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Prepaid Wireless Tracker, December 2010: Virgin Mobile Launches Exclusive Broadband Plan in Walmart!
December 01, 2010

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - December 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 Partners with WalMart to Deliver Affordable Pre-Paid Mobile
Gotta Be Mobile
Virgin Mobile offers a $20 – 1GB data plan exclusive to USB and MiFi modems purchase in Walmart.  It’s definitely great to see prepaid broadband options continuing to expand.  However, I’m not a fan of retailer-specific plans.  I think it makes carrier options confusing and unnecessarily complicated.  Retailers should stop trying to brand their own products or create exclusive plan offerings, but rather stick to being a sales channel.  Why should I have access to only certain plans because I happen to purchase my modem at a particular store; it simply makes no sense, and benefits only the retailer.  I understand offering handsets or modems exclusively in one channel or another, however, the available plans should be universal, at least within a given market/geography.  I expect this plan will ultimately be available to anyone.  Sorry Walmart, but you’re not going to take over the work, despite your best efforts ;-).

Google Free Inflight WiFi Internet
By Hu$tler
Google is sponsoring free GoGo WiFi on all domestic flight on Airtran Airways, Delta Airlines, and Virgin America until January 2nd.  If you’re using one of these airlines, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Cricket Wireless to Offer a Prepaid Android Tablet
Cricket to offer the Samsung Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2.  However, details are scarce regarding launch timeline and pricing.  It’s exciting to see tablets gain momentum in prepaid as well, and interesting to note that prepaid is clearing not lagging as far behind postpaid as it once was.

Appraising US Wireless Operators in the Third Quarter
For those of you interested in keeping track of prepaid growth, this is a quick and dirty summary.  I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who is still denying the force that prepaid is having in the wireless industry.

Clearwire Feels Heat While MetroPCS Gains
While Clear continues to add customers at a reasonable rate, they’re still burning cash, and struggling to get financing (despite Sprint’s majority ownership).  Meanwhile, MetroPCS, one of the founders of flat rate no contract wireless, continues to see positive results. 

Leap Wireless Announce Q3'10 Results
By Ramy Caspi
Cricket reported fairly weak results, particularly in comparison to rival Metro PCS.  2011 seems like a do-or-die year for Cricket; time will tell.

Delta Airline the First Domestic Airline With Wi-Fi on Delta
By Travel House UK
Delta to increase WiFi availability in its fleet by 40% by the end of 2011.  I’ve used the Delta service in the past; it was relatively fast and a pleasure to use, particularly with the extra legroom that Delta appears to have over a number of its competitors.

Alaska Airlines Offers Free Gogo Inflight Internet Service
By Nicola Spears
Alaska Airlines announced that it’s offering free GoGo WiFi until December 9th.  Airlines are definitely enticing customer to trial the service hoping that they’ll be able to ultimately generate revenue.

MetroPCS Gets Android 2.2 Device
Wireless Week
MetroPCS to sell the LG Optimus M for $229.  It comes with Android 2.2, 3.2” touchscreen, WiFi, and a 3.2 megapixel camera.  While it’s priced slightly higher than Cricket’s prepaid Android phones, the plan is a better deal at $50 instead of Cricket’s $55 smartphone specific plan.

What's New at

  • Added new page Sebastian Harrison Cellular Abroad Interview
  • Added Right Column to site; let me know how you like it!
  • Updated Prepaid Wireless Broadband Plans with new Virgin Mobile $20/1GB plan at Walmart
  • Added new pages International Cell Phone Service & Best International Cell Phone (Sebastian Harrison content)
  • Added MetroPCS LG Optimus M Android phone to Smartphone Comparison
  • Updated Assurance Wireless available add-on options/plans
  • Added “Will my Cricket USB Modem work with a Virgin plan?” to Wireless Questions page
  • Added new page Broadband Internet Review

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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