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Prepaid Podcast – Prepaid Reviews Blog



The only industry podcast for prepaid cellular



Last Build Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 17:41:15 +0000

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Prepaid Podcast, March 2010 — Episode 17

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:00:10 +0000

With CTIA falling a few weeks early this year we got some of the most exciting cellular news in March. It looks like the two main subjects of our podcasts, MetroPCS and Cricket made some big announcements that could help keep them independent. Or make them stronger for when they eventually merge. Either way they certainly brought attention to themselves with network improvements while the other carriers were flouting their new Android handsets.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) So it sounds like we won’t be hearing much about Metro/Cricket mergers for a bit. We heard this month that both companies want to go it alone. They showed it by unveiling LTE plans and an expanded nationwide network. Which one did what? If you don’t already know, I tell you in the podcast.

Just how popular is prepaid? We’ve got some numbers in comparison to postpaid that might surprise you.

Page Plus has faced a few issues lately. Before it was customer service. Now it’s terminating customer accounts. They think they’re justified. But are they?

The post Prepaid Podcast, March 2010 — Episode 17 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast0310.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, February 2010 — Episode 16

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 21:22:00 +0000

Those two crazy companies are back at it. We saw both MetroPCS and Leap Wireless hire strategic advisors in February, which has everyone talking merger again. It won’t be easy this time, just like it wasn’t easy in September 2007. The environment has changed since then, though. So this finally be the time they get together and decide that it’s better to combine forces than to die alone?

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Could any other carriers be interested in either Leap or Metro? Chances are it’s either a merger or nothing, but we did see two postpaid subscribers add tons of prepaid customers in the fourth quarter of 2009. T-Mobile has been adding more prepaid than postpaid for some time now, and they continued that trend. Sprint has put a greater emphasis on prepaid, and added plenty of those customers while losing postpaid. Could either of those companies be interested?

Also, another factor for Leap: a new joint venture with Pocket Communications. For now it will help enhance their South Texas network, but given the terms of the joint venture it could also factor prominently into a merger or acquisition.

The post Prepaid Podcast, February 2010 — Episode 16 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast0210.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, January 2010 — Episode 15

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 19:53:27 +0000

The new year brings new developments in the prepaid wireless space. It also brings us new guests to talk about these developments. We saw a few quarterly earnings reports, heard a few rumors, and blogged about everything along the way. Now it’s time to take a look back at those events and what they mean for the rest of the industry. Joining me is Maisie Ramsay of Wireless Week.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Page Plus continues to lower the bar for pay-as-you-go rates. They set their base rate at 10 cents per minute in November, and now have brought their floor rate all the way to 4 cents per minute. Even better, that card lasts 120 days, so you can spread the 2,000 minutes over four months. So you essentially get 500 minutes for $20 per month.

Then we move onto MetroPCS and Cricket, which I discussed with Maisie. You can check out her reporting on the MetroPCS plan changes, plus some of her other articles. We get into issues of subscriber adds, churn, and everyone’s favorite, a possible merger. Then it’s onto Boost and their BlackBerry plans, plus the possibility of Verizon getting into that game — albeit at a far higher price point.

Finally, welcome back to Net10’s unlimited plans. You’ve been missed, old friend.

The post Prepaid Podcast, January 2010 — Episode 15 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast0110.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, December 2009 — Episode 14

Thu, 31 Dec 2009 16:00:26 +0000

Everyone love the big story: the new unlimited calling plan, the new coverage area, the new cellular provider. Those are the things that fuel media in the communications space. But I like to take a look at the underrated story, the one that slips under most people’s noses. We saw some stories this month that might change the prepaid space.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) A new tax in Louisiana seems like it could catch on nationwide. Retailers who sell prepaid wireless top-up cards will now have to assess a 911 tax at the point of sale. This does make sense. Prepaid wireless users have just as much access to 911 as postpaid users, yet don’t pay into it. They should, and I think that’s fair, but Louisiana didn’t get it all right. There are still holes in the plan.

Virgin Mobile has a new program out to provide free cellular service to low-income New York residents. The idea, just like SafeLink, is to help people increase their earning power. Some scoff at providing service for free, but I don’t totally agree. If it helps them eventually become independent, I think it’s worthy. That’s why I have a few critiques of the program.

And plenty more, including international calling news from MetroPCS and Boost. And a sad end to an unlimited plan.

The post Prepaid Podcast, December 2009 — Episode 14 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast1209.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, November 2009 — Episode 13

Tue, 01 Dec 2009 00:06:04 +0000

A lot happens in a month. Carriers change plans — carriers change ownership, even — and we even sometimes see new carriers emerge. In fact, we saw all three in November. We have news on MetroPCS and Cricket — what they’ve done, what they’re up to, and how they might fare in the fourth quarter. Plus, a bit on Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, and a new MVNO.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Neither Cricket nor MetroPCS fared well in the third quarter. Both carriers saw churn rates shoot up, which is never good news for a prepaid carrier. It means people are flocking elsewhere, and if they sign a contract this time, they may never return. Both should have a better fourth quarter, but that third quarter is still going to sting.

Speaking of fourth quarters, I think Cricket will fare better than Metro. Everything seems to be falling into place for Cricket. They added some features to their plans, and even added a new $25 plan. Add that to their distribution in Wal-Mart and Target stores, among other big box retailers, and you have the recipe for holiday success.

Virgin Mobile is now officially part of Sprint Nextel. What Sprint plans to do with its second prepaid company I don’t know, but I bet you see a lot more youth targeting with Virgin.

And don’t forget Simple Mobile. They’re a new MVNO, and they operate on the T-Mobile network, something I don’t think I’ve seen before. They run tiered flat-rate services, cheaper even than T-Mobile’s Complete (though not with all the features). It’s worth keeping an eye on them.

The post Prepaid Podcast, November 2009 — Episode 13 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast1109.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, October 2009 — Episode 12

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:00:29 +0000

Once again there were many developments in the prepaid wireless world, and we’re going to run them down. AT&T made a bold move that could turn some attention their way. Plus, another company that has an unlimited plan just made things a little sweeter.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) AT&T added an unlimited GoPhone plan. Well, really, they just improved the price on it. Before it was $3 per day and didn’t include messaging. The new plan includes both unlimited voice and text, and costs $60 for the whole month. It’s not as comprehensive or as cheap as other prepaid unlimited offers, but clearly AT&T is leveraging its brand name and its network.

Page Plus added to its stable by re-introducing their first Talk n Text plan. Over the summer they upgraded the original plan to unlimited talk, text, and 20 MB of data for $40. Now they’ve added a $30 option, which includes 1,200 minutes, 1,200 messages, and 50MB of data. The company now has two deals similar, though not identical, those offered by Straight Talk.

The post Prepaid Podcast, October 2009 — Episode 12 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast1009.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, August 2009 – Episode 11

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:42:11 +0000

We’re back with another edition of the Prepaid Podcast. This month we’re talking about some recent industry moves. The main focus is on T-Mobile, which continues to add prepaid customers at a far greater rate than postpaid ones. They might have some tough decisions to make after this year closes out if the trend continues. Suspiciously, they’ve actually taken away from their prepaid services lately, which seems like an odd move considering the timing. We’ll see how that bears out in the future.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Of course, there’s more going on than just T-Mobile. We’ve forever heard about MetroPCS and Cricket merging into one company. Their disadvantage is that they don’t have a nationwide network right now, and while they still wouldn’t upon combining, they’d be much, much closer. We could hear this talk pick up once Cricket finishes rolling out the remainder of their AWS markets.

Also, we saw a few new prepaid unlimited plans rolled out. Ready Mobile introduced theirs in July, and then were followed by Page Plus, PlatinumTel, and Total Call Mobile. Pretty soon all of our pay as you go cell phone carriers will likely have some sort unlimited plan before long.

The post Prepaid Podcast, August 2009 – Episode 11 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast809.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, July 2009 – Episode 10

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 15:30:18 +0000

We’re back with another edition of the Prepaid Podcast. This month we’re talking about some recent industry moves. This includes Sprint’s acquisition of Virgin Mobile among others. Things are moving in the prepaid world, thanks to new and hefty monthly plans. The latest on the bandwagon is Tracfone, which unveiled its Straight Talk service at the beginning of July.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Speaking of hefty plans, we also get into a bit about Zer01, a mobile company which has promised big but has yet to deliver. Their promises of “5G” speeds are overblown and hyperbolic, but still they claim to have a new way of distributing wireless service. It involves mutli-level marketing, an idea that hasn’t gone over well for the majority of people who try it. We’ll see where Zer01 ends up, but right now it’s not looking good.

The post Prepaid Podcast, July 2009 – Episode 10 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast609.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, June 2009 – Episode 9

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:24:15 +0000

We’re back with another edition of the Prepaid Podcast. This month we’re talking about the growth the prepaid sector has provided to the wireless industry at large. There are a number of factors at play here, and it’s tough to get everything down at once. There’s the US wireless penetration rate, competing services, consumer confidence, and other issues at the root of the current wireless environment. We try to mete it all out in the podcast.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) Alex Besen, MVNO guru, has said many times that the US wireless industry just isn’t ready for MVNOs. Why? Because there isn’t, or at least wasn’t, 100 percent penetration. The big carriers could continue to focus on the big picture and make big gains, because there were still people new to wireless. Those new adds fuel heavy growth.

But what happens when nearly everyone who is going to have a cell phone already has one? Strategies change from a pure acquisition standpoint to acquisition from other carriers. MVNOs and niche-based prepaid carriers have an advantage here, as they can focus their marketing efforts to bring people from other carriers. This is what’s happening now. The U.S. wireless penetration rate isn’t quite 100 percent, but it’s effectively 100 percent. Look for these niche markets to capitalize on those unsatisfied with their traditional postpaid service.

The post Prepaid Podcast, June 2009 – Episode 9 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast609.mp3




Prepaid Podcast, May 2009 – Episode 8

Fri, 29 May 2009 18:05:20 +0000

We’re back with another edition of the Prepaid Podcast. This time we take a look at the recent success of prepaid unlimited plans. Boost Mobile introduced one in January, and it seems to have raised awareness of not only its plan, but of its competitors. In fact, MetroPCS realized record growth in the first quarter, adding almost 700,000 subscribers. Another prepaid unlimited carrier, Cricket wireless grew substantially as well. We discuss these issues and what they mean to the future of the industry.

So click on over to hear the Prepaid Podcast.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Highlights include:

(image) First up is talk of how popular these plans have become in recent months. Among the three major providers mentioned, we’ve seen a little shy of 2 million subscribers sign up during the first quarter. More than that, really, since that’s the net gain. More signed up, but because prepaid by nature carries a high turnover rate the net gain is just under 2 million. The question, of course, is of whether this trend can sustain itself through the typically slow second and third quarters.

Then we move to the focus of many of these companies. For the most part, MetroPCS and Cricket are marketing their plans as landline replacements. Metro went as far so to offer a home phone simulating service, which allows you to have one central number which will ring all phones in the family. This helps keep the number private, but also allows everyone in the family to access it, even when not home. So if executed properly it’s not just a landline replacement, but a landline enhancer.

Finally, we hit on Virgin Mobile, which has reduced its prepaid unlimited plan to $50 per month, but can’t compete with the messaging and Web features offered by its competitors. Is it going to be enough? They do operate on a nationwide CDMA network, which its competitors do not. Can they offer the same services for roughly $20 more per month and see similar results? We might not get a good idea until the fourth quarter, which is the next big quarter for the cellular industry.

The post Prepaid Podcast, May 2009 – Episode 8 appeared first on Prepaid Reviews Blog.


Media Files:
http://www.prepaidreviews.com/podcast/PrepaidPodcast509.mp3