The undisputed leaders of the wireless industry in the United States have been busy making changes to their prepaid plans recently, but in totally contrasting manners. As reported by Prepaid Phone News, AT&T has decided to increase the amounts of data via its add-on options on its GoPhone prepaid plans. As for Verizon Wireless, it looks like it is discontinuing a couple of its more affordable prepaid plans.
Customers under the GoPhone $30 a month prepaid plan will be delighted to know that they can now avail of 250 megabytes of data for $5. Previously, they were only allowed to buy 100 megabytes of data. Moreover, mobile users availing of GoPhone’s $45 a month prepaid plan can now enjoy access to a gigabyte of data for $10. Before, this plan only offered 500 megabytes of data. On top of all this, AT&T has also introduced a heaver data add-on for its GoPhone $60 a month prepaid plan.
While AT&T is making efforts to boost its prepaid offerings, Verizon Wireless seem to be looking to cut its prepaid options. The Big Red has just eliminated a $30 a month prepaid plan that already features unlimited domestic voice call minutes and text messaging, plus unlimited text messaging to Canada and Mexico (but not unlimited data). Furthermore, Verizon has made it known that it will no longer be offering the $15 a month prepaid plan that included unlimited Internet surfing as well as 300 voice call minutes or text messages.
These latest moves from the biggest wireless carriers in America illustrate the differing approaches between the two when it comes to prepaid. AT&T has been looking to attract more and more prepaid customers by way of its Cricket Wireless prepaid arm, even though it had to deal with some postpaid customer losses.
Verizon Wireless, on the other hand, is willing to let go of some of its prepaid customer base as long as it gets to keep its postpaid customers, which it clearly values above any other type of users. But it does not mean the Big Red is abandoning prepaid customers altogether. After it had changed its pricing structure to address the evolving prepaid market, the industry leader was able to gain 83,000 net prepaid customers during the third quarter of this year, with a strategy that pays more attention to getting high end prepaid users as opposed to low end prepaid users. The last few quarters have seen the prepaid market continue to become more competitive. As more mobile operators find new and better ways to monetize customers willing to go prepaid, the average revenue per user (ARPU) gap between prepaid and postpaid continues to shrink.
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