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Simple Mobile, T-Mobile, Ultra Mobile and H2O Wireless Top Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey

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Wave7 Research has released its 4th quarter. 2016 survey of independent prepaid dealers. Wave7 interviewed 40 dealers in18 states. In a departure from past surveys, 19 of the dealers interviewed were in the Queens borough of New York City. Wave7 asked each dealer which prepaid brands they carried and which ones were their best sellers.

The results were similar to past Wave7 surveys. For the fourth quarter in a row, TracFone's Simple Mobile was both the most widely distributed brand and the top selling one. Simple was available in 39 of the 40 stores, the top seller in 25 and 2nd place in 9. Runner up was T-Mobile Prepaid which was present in 28 stores, top seller in 8 and 2nd place in 8 more.

Ultra Mobile, H2O Wireless, and Lycamobile also did well in the survey with a presence in the majority of stores. Each was also a top seller in at least one store.

Net10, GoSmart, and PagePlus showed up in 24, 18, and 14 stores respectively, but were not the top seller at any dealer.

Wave7 considers Red Pocket and Rok Mobile to be the losers of the survey. Both MVNOs were available in only three stores each, in spite of making strong efforts to recruit new dealers.

The table below lists  the full results of the survey.

Wave7 Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey for 4Q16
Prepaid Carrier Presence among 40 dealers 1stplace 2ndplace 3rdplace Also-ran
Simple Mobile 39 25 9 2 3
T-Mobile prepaid 28 8 8 4 8
H2O Wireless 27 1 3 3 20
Ultra Mobile 26 2 7 6 11
Lycamobile 24 2 2 11 9
Net10 24 0 2 3 19
GoSmart 18 0 2 6 10
Page Plus 14 0 2 2 10
Boost 12 2 3 1 6
TelCel 12 0 2 0 10
Univision 6 0 0 0 6
MetroPCS 3 1 0 1 1
Rok Mobile 3 0 0 0 3
Red Pocket 3 0 0 0 3
AT&T GoPhone 3 0 0 0 3
Verizon Prepaid 2 0 0 0 3
Others Mango Mobile, Expo Mobile, Selectel, and Butterfly were all cited as having a presence in one store each.

I'm struck by the dominance of TracFone brands at independent dealers. Five of the top ten most widely sold brands (Simple, Net10, GoSmart, Page Plus and Telcel) are TracFone products.  Two more of the top ten (T-Mobile Prepaid and Boost) are carrier brands. Non-TracFone MVNOs, which used to be the mainstay of independent dealers, appear to be a vanishing breed.

Source: Wave7 Research


Comment Page :
  1. Hofo ID Grateful4AdviceDecember 8, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    I think the sample size was too small. I believe Boost, Metro, Red Pocket, AT&T and Verizon should rank higher.

    GoSmart and Ultra certainly rank lower.

  2. Small typo at the top of the chart, Dennis, it should be "Presence among 40 dealers", not "Presence among 30 dealers".

    1. Also here, a "not" is missing after "were".
      Net10, GoSmart, and PagePlus showed up in 24, 18, and 14 stores respectively, but were the top seller at any dealer."

  3. I am not sure what the relevance is of a service being carried by a dealer. I would be more interested in a service that I purchase directly from the source, like Pure TalkUSA, and cut out the middle man altogether. In fact, I would say that a dealer markup is reason to select another service.

    1. Some people go to brick and mortar. Smaller MVNOs don't really have any retail presence besides these dealers and dealers help get subscribers that otherwise would go to other MVNOs with a retail presence. Not every is savvy enough to go online and do their own activation. If anything I would say more people go brick and mortar for their phone service than online only.

  4. What's the reason Tracfone has so many brands/carriers; how does it help them?

  5. What happened to Airvoice? All the other MVNO's you have listed here have nothing but abysmal Customer Service.

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