The Prepaid Wireless Newswire - Stay Informed and Stay Ahead






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February 16, 2021                               

Verizon’s acquisition of TracFone gets additional review time 

(a reposted link from our friends at Fierce Wireless).

Verizon announced  last fall  that it plans to acquire TracFone from Mexico-based América Móvil in a deal worth up to $6.9 billion and it asked the FCC for streamlined treatment of its application. As an MVNO, TracFone uses the network of Verizon and other carriers but most of its traffic is on Verizon’s LTE network.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union also has raised questions about the transaction, saying the FCC should demand a commitment from Verizon to participate in the Lifeline program for a minimum of five years.    {READ MORE}



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January 15, 2021                              

Prepaid in 2021 - 4 competitive trends to watch 

(From our friends at Fierce Wireless).

With a new year beginning and in the quiet before the noise of “tax season” – the busiest season of the year for prepaid carriers, this is a good time to examine four big-picture trends that will impact prepaid competition in 2021 and beyond. They are the closing of the Tracfone acquisition by Verizon, the new emphasis on multi-month plans, new trade-in programs for prepaid carriers and more focus on prepaid for internet access.   {READ MORE}



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November 19, 2020                              

2020 saw some major structural changes in prepaid 

(From our friends at Fierce Wireless).

The prepaid market in the United States has been fairly staid over the past few years. The number of prepaid subscribers as a percentage of total subscribers has stayed about the same, changes in price have tracked fairly closely with postpaid, and there have not been significant share shifts. As of the third quarter of 2020, there are about 74 million prepaid subscribers in the United States according to New Street Research. Nearly 80% of those subscribers are relatively evenly divided by Tracfone (soon to be Verizon), T-Mobile (mainly Metro) and AT&T (mainly Cricket). Dish (via Boost) has about 13% of the market, with the remaining 7% being ‘Other’ including Verizon’s existing prepaid business.

However, there have been some important developments during 2020 that point toward a changed and much more vigorous prepaid landscape over the next couple of years. First is the significant structural change that has occurred, including:  {READ MORE}



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November 3, 2020                                  


America’s 
Wireless  Companies  Respond  to COVID-19: The industry knows the importance of support  

(a repost from our friends at CTIA).

The wireless industry continues to expand its efforts to support schools and communities across the country that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the ways wireless companies lent a virtual hand throughout October 2020 {READ MORE}

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October 12, 2020                                   

Verizon goes from worst to first with acquisition of Tracfone prepaid wireless

(From our friends at FIERCE WIRELESS)

As 2020 dawned, Verizon was in last place among the four national carriers in terms of prepaid with only four million subscribers, Verizon prepaid ranks well behind T-Mobile, Tracfone, AT&T, and even Dish Network, which operates Boost Mobile.  Not only that, most carriers have been gaining prepaid customers while Verizon has been losing customers at a rapid pace.

But Verizon is set to acquire Tracfone in a deal valued at up to $6.9 billion, as detailed by FierceWireless on September 14.

Why is Verizon buying Tracfone?

{READ MORE}.

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June 18, 2020                                       

Big Changes Happening for 3 Big Brands will directly affect their loyal dealers

There are big things happening in the PREPAID world. Metro by T-Mobile (formerly Metro PCS) Mobile announced in early April that they are terminating ALL their non-exclusive dealers contracts, estimated to be as many as 750 dealers. Then, just a few weeks later, the buzz is that they will be terminating as many as 2,000 of their exclusive dealers too, forcing some to rebrand to T-Mobile or simply withdraw from dealership entirely (see sources below)

AND recently AT&T announced the imminent closure of an "unspecified" number of Cricket Wireless stores. (see sources below)

There are also rumors of Boost Mobile streamlining it's store footprint in the near future. Boost is already becoming unstable as it is being used as a pawn in the giant Sprint/T-Mobile merger, where Dish Network is supposed to buy them - as per the SEC deal specifications - and who knows what Dish's plans will be for Boost? Dish has their own spectrum of bandwidth to utilize, so that's all good, but Dish has never been in the PPW game before. Will they run their acquired Boost brand

{READ MORE}


Customers benefit from switching to Net10 $20 plan

June 5, 2020                                                   

Cricket & AT&T prepaid's previously grandfathered $15 unlimited plans are officially going away, opening up opportunity for others, like TracFone's Net10, to win over customers.

Featured in WirelessDealerGroup.com                                                                                 May 29, 2020


When the COVID impact was first being felt, about the end of March, Cricket Wireless released a $15 pone plan to help those impacted. It included unlimited Talk, Text & Data with the first 2G data at high speeds then throttled down to 2G data speed. This wasn't a brand new plan but rather it was essentially half off their $30 unlimited plan. In their defense it was advertised as only being for a limited time and subject to change at any time. Well the change is coming.

On May 15th, subscribers were told the plan would be going away but that they would be grandfathered into 

{READ MORE} 



Net10 Wireless hotspot data update

May 27, 2020                                                  

Net10 Wireless Updates Hotspot Data Included in Its Plans

Featured in PrepaidPhoneNews.com  May 25, 2020


Good news to all Net10 users.

It looks like the MVNO has improved its data allotment on its hotspot data.

With the new changes, Net10's hotspot plans now offer these:

  • $10 for 30 days - includes 1GB of hotspot data (previously 500MB only for 14 days)
  • $20 for 30 days - includes 2GB of hotspot data (previously 1GB only for 30 days)


https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2020/05/net10-wireless-updates-hotspot-data.html

Tracfone plans

April 27, 2020                                          

Wave7 Independent Dealer Survey Results Tell A Lot About What's Happening in Prepaid Today.

Earlier this month, our friends at PrepaidPhoneNews.com reported on a research study released by industry research firm, Wave7. In it Wave7 Principal, Jeff Young, says that these results are that of its Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey for Q1 2020. The survey tracked prepaid brand distribution and sales at 30 independent, multi-brand dealers in 12 NFL cities. Dealers were asked which prepaid brands they carry and which were their top sellers.

{READ MORE}

Tracfone logo

April 14, 2020                                                         

TRACFONE brands announces COVID-19 crisis enhancements to existing customer plans

TRACFONE, the long time leader in the prepaid wireless business (in fact some say that Tracfone invented prepaid wireless, but that's another story for another time), have announced generous bonus data to all their existing brands, plans and customers.

Truth be told most wireless brands have added benefits in the form of free international calling, or data allotment increases, or hot spot limits increases. The wireless industry a s a whole really has a great appreciation for how customers rely on the service and especially in this time of social distancing, when you can't visit friends and family in person, staying connected through...

{READ MORE} 

iPhone 12

April 13, 2020                                                                     

The pending release of iPhone 12 is still shrouded in mystery.

This shouldn't be a surprise to most people that have been living on the planet Earth. Apple loves to hold back details, keep secrets, build suspense - will they, won't they, will it be, will it do this, will it do that? Most of us right now are only asking one question, WHEN??

Here's what we know and don't know about the iPhone 12 and it's release:

It MAY be released sometime in the Fall of 2020. Although that may be affected by the COVID-19 crisis as it affected business and workers in China and the US. Apple has not provided any clarity on this, but many experts are chiming in with a notable wish-wash and saying "maybe". Really instills a lot of confidence doesn't it? ...

{READ MORE}

5G network around the globe

April 10, 2020                                                                

What does the introduction of 5G mean for the Prepaid Wireless world?

To 5G or not to 5G, that is the question.  No, it really is a valid question. Let's start with one misnomer circulating out there - the "release" of 5G happened several months if not years ago. T-Mobile didn't invent 5G but they have been the loudest to tout their 5G networks benefits and advantages over their competitors AT&T and Verizon's networks, both of which have been running a form of their 5G for users for several months now. T-Mobile has officially launched their 5G this spring, curiously right around the same time that they are merging with Sprint. The merger alone means more changes coming to everyone - eventually - although both companies have said that the two networks will not be cross compatible for some time. Sprint folks will still be on the Sprint network using Sprint compatible handsets for a while until they roll out new software and hardware fixes to accomplish cross compatibility and what will ultimately be brand cohesion.

Hey here's something interesting - before we go any further - did you know that you have to have a 5G compatible phone to even get 5G strength signals and benefits. And guess what, Apple has no such compatible phone (yet), so 5G is an Android only feature right now.

... 

{READ MORE}

Prepaid Wireless independent dealer

APRIL 6, 2020                                                                        

The Prepaid Wireless Industry is about to change for some Independent Dealers

Non-Exclusive dealers of Metro by T-Mobile are about to find out that they can no longer represent or sell this brand.

In a release by the NWIDA (National Wireless Independent Dealer Association) on April 4, 2020, They released

"We have confirmed, from multiple sources, that Metro by T-Mobile has, in fact, terminated all non-exclusive stores. We believe this is between 250-750 stores (we’re still getting information in) and they have been given 120 day termination notice. This should mean that these stores WON’T close, only that they will no longer be allowed to sell Metro by T-Mobile."

..... {READ MORE}


Here's What We're Reading