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The Prepaid Press: “Prepaid Wireless 2011 Predictions”

March 20, 2011

The website, “The Prepaid Press” has an article, “Prepaid Wireless 2011,” by Rivka Gewirtz Little, which predicts some dramatic changes in the prepaid world this year.

The article’s subtitle is “Smartphones, Data and Applications Galore!” and the article begins, “If 2010 was the year of the flat-rate prepaid wireless plan, 2011 will be the year that prepaid providers didn’t succumb to price wars, instead working to differentiate themselves with smartphones and new applications.

Key observations and predictions from the article:

  • Prepaid rates are not going any lower:  “… most prepaid flat-rate plans have bottomed out at around $40 per month …
  • Data (and smartphones) will continue to increase rapidly:  “… prepaid users are using more and more data and more and more smartphones. That’s not going to go backwards.” “… 2011 is going to be the year of prepaid smartphones and data.
  • Prepaid will become an even bigger force in 2011:  “… many more postpaid wireless providers will jump on the prepaid bandwagon in 2011.
  • Sprint is identified as the leader in prepaid:  “There will be a big push from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to gain new markets in prepaid, and try to win customers back from Sprint prepaid brands.”
  • Android devices will become the dominant force in wireless this year:  “The sheer volume of Android deployments will disintegrate Apple’s foothold.”
  • We’ll see cheaper prepaid smartphones introduced this year:  “We will start seeing $80 and $100 smartphones on prepaid plans.
  • The iPhone will enter the prepaid world, as well as tablets and other wireless gadgets.
  • Data limits will expand:  “This whole notion of putting caps where [customers] can only use 2 Gigs a month, will fall by the wayside.”
  • 2011 will be the beginning of mobile payment applications, where consumers will use “mobile phones as contactless payment devices in place of prepaid debit cards.”
  • In order to grow and take market share, prepaid companies will have to differentiate themselves from other companies in ways besides being cheaper (since companies have reached the bottom of what they can afford to do price-wise).
  • And you better have a national network:  “… carriers that don’t have national coverage – and only regional networks – won’t likely make the cut.

JC

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