Verizon Wireless could expand its unlimited $50 prepaid plan following a small but successful trial, according to a story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.
Known as Unleashed, the carrier's prepaid plan offers unlimited talk, texting, and Web access for $50 per month and was introduced this past April in Southern California and Florida.
"The trial has gone very, very well for us," Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said during a presentation in Boston, according to the Journal. "It didn't cannibalize the base and we actually evaluated our prepaid business and took some share.&… Read more
The battle over prepaid between T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel's Virgin Mobile just got a little uglier.
T-Mobile and its ever-present spokeswoman, Carly, were the targets of a new commercial from Virgin, which argues that it offers the best value for a smartphone customer looking to avoid long-term service contracts.
The advertisement underscores the growing importance of the prepaid wireless business for the national carriers, which traditionally generated a bulk of their revenue with contract customers. As both Sprint and T-Mobile have struggled with the so-called postpaid segment--that is, subscribers--they have looked to add prepaid customers. As a result, … Read more
Relief is a little iffy for contract-free customers thirsting for smartphones.
Weak quarterly earnings for prepaid carriers, like leader MetroPCS, TracFone, and Cricket-owner Leap Wireless, are making the ability of these second-tiered carriers to act effectively as alternative smartphone providers to the big-four operators a little murkier.
Why? As CNET Senior Writer Roger Cheng noted, the overall growth of tier-two customers is slowing--even dropping, in Cricket's case--and in addition, smartphone-seekers appear to be signing on to other options, including prepaid plans with the major carriers like T-Mobile, or dropping down to government-subsidized feature phones in response to financial … Read more
Sprint Nextel's unlimited data plan will eventually face its limits.
As the only carrier that can now boast of offering an all-you-can-eat buffet of data with no strings attached, Sprint has become a haven for bandwidth hogs. It's a boon to customer growth and gives the company a competitive edge beyond pricing or network quality. Unfortunately, it's also tough for the company to reverse its position.
The growth also comes at a cost. The more heavy users jump on the Sprint ship, the heavier the burden the carrier will start to feel. The company has employed tricks … Read more
Virgin Mobile, the prepaid arm of Sprint Nextel, said today that it is moving away from a fully unlimited data plan and will begin to slow the connection speed of its more excessive bandwidth-hogging customers in October.
Virgin said that customers who exceed 2.5 gigabytes of data in a month will see reduced speeds, a practice known as throttling. The company said less than 3 percent of its customer base go over that mark. The policy will affect all customers.
Virgin is the latest carrier to acknowledge the pressures that heavy data usage by its customers have placed on it. Last week, Verizon Wireless switched to a tiered data plan, following AT&T's move last year. T-Mobile also throttles its customers' connection speeds.
As further evidence of the pressures Virgin faces, the company also unveiled new plans starting July 20 that raise the price of its cheapest options. Its 300-minute plan, which includes unlimited messaging and data, costs $35, $10 more than before. Its 1,200-minute plan goes from $40 to $45.
The company did cut its $60 unlimited calling plan down to $55, likely an acknowledgement of the competitive threat presented by MetroPCS and Leap Wireless. The company also said it would waive the $10 add-on fee for BlackBerry smartphones.
The plans were first reported by Fierce Wireless.
Virgin has been a major factor for much of Sprint's turnaround with its customer base. While winning back contract customers has been difficult, the carrier has seen explosive growth in the prepaid segment, where customers pay on a month-to-month basis and can leave at any time. … Read more
What do Virgin America and New York's Ace Hotel have in common? They are frequented by the digerati, the beautiful, and the in-the-know.
So it's a shrewd marketing move by Google to announce today that some Virgin America flights this summer and the Ace will be testbeds for the brand new Chromebook.
Chromebooks were a concept initially introduced two years ago, but are just now making their way to retailers.
We get questionably definitive proof that someone at Google listens to the show with Google's roll out of its an app compatibility function for the Android Market, just weeks after we complained about system requirements for Android apps. You can thank us later. Also, we take a look at a free entry-level Android phone, get video proof that the Droid 3 is coming from Motorola, and speculate on what may end up being the unicorn of smartphones, the Nexus 4G---not to be confused with the Nexus S 4G--a phone with specs that you wouldn't believe. But which of … Read more
NEW YORK--In a renewed effort to bring more innovative devices to market together, Sprint and Motorola introduced the Motorola Photon 4G and Motorola Triumph today, 2 of 10 new devices the companies plan on launching together in 2011.
Though Motorola handsets have been available on Sprint and its prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, for years, they have tended to be more on the entry-level to midtier side, especially when compared with the carrier's higher-end offerings from HTC and Samsung. Realizing that void, Sprint said it made the conscious decision about a year ago to work more closely … Read more
Virgin Mobile USA has expanded its affordable, no contract Broadband2Go plan to two more devices. Beginning today, a $20 monthly service gets you up to 500MB of data for the MiFi 2200 mobile hot spot ($124.99) and the Ovation MC760 USB stick ($79.99).
The two devices join the $79.99 ZTE Peel 3200, a sibling of the ZTE Peel for Sprint.
In addition to the $20 monthly plan, Virgin Mobile also offers a $10 limited-time option that gives you 10 days to burn through 100MB, and a $50 per month unlimited data plan that delivers 3G speeds for … Read more