No Contract Cell Phones
The Truth Behind Prepaid Wireless!

Are no contract cell phones the same or different than prepaid wireless?  The short answer is "yes" they're the same thing!  So why did we see a change in the marketplace back in 2009 with a shift from using "prepaid" terminology to "no contract" terminology?  Prepaid wireless has been the traditional term in the U.S. market since probably the beginning of time.  It's really synonymous with pay-as-you-go.  In other words, you add money to your phone now, and buy services only when you use them, like making a call or sending a text message.  This is instead of using your services as you need to, but receiving a bill at the end of the month for changes you accumulated.

To read more about prepaid wireless, the benefits, and why you might want to seriously consider it to save yourself headaches and of course money, please check out the following links:

What is Prepaid Wireless?

Why Prepaid Wireless?

So why the change to the term "no contract"?  Well, there are a number of reasons:

  • While pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or prepaid wireless does tell you how you pay for your cellular services, it doesn't really speak directly to the benefits.  On the other hand, "no contract cell phones" screams loudly one of the major benefits over classic postpaid plans.  Note that although it would be an accurate statement, calling it "control your spending phones", it  wouldn't quite roll off the tongue or look good on a poster!
  • In North America there's historically been a huge negative connotation, or stigma surrounding prepaid wireless as being only for people with little or no credit, or even for drug dealers or other such unscrupulous people who wish to remain anonymous.  Well, that's no longer the case.  No contract phones have become popular amongst the mainstream who are simply sick of being locked into contract plans that don't meet their needs over time, and limit their ability to control their spending.  So the reality is that changing the way companies refer to these plan types is an attempt to reposition the service to broaden its appeal.  i.e. It's a marketing strategy!
  • In the early days of prepaid wireless, plans were extremely straightforward, charging a flat rate per minute.  Simple but relatively expensive!  Over the years, prepaid providers have made no contract cell phone plans much more competitive, offering better pricing on classic PAYG plans, as well as introducing Daily, Monthly, and even Unlimited plans.  To learn more about the details of these offerings, feel free to visit the Prepaid Wireless Plans page.

The bottom line is that it makes sense to shift from the term "prepaid wireless" to the more meaningful term "no contract cell phones."  North America remains the only continent where no contract phones, and no contract cell phone plans have a negative perception.  Ultimately, we will catch up to the rest of the world (it's inevitable!), and hopefully even something as simple as a change in terminology will help to move us there.  

No Contract Cell Phones

Be Heard!  Let prepaid wireless providers know what you want; fill out the survey now.


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