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Ultra Mobile and Verizon Prepaid Post Gains in Latest Wave7 Prepaid Dealer Survey

Wave7 Research has released its third quarter, 2017 Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey. The survey tracked prepaid brand distribution and sales at 30 independent, multi-brand dealers in 16 NFL cites. Dealers were asked which prepaid brands they carry and which were the top sellers.

According to Wave7, the survey winners were Simple Mobile and Ultra Mobile.  However, Simple Mobile, a perennial winner in previous surveys, lost ground this time with a presence at 20 dealers this quarter versus 28 in Q2. Simple was a top two seller at 10 dealers this quarter compared with 16 last quarter. Ultra Mobile improved its position this quarter with a presence at 18 dealers (up from 14) and was a top two seller at 11 (up from 6 last quarter).

H2O Wireless, T-Mobile Prepaid, Verizon Prepaid and Lycamobile were ranked by Wave7 as "secondary winners" this quarter based on their wide availability and sales popularity. T-Mobile Prepaid's numbers were down from previous surveys, not surprising given T-Mobile's  de emphasis on the brand.

Verizon Prepaid was the top gainer this quarter going from a presence at 7 dealers last quarter to 16 this time. Verizon Prepaid sales were up too, with a top three sales ranking at 11 dealers this quarter compared with just  2 in Q2. Dealers surveyed said Verizon's improved plans and higher commissions made it more attractive to both customers and dealers.

Net10 and PagePlus, were poor sellers in spite of having wide availability.

Wave7 called Rok Mobile and Red Pocket the "survey losers", saying that both brands had put considerable effort into gaining distribution with little to show for it.  Red Pocket was only found at three dealers and ROK at just one and neither were top three sellers at any.

Here are the full survey results.

Wave7 Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey for Q3, 2017 (Q2 numbers in parentheses)
Prepaid Carrier Presence among 30 dealers 1st place 2nd place 3rd place Also-ran
Simple Mobile 20 (28) 6 (11) 4 (5) 4 (7) 8 (5)
PagePlus 19 (20) 1 (3) 1 (2) 2 (1) 15 (14)
Ultra Mobile 18 (14) 7 (2) 4 (4) 5 (2) 2 (6)
H2O Wireless 17 (20) 2 (3) 3 (2) 3 (6) 9 (9)
Verizon Prepaid 16 (7) 2 (0) 5 (0) 4 (2) 5 (5)
Net10 14 (20) 0 (0) 0 (1) 2 (3) 12 (16)
T-Mobile Prepaid 13 (15) 5 (6) 3 (6) 2 (0) 3 (3)
Lycamobile 13 (12) 2 (0) 3 (2) 1 (3) 7 (7)
GoSmart 10 (15) 0  (1) 2 (1) 0 (2) 8 (11)
Boost Mobile 9 (10) 1 (2) 5 (4) 1 (1) 2 (3)
Telcel America 7 (9) 0 (0) 0 (1) 0 (0) 7 (8)
MetroPCS 6 (3) 3 (2) 0 (1) 2 (0) 1 (0)
EasyGo 3 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (3)
RedPocket 3 (2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (2)
Airvoice 3 (2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (2)
AT&T Prepaid 2 (4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (4)
Selectel  1 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1) 0 (0)
Rok Mobile 1 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)

One thing that stands out for me this quarter us that the TracFone brands (Simple Mobile, PagePlus, Net10, Telcel America and GoSmart) all lost ground in the number of stores that carried them as well as sales popularity. The gainers were Verizon Prepaid and the independent MVNOs Ultra Mobile and Lycamobile. This is not surprising to me as TracFone has cut dealer commissions and drastically reduced the number of master dealers selling TracFone products to dealers over the last couple of years. TracFone has also started opening its own TracFone branded stores in direct competion with independent dealers.

13 comments:

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  1. "TracFone has also started opening its own TracFone branded stores in direct competion with independent dealers."

    Do these stores sell multiple brands under the TF umbrella or just the "flagship" brand, whichever one that may be?

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    1. According to the TracFone Stores website they carry Simple Mobile, Net10, PagePlus, Telcel America, Safelink, TracFone and Total Wireless.

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    2. Thanks Dennis. That seems odd to me, because I thought the whole point of launching multiple (non-acquired) brands was to position them as independent carriers. I guess not.

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    3. If there's a "TracFone umbrella" up, I'd rather stand in the rain thank you.

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    4. Agreed. TracFone is junk.

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  2. Verizon's then CEO Shammo: TracFone is 'our prepaid product'. And quite honestly, we use the TracFone brand as our prepaid product." - April 21st 2016 506 days later something has changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your talking almost a year and a half ago, you're seeing how fast they prepaid market is changing, literally by the week!

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    2. Didn't Shammo sell the Hula Hoop back in the 1960s?

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  3. This is one of the few times a cdma product moved up strong and with a pedigree and name recognition like Verizon, how could it not? They are taking prepaid seriously , FINALLY. Tracfone, from what I understand, STILL don't have Total Wireless launched completely.. it's tough...

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  4. When prepaid phone buyers go into Target, Best Buy and Walmart and find smartphones sold by Verizon to be at the lowest prices compared to other providers for example Moto E4 Plus for $119 at Target and Best Buy discounts their Verizon phones $40 with activation that boosts sales for Verizon. The reason why Simple Mobile dropped off is due to the lack of $25 refill cards for the $25 plan at 7-11 and other places, only $50 and $60 cards are being sold

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  5. The prepaid storm landed and surging. That's good news. Hope one or two in the MVNO crowd start not charging for incoming calls and thus the Un-carrier Revolution would really be springing in the land of Capitalism!

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  6. Whamo sold Hula Hoops

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Shamwow used to entertain people at Sea-World?

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