Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Prepaid: If You Can't Beat 'em, Buy 'em

T-Mobile announced it wants to eliminate the prepaid competition by buying Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile. This is a new trend among the Big 3 carriers. T-Mobile has already acquired Metro PCS and plan to raise those prices for their new Metro by T-Mobile. Verizon has already acquired all the America Movil prepaids and after shutting down a few, we expect they'll also start raising those prices, too. AT&T has been a little less aggressive with their purchase of Cricket Wireless which has settled into the position of their low-cost entry into the field.

Instead of complaining about the behavior of the major carriers, we'd like to point out the other prepaids that are still providing a competitive service and are not owned by the larger cellular companies. We have web pages dedicated to these independent carriers at Budget Prepaid Carriers and the smaller Secondary Prepaids. Some of these are extraordinary bargains and some have a enticing box of features, including roaming outside the US. Some have impressed us enough to set aside a "Reviewers' Choice" category which highlights Prepaids that outperform the others.

The US Department of Justice has questioned T-Mobile's proposed acquisitions, so the purchases may not be a slam dunk. In the meantime, we have no reason to avoid these acquired carriers, but keep track of your charges and be ready to flee if you see a price increase or a loss of features. We'll help you make your escape.

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