Prepaid wireless has changed quite a bit since 2009 when Boost iden was the biggest noisemaker with unlimited everything for $50 on a nationwide network (and deadend iden technology, poor sms/mms issues and slow 2g 20 k data). Then , the feature phone was still king and smartphones were still a businessman's thing.
And there was room for growth in the industry.
Fast forward to now where every major carrier including the Big 2 have been affected by prepaid being the big growth driver in the wireless industry in the USA, there is 4g available on prepaid, and the market is at 100% saturation for all wireless.
The intense competition launched by Boost has some companies putting the brakes on their offerings, whether jacking up prices , changing expiration dates or offering less.
The move to increase the dependence of people on monthly cycle plans and get them off of less profitable paygo plans of 60 days and up is in effect with low priced monthly plans like Page Plus's 12 and Air Voice's new $10 plan having lower per unit costs then traditional paygo plans.
Most Att mvnos have cut back expiration dates at the same time they've cut back paygo rates for talk/text/etc .
Boost Mobile raised its paygo text and talk rate back to pre 2009 levels after it was dropped down to 10 cents a min/text for three years.
Common Cents mobile, a paygo only division was killed off by Sprint Prepaid and merged with Virgin Mobile probably because it wasn't a big growth driver like unlimited and data plans.
Boost and Virgin both added throttles/caps on their once unlimited data plans and VM raised their prices on their lower priced Beyond Talk plans.
Boost added an Android device surcharge on top of standard plan prices.
And now Red Pocket is cutting back its data (though cutting back price too) from two gigs to one with a measly five dollar price reduction. Jolt mobile which runs off of RP is simply cutting their data on their $60 plan with no discount.
Prepaid is getting interesting as each carrier introduces policies to drive more profits from the non contract crowd.
Research says the average no contract user stays with a carrier for almost as long as a contract user (20 months vs 24) but if they keep chintzing, that may change. And with usage at near saturation, the only growth a carrier will have is if they can offer a better deal then the next carrier. Pulling back on your offers and generousity won't help competitors if another carrier does the opposite.
We'll see how all this plays out...