offering
PR Newswire (press release)
Likely in response to Sprint’s Assurance Wireless offering, SafeLink ups its included minutes from 68 minutes to up to 250 minutes depending on which of the three plans you opt into.  Don’t be fooled, these free offers are actually quite profitable for carriers! 

Samsung Seek is Boost Mobile's First Touch/QWERTY Smartphone
Hot Hardware
As discussed in the past, one of the major barriers to prepaid adoption is the handset selection.  2010 is definitely the year of touchscreen and smartphone proliferation!  While the article talks about the Samsung Seek as a smartphone, I don’t view it as fitting into the smartphone category; a nice handset nonetheless. 

MetroPCS 2Q Profit Triples On Subscriber Growth
Wall Street Journal
MetroPCS posted some stellar results in the second quarter, leaving its competition scrambling to catch up.  Good work on delivering what customers want Metro!

Walmart to Sell AT&T Prepaid Phones at Retail Stores
American Banking News
Walmart has been selling Straight Talk running on Verizon’s network, and has been doing quite well.  This plan will now be offered on AT&Ts network.  Despite AT&T’s poor performance as seen following the introduction of the first iPhone, there are many people out there who prefer the flexibility of a GSM based handset.


What's New at

  • Added Cricket MSGM8 II & Virgin LG Rumor Touch to Prepaid Mobile Email
  • Added Boost Samsung SPH-M350 Seek to Prepaid Mobile Email
  • Updated Prepaid WiMAX Plans with latest plans & added updated hardware images including iSpot


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