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 of period subscribers in Thousands, June 2009-June 2010
Table 9.6: Sprint Company Statistics, February 2010
Chart 9.7: Sprint repaid and postpaid subscriber figures Q2 2010
9.10. ATandT Mobility/GoPhone
9.10.1. Company History
9.10.2. Price Plans
9.10.3. Available Devices
9.10.4. ATandT Mobility/GoPhone Company Statistics
Table 9.8: ATandT Mobility Company Statistics, January 2010
9.11. T-Mobile USA
9.11.1. Company History
9.11.2. Price Plans
9.11.3. Available devices
9.11.4. T-Mobile USA Company Statistics
Table 9.9: T-Mobile USA Company Statistics, February 2010
9.12. North America Operator Overview
Chart 9.10: Prepaid customer base of wireless operators in US, end of 2009

10. Leading Operators - UK and Ireland
10.1. Vodafone Ireland
10.1.1. Company History
10.1.2. Purchase options
10.1.3. Price Plans
10.1.4. Available Devices
10.2. O2- UK PayandGo
10.2.1. Company History
10.2.2. Purchase options
10.2.3. Price Plans
10.2.4. Available devices
10.3. Vodafone UK
10.3.1. Company History
10.3.2. Purchase Options
10.3.3. Price Plans
10.3.4. Available Devices
10.4. Orange/Everything Everywhere
10.4.1. Company History
10.4.2. First PAYG BlackBerry
10.4.3. Purchase Options
10.4.3.1. Orange - Phone Fund
10.4.4. Price Plans
10.4.5. Available Devices
10.5. T-Mobile /Everything Everywhere
10.5.1. First PAYG Android Handset
10.5.2. Price Plans
10.5.3. Available Devices
10.6. Everything Everywhere
Table10.1: Everything Everywhere combined customer base figures, March 2010
10.6.1. Everything Everywhere Overview
Chart 10.2: Everything Everywhere - Number of prepaid and postpaid subscribers in millions

11. BRIC -and other Prepaid Leaders
11.1. China
11.1.1. Country specific trends
11.2. India
11.2.1. Bharti Airtel
Chart 11.1: Bharti Airtel prepaid subscriber base in %, Q2 2009 - Q2 2010
11.3. Russia
11.3.1. Beeline
Chart 11.2: Beeline postpaid and prepaid subscriber base figures in %, Dec 31 2009 (RUSSIA)
Chart 11.3: Beeline postpaid and prepaid subscriber base figures in %, Dec 31, 2009 (CIS excluding Russia)
11.4. Brazil
11.4.1. Brazil Telecoms Market overview
Chart 11.4: CTBC Telecom Consolidated Prepaid service penetration
11.4.2. Oi Mobile
Chart 11.5: Oi Mobile prepaid and postpaid subscriber base, Q2 2010
11.5. Hong Kong - Prepaid Summary
11.5.1. Hong Kong prepaid Market
11.5.2. Hong Kong - Neighbouring operators
11.6. Philippines
11.6.1. Telecoms Market
11.6.2. Major Operators
11.6.3. Philippines - telecoms industry overview

12. Android- New price points taking over the prepaid market?
12.1. Manufacturers
12.2. Operators and Retailers
12.3. Android Benefits
Chart 12.1: Smartphone market share by OS, Q2 2010

13. Own-brand Handsets
13.1. Operators
13.1.1. Vodafone
13.1.2. Verizon Wireless
13.1.3. Cricket Communications, Inc. (Leap Wireless)
13.1.4. T-Mobile USA
13.2. Manufacturers Overview

14. Conclusions and Recommendations
14.1. Conclusions
14.1.1. Prepaid or Postpaid? Which is more profitable for Operators?
14.1.1.1. Prepaid churn rates
Chart 14.1: US Net Postpaid and Prepaid wireless subscribers added in Q4 2009
Chart 14.2: Typical monthly cost of prepaid versus postpaid wireless subscribers in the US
Chart 14.3: Sprint Comparative ARPU prepaid/postpaid, end of February 2010
14.1.2. Consumer actions - savvy use of technology
Chart 14.4: Prepaid customer ARPU, end of February 2010
Table 14.5: Verizon Wireless and ATandT, Total; prepaid Customer figures 2009
14.1.3. Market drivers and Consumer desires - pre-empting demands
14.2. Declining ARPU
14.3. Future of prepay
14.4. Post recession growth - Maintaining customer numbers
14.5 Recommendations
14.5.1. For Operators
14.5.2. Handsets
14.5.3. Industry stability problems - due to prepaid?
14.5.4. Telecoms Industry reaching Saturation point?
14.5.6. Will prepaid competition lead to industry-wide Mergers and Acquisitions?
14.6. For Vendors

Companies Listed
3
3 HK
A la carte/CU
Airtel
Alcatel
America Móvil
Android
Apple
Assurance Wireless
ATandT
ATandT Mobility
Banana Cellular
Beeline (Vimpelcom)
Bell Labs
Bellsouth
Best Buy
Bharti Airtel
Big Talk
BlackBerry
Boost Mobile (Sprint)
Boston Communications Group
BT Cellnet
CallYa
Carphone Warehouse
Carterfone
China Mobile
China Netcom
China Telecom
China Tie Tong
China Unicorn
Claro
Cnet
Common Cents Mobile
Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK)
Cosmo?????/What's Up/Frog
Cricket (Leap Wireless)
Cricket Communications, Inc
CSL New World Mobility Group
CTBC Telecom Consolidated
CVS/Pharmacy
Cyfrowy Polsat
Dell
Deutsche Telekom
Digitel
Doro
EarthLink
Easy
Easychat
Eircell
Embratel
Endgadget
Everything Everywhere
Federal Communications Commission
France Telecom
Free2Go
Gartner
General Wireless, Inc.
Gigaom
Globalcell Mobile
Globe Telecom
Goldman Sachs
GoPhone
GoPhone (ATandT Mobility)
Helio
Heyah
Houston Cellular Telephone Communications
HTC
Huawei
IDC
Idea Cellular
InformationWeek
INpulse
INpulse (Verizon Wireless)
Jump Mobile (Leap Wireless)
kajeet (Sprint)
Kyocera
Leap Wireless
Lebara Mobile
LG
LOOP Mobile
Lucky Wireless (Verizon)
MegaFon
Meteor
Meteor Ireland
Metro PCS Communications, Inc.
Mexitel Cellular (Telcel Mexico)
MIMO
MobilKing
Mobily
Mojo Mobile (Sprint)
Motorola
MTS (Mobile TeleSystems)
MTS India
myAvon
NET10
New Millennium Research Council
Nextel
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Nokia
O2
Oi
Oi Mobile
Only1 Mobile (Verizon)
Open Handset Alliance
Orange
Orange POP/Orange Go
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
Oxygen Wireless (ATandT)
PacBell
Page Plus Cellular
Pali Research
Palm
Pantech
Pay and Talk
Pay As You Go (dPi Teleconnect)
Pay As You Go (Rogers Wireless)
Pay as you Talk
PayandGo
PayPal
PC Mobile (Bell Mobility)
PCCW Mobile
Pelephone
Personal Communications Devices LLC (PCD)
PlatinumTel Wireless
Play Fresh
Prepaid
Prepaid Cellular Service Bureau
Pre-Paid Wireless
Prima
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)
Pure Prepaid
Pure TalkUSA
Racal Telecom
RadioShack
Ready Mobile PCS (Sprint)
Reliance Infocomm
Research In Motion
Rethink Wireless
RIM
Rite Aid
Roam Mobility
Safelink Wireless
Salamïa TELE2 Mobile
Sami Swoi
Samsung
Sanford Bernstein
Sanyo
SAWA
Sercomtel Cellular
Simplus
Smart Communications
SmarTone - Vodafone
Softpedia
Solo Mobile (Bell Mobility)
Sony Ericsson
Speakeasy
Speakout Canada (Rogers Wireless)
Speakout USA (ATandT Mobility)
Sprint
Sprint Nextel
Straight Talk
Sun Cellular
Tak Tak
Talk Man
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)
Target
Tata DoCoMo
Tata Indicom
Telecom Eireann
Telefonos de Mexico
Telesp
Telmex
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)
Threepay 3
Tik Tak
TMN
T-Mobile
T-Mobile To Go (T-Mobile)
T-Mobile USA
Topps Telecom Inc
TracFone Wireless Inc
TracFone/Net10 (America Móvil)
U Prepaid (Alltel)
Unicel Express
Uninor
UTStarcom
uWho Mobile
Verizon Communications
Verizon Prepay
Verizon Wireless
Vimpelcom
Vip Mobile
Virgin Group
Virgin Mobile Canada (Bell Mobility)
Virgin Mobile India
Virgin Mobile South Africa
Virgin Mobile USA
Virgin Mobile USA (Sprint)
Vivo S.A.
Vodafone
Vodafone Essar
Vodafone Group
Vodafone Ireland
Vodafone UK
Vodago
Voice Systems Technology Inc
Voicestream Wireless
Walgreens
Wal-Mart
Western Electric
WPmobi
Xtra
Zin
ZTE

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