Is Prepaid or Postpaid Better?
I've been thinking for a while now whether prepaid is still better than postpaid. For a long time I was very convinced that prepaid wireless was really the buried treasure of the wireless world. And for a long time it really was the gem of the industry. Postpaid carriers required long term contracts, and monthly plan prices were more expensive than their prepaid equivalents.
The nice thing about postpaid was being able to walk out of the store with any phone that would range from free to two or three hundred dollars for the highest end smartphone. Prepaid addressed this barrier to entry by starting to offer phone financing and leasing options. The problem with that was that it made prepaid feel a lot like postpaid because you now had to sign a financing contract. Though the phone plan was still cheaper than postpaid, and you can payoff your loan at any time, so you don't quite feel locked in like you do with postpaid.
Then came smartphones that had what used to be high end features now available in lower end devices. So we could get an inexpensive phone without having to finance it. Of course, if you want a flagship Galaxy phone or iPhone, you'll still have to either pay a bunch of cash, or get financing. But the option is there to avoid that, which preserved the appeal of prepaid.
However, now postpaid carriers are starting to move away from phone subsidies, and most have begun decoupling their phone and plan pricing, such that the plan cost is coming down. Prepaid still seems to have generally lower prices for the equivalent features, however, that gap is closing. Prepaid also tends to have less network coverage as they don't include roaming on partner networks like postpaid carriers do. In addition, prepaid carriers often cap high speed data speeds, so postpaid plans get better performance.
So, really, is prepaid or postpaid better?!