Archive for the ‘Carriers’ Category

New Sprint ad campaign focuses on unlimited data

Sprint Nextel will continue to promote its unlimited product offerings with a new ad campaign called “All Together Now”

This marketing move is in response to other carriers like AT&T and Verizon that have now scrapped their unlimited data plans and have gone to tiered pricing, and T-Mobile that threatens to throttle speeds of users that exceed a certain bandwidth limit.

Mobile carriers are dealing with increased data consumption due to smartphones and faster networks. The trend in scuttling unlimited data started with AT&T and now has spread to Verizon which is also switching to tiered pricing, and T-Mobile that is throttling high data usage.

As wireless users’ data demands continue to grow–fostered by advanced smartphones and faster networks–carriers have found themselves trapped between unlimited data offerings and overtaxed data networks. As a result, many are charging subscribers based on the amount of data they use, or are throttling users’ speeds after they download a certain amount of data. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) kicked off the rush last year by charging $15 per month for 200 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA have both warned that they will throttle the speeds of high-traffic users. Verizon has hinted it will move toward tiered pricing sometime this summer.

However, Sprint, it appears, isn’t immune to users’ data demands: The carrier in January tacked on an extra $10 per month fee for unlimited data for smartphone users. Sprint also has indicated that tiered pricing may be in the future, but indicates that it will always differentiate itself from other carriers with competitive pricing.


Verizon Unleashes New Prepaid Plan – Unlimited for $ 50 a Month

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched a major new service dubbed “Verizon Unleashed,” which offers prepaid unlimited wireless calling, texting and data for $50 per month. The service is a direct attack on the unlimited offerings of Sprint Nextel, Boost Mobile brand, as well as regional carriers like MetroPCS and Leap Wireless.

Verizon Unleashed offers unlimited talking, texting and mobile Web access for $50 per month. Right now the service is available on three feature phones, which range in price from about 40 dollars to 99.

The plan has launched in parts of Southern California and Florida, east of Panama City. These are areas of heavy competition with other prepaid carriers that offer unlimited plans.

“The plan appears to fit well with going after the Boosts and Virgin Mobiles of the world without compromising Verizon Wireless postpaid subscribers, since it appears that there are only three devices to choose from and those devices appear to be all feature phones,” Henderek wrote. “In addition, the plan does not offer data roaming and comes with a Catch 22 where customers must maintain a balance of at least the total of their monthly bill or calls will cost 25 cents per minute and data 99 cents per day.”

Verizon last year tested a $50 prepaid monthly unlimited plan across the Southeast. The tests covered 11 states.




AT&T is Reportedly Ordering 8 Million Windows Phone 7 Devices

Altimeter analyst Michael Gartenberg is reporting, via twitter, that based upon information from a reliable source, that AT&T has ordered 8 million Windows Phone 7 devices. What’s not clear is whether that is a single order, or how much AT&T expects to acquire and sell over the lifetime of the model.

In comparison to the iPhone, this is equal to the number of iPhones that Apple moved in Q2 2010.

In any event this is a significant number for a brand new mobile phone platform. Microsoft is definitely not expecting a repeat of the Kin.


AT&T Kills Unlimited Data Pricing, Supports iPhone Tethering

AT&T recently announced changes to data plan pricing that will go into effect on June 7th, the same day that Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone. The new pricing will be tiered in an effort to charge more for heavy data usage and less for average, more moderate to light usage.

Here is the breakdown of the data usage plans:

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AT&T to Raise Exit Fees for Smartphones

In a move following Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, AT&T is raising the early termination fee (ETF) for smartphone users. This move comes ahead of the planned launch of the new Apple iPhone 4G.

New contracts that subsidize smartphones and netbooks will have buyers paying $ 325, doubling the current $ 175 fee for breaking a contract. One consolation, the fee will decrease by $ 10 per month during the two year contract.
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Verizon Forgives $18,000 Cell Phone Bill

IN 2006 Bob St. Germain from Dover, Mass. experienced the ultimate in cell phone “bill shock” when his Verizon Wireless bill came to $ 18,000. His 22-year-old son ran up charges after a promotional plan he was using expired. We have all heard of this before, but not to this extreme.
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AT&T’s de la Vega downplays prepaid growth, potential iPhone loss

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de Vega dismissed the growth of the prepaid wireless market and insisted that the real industry growth is  in mobile data plans and “connected” devices.

This was de la Vega’s assessment of prepaid at a recent investor conference. He downplayed the importance of prepaid which is experiencing growth, while the postpaid market has flattened. AT&T’s current offerings reflect the company’s approach of maintaining tolerable, but not competitive prepaid plans in place. “The growth opportunity in this country is in postpaid data,” de la Vega said. “It’s not in prepaid voice.”
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MetroPCS Chief Sees Prepaid Consolidation

MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist said that there will likely be mergers in the crowded prepaid wireless market soon.

Lindquist spoke at the Reuters Global Technology Summit, stating that an ideal would be three prepaid wireless carriers. Currenly in addition to MetroPCS, there is Leap Wireless, Four Sprint brands including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Common Cents Mobile. Of course there are the other major carriers that are also offering prepaid plans as well. He noted that as pricing competition becomes more intense, the operators with higher operating costs will feel the pressure.
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T-Mobile Offers $50 Unlimited Text and Voice Prepaid Plan

T-Mobile is joining other carriers at the $ 50 unlimited prepaid price point. This new plan will become available today. Other plans being launched include a $ 15 per month unlimited texting and video. Voice calls with this plan will be charged at 10 cents per minute. The $ 50 unlimited plan includes unlimited voice and texting.
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Cell Phone Customer Service Gets High Marks

Consumer satisfaction is hitting an all-time high for cell phone service, according to a new survey released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Sprint demonstrated a big improvement from last year’s survey after making big efforts to improve customer service. Sprint’s customer satisfaction score is now just above AT&T’s. » Read more