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Thread: Lower Priced MVNO plans.. Good while they last?

  1. #1
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    Lower Priced MVNO plans.. Good while they last?

    I know nothing about how much money providers make with MVNOs, I hope someone can enlighten me.

    I have recently moved my whole family to Mint Sim from Boost Mobile, T-Mobile and Cricket(yes, I had everyone on a different network). I am on Boom! Red because my phone is a CDMA device and I don't want to stay on the Verizon network. Both of these providers sell dirt cheap plans, with Mint selling wireless service at a mere $15.00 a month if I buy it in year chunks. Boom is another good deal at $20.00 but that is way less data on it because I use a feature phone.

    My question is, how does these folks make money selling plans so cheap? Mint is crazy cheap and it looks like Ultra Mobile has a lot of different brands. Not sure about Boom!, they seem pretty small. I really don't know how FreedomPop makes money either other than people not paying attention to the fine print. Will the party be over at some point? With everything from food to cable bills going up, why is it not that way with the cell phone plans?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CometGSR View Post
    I know nothing about how much money providers make with MVNOs, I hope someone can enlighten me.

    I have recently moved my whole family to Mint Sim from Boost Mobile, T-Mobile and Cricket(yes, I had everyone on a different network). I am on Boom! Red because my phone is a CDMA device and I don't want to stay on the Verizon network. Both of these providers sell dirt cheap plans, with Mint selling wireless service at a mere $15.00 a month if I buy it in year chunks. Boom is another good deal at $20.00 but that is way less data on it because I use a feature phone.

    My question is, how does these folks make money selling plans so cheap? Mint is crazy cheap and it looks like Ultra Mobile has a lot of different brands. Not sure about Boom!, they seem pretty small. I really don't know how FreedomPop makes money either other than people not paying attention to the fine print. Will the party be over at some point? With everything from food to cable bills going up, why is it not that way with the cell phone plans?
    Perhaps you are asking the wrong question?

    Maybe your question should be "Why are the main players charging so much for giving so little?" Perhaps the MVNOs are charging close to what it costs to supply the "service", in other words, they are being VERY COMPETITIVE with each other.

    Take Tracfone's, service as an example, of an MVNO charging a lot (compared to the other MVNOs), but providing horrible customer service. In fact, TF has a reputation of screwing it's long-time customers every chance it gets.

    Keep in mind that the so-called main players are attempting to keep up with each other in expanding their services - through an expansion of their physical infrastructure. That costs money, and it may just put them in a different class than the MVNOs.
    Last edited by MountainMike; 05-06-2018 at 06:32 PM. Reason: adding details
    Please run a "SEARCH" before posting your question!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CometGSR View Post
    Lower Priced MVNO plans.. Good while they last?
    That is about the state of it - good while they last. Some, like Tracfone, have been around for a relatively long time. Others have come and gone. Overall, there are many more than when the business model started.

    Some discount service providers, like Boost, Virgin, MetroPCS, Cricket, are wholly owned subsidiaries of their carriers, not MVNOs. They still operate in a somewhat similar fashion to MVNOs.

    America Movil operates several MVNO brands in the United States - TracFone, NET10 Wireless, Straight Talk, SIMPLE Mobile, Telcel América, Page Plus Cellular and Total Wireless.


    I know nothing about how much money providers make with MVNOs, I hope someone can enlighten me....
    America Movil (AMX) is the only one that is publicly traded that I know of. You can look up their profitability. It probably won't inform you much. America Movil is enormous compared to the rest of the MVNOs.

    ...My question is, how does these folks make money selling plans so cheap?
    The carriers who build and operate the cell networks sell excess capacity at wholesale to the MVNOs. The MVNOs package it into service plans to sell at retail. The carriers typically do not allow MVNOs to sell some or all of their advanced/premium services like, VoLTE, Wifi calling, conditional call forwarding, visual voicemail, hotspotting, international roaming, number blocking, etc.

    MVNOs frequently have a lower priority on the network and/or capped data speeds. The carriers will never allow MVNOs to be as good as their postpaid service.

    Some MVNOs reduce their expenses by only providing minimal customer support. Some, like Tracfone, can be abysmal.

    ...I really don't know how FreedomPop makes money either other than people not paying attention to the fine print. Will the party be over at some point?...
    Speculation is that Freedompop is operating at a loss on venture capital. If they can't establish a brand that people are willing to pay for and the venture capital runs out, they can be expected to fold. When? Who knows. This is actually similar to Sprint on a much smaller scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainMike View Post
    Take Tracfone's, service as an example, of an MVNO charging a lot (compared to the other MVNOs), but providing horrible customer service. In fact, TF has a reputation of screwing it's long-time customers every chance it gets.
    Can you expand upon that screwing? I've so far been a two year customer whose exceptionally happy with TF... the main stories i've heard like losing your long built up data, i'm HOPING mostly only happen when transfering between phones and can be mitigated by talking in realtime to customer service reps, which i've done for a total of five times so far without problems. If there's trouble in the future i'd like to know though.

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