Monday, October 14, 2013

PrePaid Moves Closer to Mainstream

A few months ago we noted the transition of Prepaid toward the new normal.  At that time we consolidated all of our Prepaid data to one site, Mountain Prepaid.  We still maintained some reviews for the largest prepaid service like TracFone on the Mountain Wireless Review pages, but now those have been moved to Mountain Prepaid as well.

In expanding the Prepaid site to include a much larger number of prepaid services, we noted that some primary regional and local carriers only offer prepaid plans.  This has the increased effect that soon we may no longer know, or care, about whether a carrier is Prepaid or not.  The top tier carriers are making the difference less clear by introducing their own separate brands of prepaid wireless.  In order to provide a certain level of transparency we divided Prepaid between that offered by the major carriers and that offered by independent companies.

Interestingly, one of those "independent" companies, America Movil, is a "major" carrier in other countries further blurring the line between primary and secondary carriers.  MetroPCS and Cricket have always been "prepaid", but now they are (or soon will be) the Prepaid arm of other major carriers.  Where do they fit now? With each of the largest carriers beginning to disassociate the purchase of the wireless phone from the monthly plan, we feel that postpaid accounts may soon fall into the minority within all US wireless companies.  Then we'll be stuck.  "Prepaid" won't mean anything different and we'll need to put all the carriers back together again. Humpty Dumpty would be proud.

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