The Prepaid Mobile Market 2010-2015

  • October 2010
  • -
  • Visiongain

The recent financial downturn had a major impact on the telecommunications industry, but in no sector was it more profound than in prepaid mobile. With subscriber figures on the rise, what do operators and manufacturers need to do to maximise revenues and retain subscribers?

In a post recession marketplace the wireless subscriber is more cash conscious and demands more from their prepaid service. This brand new exclusive management report outlines major prepaid service providers and reveals the competitive price plans, the range of available handsets and all the incentives operators use to lure and retain their prepaid subscribers.

Prepaid mobile phones have become one of the most hotly contested telecoms sectors - and as operators scramble to outdo each other will we see more mergers and acquisitions?

On a global scale, prepaid markets differ in BRIC economies and beyond, here the report breaks down the major operators from industries where prepaid is the standard.

Recent security concerns have had a dramatic global impact on prepaid mobile leading to government and operator enforced SIM registration acts.

This report details what legislation is effective and where, with a summary of proposed laws and possible effect for the telecoms industry as a whole.

Churn rates and ARPU are a major concern for the prepaid sector as they differ drastically to their postpaid counterparts. On closer inspection this report will dissect the issue of 'all you can eat' data packages which are responsible for the renewed interest in prepaid.

Many operators are providing high-end Smartphones and competitively priced Android handsets on prepaid for the first time - marking what will become the driving force in a whole new kind of telecoms sector.

The report answers many questions, including the following:
• Who are the current leaders in the prepaid Mobile market and who will emerge successful in the future?
• What vital technologies are in use and what is to come?
• What opportunities will arise for companies and technologies from the growing popularity of Prepaid Mobile?
• With many Smartphones including the iPhone now available on PAYG, what will this mean for the future of the market?
• What are additional revenue opportunities available from the Prepaid Mobile market?
• How will the Prepaid Mobile market adoption rates differ globally?
• How will the prepaid mobiles fare in the post-recession market?
• Who is the Prepaid Mobile Demographic?
• What is the future of Prepaid mobile?

Who needs to read this report?

• Mobile/Cellular network operators - Operators can gain further knowledge global prepaid market, of the possible future demands from prepaid customers and what the consumer and manufacturers need from their operator to improve prepaid services and to increase customer base and customer loyalty.
• Mobile handset manufacturers - Companies can consider options of developing their product to maximise desirability for prepaid customers, to cater for cash conscious and tech savvy users and create a product that the consumer both needs and wants. The report also touches on manufacturers that allow for their products to be rebranded and sold through certain operators as own-brand handsets.
• Other Sectors - This report also deals with governmental issues around SIM card registration, BRIC and other economies that excel in the prepaid market, Operating Systems and their projected effect on the prepaid market.

Table Of Contents


Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary
1.1. Definition - What is a Prepaid Mobile?
1.2. History of Prepaid Mobiles
1.2.1. First US Prepaid Mobile Phone service
1.2.2. Going Global - The beginning of worldwide prepaid services
1.2.3. Phone cultures - global differences
1.3. Billing - Technology
1.4 Prepaid Mobiles - How the system works
1.4.1. Top-up
1.4.2. Prepaid Balances - Maintaining revenues
1.4.3. Mapping usage - discontinuing SIM cards

2. Introduction
2.1. Focus and Objectives of this report

3. Advantages of prepaid mobiles
3.1. Contractual obligations
3.1.1. Prepaid for everyone - breakdown of typical target audience

4. Disadvantages of prepaid mobiles
4.1. Cost - paying more
4.2. Typical restrictions
4.3. Roaming

5. Securing revenues
5.1. Recession driven growth
Chart 5.1: US Prepaid Subscribers, Q4 2008-Q4 2009
5.1.1. Post recession - changes?
5.1.2. Retaining Prepaid customers - Other factors
5.1.3. Prepaid Market Shift
5.1.4. Churn rates - Network Issues
Chart 5.2: Leap Wireless Churn Rate, Q4 2008 - Q4 2009
5.1.5. Monetising - Prepaid Difficulties

6. Prepaid and Roaming - solutions

7. Privacy and Security concerns
7.1. Security problems
7.2. Possible solutions
7.3. African countries enforcing prepaid SIM registration
7.3.1. Nigeria
7.3.2. Kenya
7.3.3. Tanzania
7.3.4. South Africa
7.3.5. Zimbabwe
7.4. North America
7.5. SIM registration Overview

8. Accounting Issues for Operators
8.1 Deferred Income
8.1.1 VAT and the European Union
8.2. Top-up Incentive Problems

9. Network Operators
9.1 Why Should Operators Offer Prepaid Services?
9.2. Global Prepaid Operators
9.2.1. Europe
9.2.2. Middle East
9.2.3. Africa
9.2.4. North America
9.2.5. BRIC / Hong Kong / Philippines
9.3. Leading Operators - North America
9.4. Verizon Wireless
9.4.1. Company History
9.4.2. Price Plans
9.4.3. Available Devices
9.4.4. Verizon add Smartphones to prepaid handset selection
9.4.5. Verizon - Company Overview
Table 9.1: Verizon Wireless Company Statistics, January 2010
9.5. TracFone Wireless Inc.
9.5.1. Company History
9.5.2. TracFone (brand)
9.5.2.1. Retail Stores
9.5.2.2. Price Plans
9.5.2.3. Available handsets
9.5.3. Net10 (brand)
9.5.3.1. Purchase options
9.5.3.2. Price Plans
9.5.3.2.1. Net10 Prepaid
9.5.3.2.2. Net10 Unlimited
9.5.3.2.3. Available Devices
9.5.4. Safelink Wireless
9.5.4.1. Available Devices
9.5.5. Straight Talk
9.5.5.1. Retail Stores
9.5.5.2. Price Plans
9.5.4.3. Available Devices
9.6. MetroPCS
9.6.1. Company History
9.6.2. Retail Stores
9.6.3. Price Plans
9.6.4. Available Devices
9.6.5. Metro PCS Company Overview
Table 9.2: Metro PCS Company Statistics, Feb 2010
9.7. Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, Inc.
9.7.1. Company History
9.7.2. Price Plans
9.7.3. Available Devices
9.7.4. Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, Inc. Company Overview
Table 9.3: Company Statistics for Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, Inc from February 2010
9.8. Sprint Prepaid Group - Boost Mobile
9.8.1. Company History
9.8.2. Price Plans
9.8.3. Available Devices
9.8.3.1. iDEN Series Handsets
9.8.3.2. CDMA Series Handsets
9.9. Sprint Prepaid Group - Assurance Wireless
9.9.1. Company History
9.9.2. Price Plans
9.9.3. Sprint Prepaid Group - Common Cents Mobile
9.9.3.1. Company History
9.9.3.2. Retail Stores
9.9.3.3. Price Plans
9.9.3.4. Available Devices
9.9.4. Sprint Prepaid Group - Virgin Mobile USA
9.9.4.1. Company History
9.9.4.2. Purchase Options
9.9.4.3. Retail Stores
9.9.4.4. Price Plans
9.9.4.5. Available Handsets
9.9.5. Sprint Prepaid Group Overview
Chart 9.4: Sprint Prepaid Group Revenues in Millions, June 2009-June 2010
Chart 9.5: Sprint Prepaid Group, End

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