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Wireless carriers are wringing more money out of customers than previous years

One of the reasons that the FCC wants at least four major carriers in the U.S. wireless industry is for greater competition. The general hope is the increased competition will lead to lower prices for consumers, but that well-meaning sentiment isn’t exactly going according to plan.
 
Carriers aren’t competing aggressively on price and are pushing users to gobble up as much data as possible according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Carries are also working hard to eliminate smartphone subsidies. "As you approach 90 percent penetration, you move into maintenance mode. That means more device upgrades,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stated in December. “And the model has to change. You can't afford to subsidize devices like that."
 
T-Mobile increased the price of its unlimited data plan by $10 on Friday. Rather than competing on price, the carrier says that it is removing what it calls "pain points" like service contracts and international data rates. Executives at the company don't want to start a price war.
 
"When you really analyze a lot of the pricing moves that have been made, there has not been a significant repricing," said T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter.
 
The average monthly revenue per postpaid users for wireless carriers has grown across the wireless industry by 2.2% to $61.51 in Q4 2013 according to New Street Research. That is an increase of $5 per user compared to Q1 2010. The result of new pricing plans and increased data consumption by wireless subscribers in the U.S. is that revenue has rose 0.9% in Q4 compared to the previous year. That increase is a reversal from long running declines in the industry.
 
"It has gotten a little more competitive lately, but it isn't effectively competitive yet where the big two have to lower prices,” said Matt Wood, Policy Director for public advocacy group Free Press.

Source: WSJ



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TracFone
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/10/2014 11:25:40 AM , Rating: 3
$8.33 per month, no contract. Not unlimited, but I don't talk that much. At work, I have a telephone.




RE: TracFone
By Vertigo2000 on 3/10/2014 11:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I'm on a Pay-As-You-Go plan. A $100 phone card lasts me about 11 months. I have a landline at home and at work. Personally, I can't justify spending $60-80/month just to have a smart phone.

That being said... you and I are probably different than most people. I know many who need their smart phones for work.

Also, even if someone doesn't need a smart phone and are throwing away money every month, it's their money to do as they please. If the smart phone makes them happy, who am I to complain? I waste money on other stuff.


RE: TracFone
By MrBlastman on 3/10/2014 11:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
I have a phone and computer at home. I have a phone and computer at work. If I am not at either place, I am either at the store, driving a car or spending time with my family somewhere. None of those scenarios allow me to use a smartphone. So I don't. :)

I do pay 30 bucks a month for a pre-paid phone, though. It is all I need, really.


RE: TracFone
By Schrag4 on 3/10/2014 2:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much sums up what I do too. I pay far less than $30 per month for my prepaid, though. I spend $100-$150 once a year to add minutes to it.


RE: TracFone
By inperfectdarkness on 3/10/2014 3:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
If only we had a pre-paid plan that didn't have monthly or daily fees...or maintenance charges. Pay per text or minute used. That's costing me all of about 50 euro annually.


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