As the wireless industry continues to mature, prepaid and mobile broadband services are becoming important avenues of revenue for operators. A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC US) revealed this trend. Prepaid plans continue to represent a significant and growing portion of carrier revenues as consumers opt for less expensive, no-commitment wireless plans. Prepaid services now represent an average of 29.2 percent of total service revenues, up from 22.5 percent in the 2010 survey.
Pierre-Alain Sur, global communications leader, PwC, wrote in “No wires attached: 2011 North American wireless industry survey”: “The mobile industry has reached a point where the economics of the current subsidy model associated with acquiring new and upgrading existing customers to costly smartphone have become increasingly difficult to sustain.”
The full report is available at: pwc.com/us/wirelesssurvey.
Page Plus Cellular Plans Offer More Data
Nationwide mobile service provider Page Plus Cellular has improved two of its prepaid cell phone plans to provide more data usage, without raising its prices. Page Plus’ top-tier plan, The 55, now provides double the amount of data it previously has – one gigabyte, raised from 500 megabytes.
The most popular Page Plus plan, Unlimited Talk n Text, now provides five times the amount of data as before – 100 MB compared to the previous 20 MB.
The 55 plan provides unlimited voice calls, unlimited text messages and now 1 GB of data for %44 per month. Unlimited Text n Talk provides unlimited calling and texting, plus 100 MB of data for $44 per month.
It seems that the demand for data has increased and Page Plus has committed to giving their customers what they need, according to Denny Scher, Page Plus marketing manager.
Next-Generation MVNOs Shake Up the US Market
A new breed of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) is starting to find their place in the US wireless market, reported Phil Goldstein, writer for FierceWireless. “Today, innovative startups, such as Republic Wireless and Ting are challenging the status quo alongside more traditional MVNOs, including Simple Mobile and H20 Wireless.”
The most well-known MVNO is TracFone, owed by America Movil US. They have won millions of subscribers in the last several years through their Straight Talk monthly unlimited offering, available through Walmart stores. Android phones are now featured in their repertoire of mobile devices.
With the demand for prepaid growing, forward-thinking operators are entering the arena. Republic Wireless, a Sprint MVNO, offers unlimited voice, texting and data for $19 per month. The carrier’s plan is to offer unlimited calls, data and text using Wi-Fi connectivity with Sprint’s network used when there is no Wi-Fi service. Right now, Republic is running a beta of the service, which is available over just one phone, an LG Optimus unit running Android 2.3. More Android models are expected to be offered in June.
Ting, an MVNO operated by Tucows, an internet domain company, also utilizes the Sprint network. Starting with a simple and clearly written website, Ting offers no contract plans for budget-conscious users, including families and small businesses. Ting lets you pick a plan and pay only for what you use on the plan. The remainder gets credited on your bill. Android devices and hot spots are available with discounts for more than one device.
DataJack’s Prepaid Plans Enhanced
Quamtel completed yet another phase of integration with Sprint Wholesale & Emerging Solutions allowing for even greater control of DataJack’s prepaid plans with increased margins and new channels for generating revenue.
Under a multi-year agreement with Sprint, DataJack Inc. operates as an MVNO offering prepaid nationwide 3G mobile broadband service. Recent enhancements to DataJack’s proprietary business and operational support systems, coupled with the Sprint 3G network that reaches more than 282 million people (including roaming), allows DataJack to capitalize on near real-time usage control, greatly improving the margins on its prepaid data plans and opening up additional channels for generating revenue.
Through its integration with the Sprint 3G Network, DataJack can actively monitor data sessions; activate, suspend, expire and provision accounts in near real time; and automatically charge accounts when they reach pre-defined thresholds – all in real time. DataJack’s platform also allows for management analytics, financial analysis, cost management, inventory control, service fulfillment, equipment logistics, CRM and sales force management.
More data, less expensive plans, enhancements…it’s a changing world! •