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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 CSprepaidUser on 4/28/2010 9:47:50 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, it's just that AT&T's prepaid plans are not all that great. They offer the 10c per minute call rate I get at NET10 ONLY if you pay their 'daily access fee' of $1. Come to think of it if you use your AT&T gophone on that plan say, once a day for 20 days of the month it would be ridiculously expensive.
Like I said, with NET10 I pay 10c per minute WITHOUT any daily fee. Granted I'm not a heavy user, so my monthly expense is usually $30 spread over two months.
If you're a heavy user you can choose between the many unlimited prepaid plans out there...

Unless you base your choice of cell provider on the device you get, I don't think there's a single contract plan out there that can't be beaten by a prepaid one.

By TheRequiem on 4/28/2010 10:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
Just go with SPRINT, they have Boost mobile and virgin mobile and the cheapest rates.... Also, there network is better then AT&T's prepaid network...

By puplan on 4/28/2010 8:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
I second that. Boost prepaid lets me have a cell phone for $3.33 a month. There is enough minutes for emergency use, synchronizing kids pickup, shopping list addendum, etc.

By Denigrate on 4/28/2010 12:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Been using T-Mobile's prepaid plan for a couple years now and have had zero issues with it. My wife and I both have one and I buy my wife a $100 refill with 1,000 minutes about once a year and I buy one about every six months. We have these phones for our convienence and basically don't give out the number. We use Ooma at home so basically use the cells on trips and for in case of emergency calls like if the power goes out. I'll admit, the most minutes probably get used when one of us it at the store and we forgot to get an item on the list.

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