Prepaid Podcast, May 2009 – Episode 8

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: 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.]]>

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