Posts Tagged ‘Prepaid’

Verizon Wireless recently filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission seeking permission to buy the assets of Golden State Cellular in California and Mobi PCS in Hawaii. Verizon confirmed with Fierce Wireless its plans to acquire Golden State Cellular’s spectrum, network assets, and customers in several markets in California, including Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Mariposa counties. Verizon will transition Golden State Cellular’s 18,000 subscribers to its network within 15 months of the deal’s closing. In Hawaii, Verizon will acquire 20-30MHz of PCS spectrum from Mobi PCS, and then lease back 10MHz of that spectrum so Mobi can transition away from being a stand-alone service provider. Verizon said Mobi is still exploring several different ways to exit its wireless business. Both proposal are subject to FCC and other government regulatory approval. Verizon and competitor AT&T have spent the last 12 to 18 months acquiring a significant number of small, regional network operators mostly for their spectrum assets.

Boost Mobile today announced the ZTE Max, a large-screened Android smartphone that costs $299.99. The Max features a 5.7-inch HD display and it is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The Max includes an 8-megapixel main camera and a 1-megapixel user-facing camera. The phone supports 3G/4G LTE, and has Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Wi-Fi, and GPS on board. The Max runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and comes with ZTE’s SmartView technology, which allows owners to use any two applications at the same time. The ZTE Max also comes with Boost Mobile apps, such as Boost Zone and Mobile ID. The ZTE Max is available online and in stores beginning today. Boost Mobile does not require contracts.

Cricket Wireless today made available the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c. Cricket customers may buy the new iPhones at Cricket retail stores or via Cricket’s web site. Cricket is only selling the 16GB models. It is charging $599.99 for the iPhone 5s and $499.99 for the iPhone 5c. Cricket also offers device financing. Well-qualified customers can get the new iPhones for as little as $25 down and payments as low as $21 per month (for iPhone 5c). Service plans start at $50 for unlimited talk, text, and data. Cricket does not require contracts.

Sprint is continuing to notify customers it acquired through the May 2013 transaction with U.S. Cellular that it plans to begin shutting down affected portions of the U.S. Cellular network. The shutdown will take effect for the St. Louis metropolitan area, including parts of Missouri and Illinois, on Oct. 31.

Shutting down the affected portions of the U.S. Cellular network will allow Sprint to reuse the wireless spectrum to enhance service on its Nationwide Sprint Network. Service for affected customers will be interrupted if they do not move their service to Sprint or another carrier before the change.

Sprint began sending letters to affected customers in June to notify them of the company’s plans. To avoid an interruption of their wireless service, affected customers in the St. Louis area need to move their service to Sprint or another carrier before the network is shut down on Oct. 31.

Customers can move, or “port,” their existing U.S. Cellular phone number to Sprint or another carrier if they contact Sprint or the new carrier and make the request before the shutdown. Sprint has previously informed affected U.S. Cellular customers that their existing devices will not work on the Sprint network.

Exclusive offers are available from Sprint to allow U.S. Cellular customers to move their service and receive a new device for the Sprint network, including options available at little or no cost. Similar offers to U.S. Cellular prepaid customers also are available on Boost Mobile.

Affected customers are encouraged to visit their local Sprint store, go to sprint.com/uscellular or call 800-216-7023

TracFone today provided some clarity on its data throttling policies for its StraighTalk and Net10 brands. According to TracFone, both its $45 and $60 unlimited plans for StraightTalk include 2.5GB of high-speed data. Customers who surpass the 2.5GB soft cap during a 30-day billing cycle will see their data reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle. High-speed data will be restored when the customer re-ups for another 30 days. Similar limits apply to TracFone’s $50 and $65 Net10 plans. TracFone was recently sued by consumers in California over falsely advertising StraightTalk’s service as “unlimited” without defining the 2.5GB soft cap for throttling. TracFone is an MVNO owned by America Movil, and uses the networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The StraighTalk brand is sold at Walmart stores.

Straight Talk, a prepaid carrier that offers unlimited service for $45 per month, now works on AT&T’s LTE 4G network. Previously, it was limited to HSPA+ speeds for data. This means customers who supply their own LTE-capable phone will be able to access faster mobile broadband speeds. Customers will need to purchase an new SIM card, which costs $6.99, and sign up for Straight Talk’s month-to-month service. Straight Talk is compatible with most unlocked GSM-based phones, including smartphones. The $45 plan includes unlimited voice minutes, messaging, and data, though some customers report being throttled after they exceed 2.5GB per month.

Aio Wireless, which is owned and operated by AT&T, today announced that its prepaid service will be available across AT&T’s entire footprint beginning September 15. Aio launched earlier this year and is already available in Florida, Texas, and the Atlanta metropolitan area. In addition to its expanded availability, Aio is running a promotion through September 29 that will give new customers their third month of service for free. Aio offers a handful of phones and tablets, and service plans start at $40 per month. Aio Wireless does not require contracts.