Friday, August 12, 2005

Prepaid Cellphone Plans

The New York Times (site registration required) looks at pre-paid cellphone plans and the MVNOs behind them. A pre-paid plan is "a simpler alternative to complex and confusing cellular plans [which] is a major selling point." Clint Wheelock at the NPD Group said, "They're for people who feel burned by contracts or service plans in the past and want predictable, controllable wireless service."

The article notes that the leading services, such as TracFone, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile and 7-Eleven's Speak Out, all cater to different segments of the market - from data-centric youths to budget-conscious adults.

As more MVNOs enter the market, including Disney, ESPN (and Apple too?), more market segmentation will take place. "It's about getting the operator more closely aligned with the needs of customers," Whellock added.