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Verizon, AT&T and others still struggle to attract new subscribers

The economy is finally seeing recovery after quarters of disappointing figures, but AT&T and Verizon Wireless are still finding it difficult to woo new wireless subscribers.

Verizon signed 423,000 customers to postpaid contracts, while AT&T added 512,000 new subscribers.  AT&T’s new subscriber base saw a 43% decline compared to one year ago, while Verizon's 423,000 tally was a 55% drop compared to 2009.

Rather than latch on to costly two-year phone contracts, many wireless customers are now choosing prepaid wireless phones. The use of a prepaid plan allows owners to pay just for the minutes and data they use, which is especially helpful as many Americans continue to closely watch their budgets.

Unfortunately for wireless carriers, prepaid phone plans offer less profit for the host companies -- which is exactly why all four carriers offer phone specials, buy-one-get-one promotions, and other incentives to get customers hooked into long-term contracts.

AT&T is expected to again add more prepaid phone owners than postpaid customers in the next quarter -- a troubling trend for the carrier that has exclusive rights to the Apple iPhone.  Verizon continues to seek out the iPhone, though AT&T and Apple still reportedly have a strong working relationship. However, a possible Verizon-Apple partnership will be a significant victory for Verizon.

Verizon has used the Google Android mobile OS for several major smartphones, including the Motorola Droid and upcoming Droid Incredible, though the company understands the consumer market is rather fickle at the moment.

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By michal1980 on 4/28/2010 8:47:47 AM , Rating: 4
Thats because ATT's plans suck.

Its true if your a heavy phone user Post Paid/contract is the way to go.

Me and my wife however each use ~1000 mins/year. Currently we use t-moblie pre-paid. I get 2 refill cars a year at an msrp cost of 100 bucks (and I can always time it to get them at least 10% off, if not more).

So our yearly phone plan cost at 200 bucks. or 17 dollars a month. can't beat that for our use. Yes I would like a nice data phone with internet, and I would use that. But if I can save a few hundred dollars a year and use that for a short vacation, that provides me far great value.

Plus I dont 'pay' any extra taxes/fees on top of my plan. unlike those 50 dollar a month plans that turn into 70 dollars a month.

By barjebus on 4/28/2010 12:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in Canada and am eternally frustrated by the fact that in the area I live, our GSM provider requires you to top up monthly. I have a sim card embedded in a GSM receiver that is wired to a remote car starter. I only use this device in the winter, and it never actually consumes minutes...yet I must top up my account with 10$ worth of credit every month even though I never use it.

The device itself notices that a call is incoming to it and activates, so it never really completes the connection and never consumes and minutes.

By Hieyeck on 4/28/2010 4:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
Um... If you're talking about Rogers, you need to look more carefully. I buy a $100 top up (you'll have to go to a rogers store and they print it out on a receipt) and it lasts for a year. that's... $8.33/month? Conversely, you can sign up for auto-renew and then cancel every winter...

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