Red Pocket Mobile is an AT&T MVNO that offers no contract pay-as-you-go and monthly unlimited plans. It offers some interesting features that make it unique from other prepaid wireless carriers while offering customers great value. Dean Wong, Vice President of Business Development was kind enough to spend some time with Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com...Thank you Dean!
Interview Date: May 15, 2012
| Can you share
some background regarding the company history, startup inspiration, and
Red Pocket was founded in 2005 and launched in 2006. At launch, the company’s core marketing focus was the Asian American population. Although our target market expanded well beyond that demographic many years ago, Red Pocket Mobile is still the only wireless operator in the USA that offers Chinese and Filipino customers service options in addition to English and Spanish. Red Pocket Mobile’s name is derived from the Chinese New Year gift that elders give to their children and grandchildren, a red pocket or envelope, which usually contains money and symbolizes good fortune and prosperity. A popular catalog company, Red Envelope, actually takes its name from the same custom.
| As an MVNO on the AT&T
network, do you find a lot of people bringing iPhones to Red Pocket who
are hungry for no-contract plans? Are T-Mobile phones also
compatible? Will you help customers unlock their phones?
We love iPhones. In fact, iPhones are currently the #1 handset that we see new customers using. We also see lots and lots of Android handsets lighting up on our network, and they also work extremely well with our service. T-Mobile locked phones must be unlocked before they are used with our network, but unlocking is something that both T-Mobile as well as many of our dealers willingly provide.
| Do you have any
retail or wireless dealer distribution? Do you have plans to
expand your distribution in the near future?
Red Pocket Mobile SIM cards and top-up PINs are available nationwide, from New York to Hawaii, at thousands of independent wireless stores, convenience stores and electronics retailers. There are also a few Red Pocket-exclusive stores in San Francisco and New York. Our growth has been phenomenal of late, and Red Pocket Mobile adds new distribution partners every day. If you’re a dealer reading this, I’d encourage you to visit GoRedPocket.com/dealers to sign up. We’re always looking for good retailers to join our team!
| It appears as
though Red Pocket does not sell handsets? Do you have plans
to offer your own or refurbished handsets?
We’re proud of our BYOD (bring your own device) model that allows customers the freedom to bring their favorite compatible GSM handset to Red Pocket Mobile, whether it’s an iPhone, Android or a classic feature phone. In addition, most of our dealers at the retail channel carry a variety of Red Pocket-compatible handsets.
| The MVNO market
has proven to be extremely challenging; what steps has Red Pocket
Mobile taken to optimize your chances of business success?
The wireless space in general is extremely dynamic, and at Red Pocket Mobile we believe that it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Competition in our industry is a good thing, and not just for consumers: it forces us to continuously refine our contract-free customer value proposition so that we remain relevant at all times. By staying nimble, constantly providing a powerful customer value proposition and servicing our customers better than anyone, we have realized extraordinary success in this market where so many others haven’t made it.
| Simple Mobile
has a similar business model, but on the T-Mobile network; do you see
them as a strong competitor?
Well, the truth is that we compete toe-to-toe with virtually every wireless operator out there. Yes, Simple Mobile is one of them, and we give them a lot of credit for capitalizing on the fact that T-Mobile made an unlimited GSM plan available to them before AT&T was interested in doing so. However, while we definitely see a lot of port-ins from Simple and T-Mobile, we also see comparable numbers of port-ins every day from Sprint, Verizon and even regional operators like MetroPCS.
| It's evident
that part of your strategy is to target people seeking to make
international calls. As services like Google Voice expand,
how do you continue to differentiate your business?
Incredibly low international direct-dial calling rates are certainly part of our customer value proposition. In fact, we give our monthly plan customers free international calling credit every month that rolls over, thus making our contract-free subscribers one of the stickiest in the industry. We don’t really see any competition with Google Voice, Skype, or any computer-based calling service; that’s kind of like saying that landlines compete with cell phones. They’re just very different services. Customer service is also a point of differentiation for us. Often, people associate poor customer service with MVNOs (because you’re often paying less money) but at Red Pocket, we hope to change that perception by offering excellent customer service.
| Do you offer
international calling add-ons for both your monthly unlimited plans, as
well as your pay-as-you-go plans?
We offer international calling add-ons for the monthly plans, and we give those customers up to 200 minutes of international calling every month for free. On our PayGo plans, the international calling charges are deducted directly from the main account balance. And in fact, many international calling destinations are included free of charge for our PayGo customers. That means that a direct-dial call to Canada, France or China is the same low rate as a local call. That’s a very powerful offer that many of our PayGo customers absolutely love.
broadband is a fast-growing product in the industry; does Red Pocket
have plans to launch a prepaid broadband service?
Red Pocket Mobile is committed to rolling out new, value-added services where we feel that we can offer a strong customer value proposition in the wireless market. As you might have heard, we actually inked a deal with LightSquared last year. Although that company unfortunately never launched, our interest in the space certainly hasn’t abated. Please stay tuned…
| Is there
anything else that you’d like prospective Red Pocket Mobile
to know about your products or services?
Try Red Pocket! We make it easy to bring your existing wireless number or get a brand new number from us using your favorite iPhone, Android or other GSM handset. We’re positive that you’ll find Red Pocket Mobile to be a premium, contract-free wireless experience on the best GSM network in the USA. Example: our most expensive, data-heavy plan features Unlimited Talk, Text, Picture Messaging and 2GB of data for just $59.99/30 days – including all taxes and fees! That means saving up to 50% off your current wireless bill. It’s really that good a deal, and there are no hidden fees. Just buy our SIM card at GoRedPocket.com, activate it and pop it into your phone, sign up for one of our convenient refill options and you’re off to the races. If you want to interact with Red Pocket through social media, please follow us on Twitter at @RedPocketMobile or on Facebook. We look forward to welcoming you to Red Pocket Mobile!
Visit Red Pocket Mobile Now!
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