Prepaid Wireless Market

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Prepaid Wireless in USA: Market Outlook and Forecasts 2019 – 2024

This prepaid wireless market report evaluates the prepaid wireless market in the United States including major provider analysis and service assessment, technologies involved in prepaid service delivery, and assessment of the future of prepaid communications, content, and commerce.  The report also provides forecasts for 2019 through 2024.  The report also analyzes major MVNO companies and offerings. The report also provides a view into the future of prepaid wireless and market forecasts through 2024 including subscribers and Revenue by Voice vs. Data vs. VAS and by Connectivity Type.



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Description

The prepaid wireless market in the United States has experienced well-defined stages of growth, plateau, and renewed growth cycles.  Recently experiencing a growth plateau, prepaid wireless remains the service of choice for millions cellular customers in the United States. No longer carrying the sigma it once had as a service mostly for the credit-challenged, a large number of customers choose prepaid over post-paid.

The reasons are many and varied including lower costs for many of the same features and benefits as post-paid plans such as smartphones and advanced feature/functionality. It also anticipated that prepay wireless will once again achieve a substantive growth phase due to a few important factors evaluated in this report such as increasing need for anonymity for certain emerging services.

Prepaid wireless service providers in the United States have become increasingly competitive in recent years as they evolve offerings to be more on par with post-paid service features and plans. For example, Verizon Wireless now offers prepaid family plans, unlimited plans, and support for BYOD whereas this was not the case just a few years ago. Mind Commerce anticipates continued evolution of prepaid wireless in general as part of a dominate trend towards prepay mobile services becoming increasingly more comparable with post-paid wireless.

Prepaid Wireless Market Dynamics

Mind Commerce anticipates significant upheaval in the prepaid wireless market as a result of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger. We have already witnessed some minor changes, such as the rebranding of Metro PCS to Metro by T-Mobile. There is strong reason to believe that the combined company will make more significant changes post-merger including rationalization of pricing, feature functionality, and ultimately brand consolidation. There is also the likelihood of substantively higher prices in the long-term.

In the intermediate term, there will be a considerable impact on the non-subsidiary prepaid brands that rely upon a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) model for services delivery. The combined MVNOs supported by the two companies will find themselves in a weaker negotiating position regarding deal terms. T-Mobile subsidiaries will likely evolve to a purely T-Mobile. Along the way, these subsidiaries are expected to receive better feature functionality, support, and differentiation as a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) owned brand. The overall effect will be to move the combined company towards a consolidated prepaid wireless business unit with enhanced profitability and more competitive against prepaid wireless offerings from AT&T and Verizon.

The future of prepaid wireless communications will depend on more than just carrier-centric applications, communications, content, and commerce.  For example, prepaid will be an important aspect of many next generation services that are provided by a variety of third-party service companies that do not wish to offer a prepaid option, thus relying upon wireless carrier billing via prepay. The prepaid wireless market will be thrive as new applications, digital content, and commerce offerings rely upon prepayment.

The future of prepaid wireless is very bright as it becomes more fully integrated with mobile commerce by way of stored value and converged services involving next generation technologies such as WebRTC. Other prepaid wireless market growth areas include prepaid 5G (data services, apps, and Vo5G) and prepaid Internet of Things (IoT) for the DIY IoT marketplace.

While many emerging applications will be offered by Over-the-Top (OTT) service providers, Mind Commerce strongly recommends that MNOs offer their own branded/controlled Value-added Service (VAS) applications. The OTT application business model has caused data payload (e.g. apps that use data) to become increasingly more valuable to consumers than data itself, which is rapidly becoming a marginalized commodity.  With this development, VAS applications become much more important to the network operators.

With the ever-increasing commoditization of carrier core services (mostly voice and messaging), there will be a growing dependence on VAS applications for initially top line revenue growth (as data growth tapers off and margins are squeezed) and then for margin growth as bearer services become a cost-plus commodity. Prepaid wireless service providers must also provide their own VAS apps to remain competitive, even if it necessitates them offering those apps on an OTT basis themselves.

Prepaid Wireless Market Report

This report evaluates the prepaid wireless market in the United States including major provider analysis and service assessment, technologies involved in prepaid service delivery, and assessment of the future of prepaid communications, content, and commerce.  The report also provides forecasts for 2019 through 2024.  The report also analyzes major MVNO companies and offerings. The report also provides a view into the future of prepaid wireless and market forecasts through 2024 including subscribers and Revenue by Voice vs. Data vs. VAS and by Connectivity Type.

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Additional information

Published

January 2019

Pages

189

Target Audience

Application Developers, Communications Services Providers, Data Services Companies, Governmental Organizations and NGOs, ICT Infrastructure Providers, Investment Organizations, Managed Services Companies, OSS/BSS Companies, Software Developers, Systems Integrators

License Type

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Companies in Report

  • Airvoice Wireless
  • AT&T
  • Black Wireless
  • Best Cellular
  • Black Wireless
  • Boom! Mobile
  • Boost Mobile
  • CellNUVO
  • Cellular Abroad
  • Consumer Cellular
  • CREDO Mobile
  • Cricket Wireless
  • DataPass
  • Dataxoom
  • easyGO (Locus)
  • EcoMobile
  • Freedompop
  • Gen Mobile
  • Google FI
  • GoSmart Mobile
  • GreatCall
  • Hayai Mobile
  • H2O Wireless (Locus)
  • Ideal Mobile
  • Jolt Mobile
  • KidsConnect
  • Kajeet
  • Karma Mobility
  • Liberty Wireless
  • Lycamobile
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • NET10
  • Page Plus Cellular
  • Payless Cellular
  • PixWireless
  • PureTalk
  • Red Pocket Mobile
  • Republic Wireless
  • Simple Mobile
  • Straight Talk
  • T-Mobile
  • Tello
  • TextNow
  • Ting Mobile
  • Tracfone Wireless
  • Twigby
  • Ultra Mobile
  • Unreal Mobile
  • US Cellular
  • Virgin Mobile USA
  • Ultra Mobile
  • Verizon
  • Walmart Family Mobile
  • Zing Wireless
  • ZIP SIM

Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary
2 Introduction
3 United States Communication Service Providers
3.1 Wireless Carrier Offerings
3.1.1 Prepaid and Postpaid Wireless Market Overview
3.1.2 Prepaid Technology Approaches
3.1.3 Prepaid and Post-paid Market Strategy
3.1.4 Prepaid Wireless Technology
3.1.5 Prepaid Market Outlook
3.2 USA Prepaid Wireless Market Handset Providers
3.3 Drivers for Growth in Wireless Prepaid Services
3.3.1 Credit Challenged
3.3.2 Unbanked Users
3.3.3 Temporary and Infrequent Users
3.4 Other Factors and Outlook
4 United States Prepaid Wireless Carrier Service Provider Analysis
4.1 AT&T
4.1.1 Plans
4.1.2 Feature Analysis
4.1.3 SWOT Analysis
4.1.4 AT&T MVNO Companies
4.2 Sprint
4.2.1 Overview
4.2.2 Plans
4.2.3 Feature Analysis
4.2.4 SWOT Analysis
4.2.5 Sprint MVNO Companies
4.3 T-Mobile
4.3.1 Overview
4.3.2 Plans
4.3.3 Feature Analysis
4.3.4 SWOT Analysis
4.3.5 T-Mobile MVNO Companies
4.4 US Cellular
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Plans
4.4.3 Feature Analysis
4.4.4 SWOT Analysis
4.5 Verizon
4.5.1 Overview
4.5.2 Plans
4.5.3 Feature Analysis
4.5.4 SWOT Analysis
4.5.5 Verizon MVNO Companies
4.6 Prepaid Wireless Industry Consolidation
5 Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Impact on Prepaid Wireless
5.1.1 Impact on USA Carrier Ecosystem as a Whole
5.1.2 Impact on Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
5.1.3 Impact on Prepaid Subsidiaries: Boost, Metro PCS, and Virgin Mobile
6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators
6.1 Overview
6.2 MVNOs Leverage MNO Assets
6.3 MVNOs Leverage MVNE Infrastructure and Services
6.4 MVNO Strategies
6.5 MVNO Differentiation
6.6 Prepaid vs. Post-paid Offerings
6.7 Plan Overview and Analysis
6.8 Select MVNO Case Study Analysis
6.8.1 Airlink Mobile (DS Mobile)
6.8.2 Airvoice Wireless
6.8.3 JOLT Mobile
6.8.4 Boost Mobile
6.8.5 Consumer Cellular
6.8.6 GreatCall
6.8.7 kajeet
6.8.8 Liberty Wireless
6.8.9 H2O Wireless (Locus Telecommunications)
6.8.10 Virgin Mobile USA
6.8.11 Cricket (AT&T)
6.8.12 Wal-Mart
6.8.13 Page Plus
7 USA Prepaid Wireless Forecasts 2019 – 2024
7.1 Wireless Prepaid Subscriber Forecast by Connectivity Type 2019 – 2024
7.2 Prepaid Wireless Revenue Forecast by Type, and Connectivity 2019 – 2024
7.3 Monthly ARPU Forecast 2019 – 2024
7.4 Prepaid Wireless Service Provider Market Share 2019 – 2024
8 Future of Prepaid Wireless: Value-added Services
8.1 Real-time Communications: RCS and WebRTC
8.2 Prepaid and Stored Value in Mobile Commerce
8.3 BYOD and Prepaid
8.4 Prepaid and Payments
8.5 Prepaid and Wearables
8.6 Prepaid and the Smart Workplace
8.7 Prepaid and Virtual Reality
8.8 Prepaid and Public Safety
8.9 Prepaid and Internet of Things (IoT)
8.10 Offer Strategies for Value Added Services
8.10.1 Subscription
8.10.2 Per-use Services
8.10.3 Data
8.10.4 Messaging
8.10.5 On-demand Service
8.10.6 Up-selling from On-demand to Subscription
9 Conclusions and Recommendations
10 Appendix
10.1 MVNO Types
10.1.1 Full MVNO
10.1.2 Service Provider
10.1.3 ESP: Enhanced Service Provider (Hybrid MVNO)
10.1.4 Branded Reseller
10.2 MVNO Models
10.2.1 Discount MVNOs
10.2.2 Lifestyle/niche MVNOs
10.2.3 Media/Entertainment MVNOs
10.2.4 Ethnic MVNOs
10.2.5 Business MVNOs
10.2.6 Brand MVNOs
10.2.7 Data MVNOs
10.2.8 M2M/Telemetry MVNOs
10.2.9 Quad Play MVNOs
10.2.10 Roaming MVNOs
10.3 Additional Case Study Analysis of USA MVNO Companies
10.3.1 CellNUVO
10.3.2 Cellular Abroad
10.3.3 AirVoice Wireless
10.3.4 Airlink Mobile
10.3.5 Jasper Wireless (Cisco)
10.3.6 ZingPCs
10.3.7 Boost Mobile
10.3.8 Disney Mobile
10.3.9 ZIP SIM
10.3.10 Bratz Mobile
10.3.11 Consumer Cellular
10.3.12 CREDO Mobile
10.3.13 DBS Communications
10.3.14 Defense Mobile
10.3.15 Freedom-Wireless
10.3.16 GreatCall
10.3.17 Kajeet
10.3.18 KORE Wireless
10.3.19 Liberty Wireless
10.3.20 MetroPCS
10.3.21 Lycamobile
10.3.22 PixWireless
10.3.23 National Geographic
10.3.24 NET10
10.3.25 Nextel Partners
10.3.26 Page Plus
10.3.27 Payless Cellular
10.3.28 PlatinumTel Communications
10.3.29 Google Fi
10.3.30 Red Pocket Mobile
10.3.31 Ting
10.3.32 Total Call Mobile
10.3.33 Tracfone Wireless
10.3.34 Virgin Mobile USA
10.3.35 Cricket Wireless
10.3.36 H2O Wireless
10.3.37 RingPlus
10.3.38 PureTalk

Figures

Figure 1: Prepaid Phone Options
Figure 2: Roaming in Cellular Networks
Figure 3: AT&T Prepaid Pricing
Figure 4: Sprint Prepaid Pricing
Figure 5: Verizon Prepaid Pricing
Figure 6: USA MVNOs
Figure 7: Airvoice Wireless Pricing
Figure 8: Jolt Mobile Pricing
Figure 9: Consumer Cellular Pricing
Figure 10: Liberty Wireless Pricing
Figure 11: Walmart Family Mobile Pricing

Tables

Table 1: Wireless Prepaid Unique Subscribers by Connectivity Network 2019 – 2024
Table 2: Wireless Prepaid Subscribers 2019 – 2024
Table 3: Wireless Prepaid Revenue by Voice vs. Data vs. VAS 2019 – 2024
Table 4: Wireless Prepaid Revenue by Connectivity 2019 – 2024
Table 5: Wireless Prepaid Revenue 2019 – 2024
Table 6: Wireless Prepaid Average Monthly ARPU 2019 – 2024
Table 7: Wireless Prepaid Vendor Market Share by Subscription 2019 – 2024

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