Telecom research firm Wave7 Research, has released its 2nd quarter, 2018 Independent Prepaid Dealer Survey. The quarterly survey is based on interviews with 30 independent, multi-brand dealers in 16 NFL cites. Dealers were asked which prepaid brands they carry and which were their top sellers. The survey was conducted in May, 2018.
Dealers reported that lost cost plans such as Lycamobile and Ultra Mobile's $19 plans and Simple Mobile's $25/month were especially popular. One dealer told Wave7 Research analyst Carlos Torres that customers say things like, "Why pay for a $80 plan that has all the bells & whistles, when I can have a cheap plan, and if I run out of data I can always rely on Wi-Fi?". Simple Mobile's $50 ($45 with auto pay) unlimited everything plan was also cited as popular by dealers.
According to Wave7, the survey's winners this quarter were Simple Mobile, Ultra Mobile, H2O Wirelessand Page Plus. Simple Mobile was available at 25 of the 30 dealers and was a top three seller at 22 of them. Ultra Mobile was the runner up, with availability at 21 sellers and among the top three in sales at 17. H2O was 18 dealers and in the top three at 8. PagePlus was at 21 dealers and in the top three in sales at 7.
Net10 and GoSmart had wide distribution, but weak sales. Net10 was in 18 stores, GoSmart in 14. But Net10 was only in the top three in sales at one dealer where it was number 3. GoSmart was not among the top three sellers at any dealer.
Wave7 gave Verizon Prepaid a "mometum" award. Verizon Prepaid launched its dealer program in 2016 but its already in 14 out of 30 stores and is a the top three seller in 6.
Wave7 called Red Pocket, Telcel America and RokMobile the survey's losers. Red Pocket and Telcel were at only two dealers. ROK Mobile went from being at 3 dealers last quarter to none this time around. That's not surprising as ROK recently cancelled its dealer program and is now only available online. EasyGo Wireless and Eco Mobile, which had appeared in the past surveys were also nowhere to be found tis time around.
As in previous surveys, results were dominated by the TracFone brands (Simple Mobile, PagePlus, Total Wireless, Net10, Telcel America and GoSmart) and by T-Mobile and its MVNOs (T-Mobile Prepaid, MetroPCS, Simple, Ultra, GoSmart, Lycamobile and Telcel). TracFone's dominance is not surprising. They are by far the largest MVNO and spend more on advertising than their competitors. Having six brands from one source to offer dealers helps too. T-Mobile MVNOs tend to be the least expensive, which helps to drive sales. Having the survey conducted for the most part in sizable cities, where T-Mobule's network is at its best, probably contributes T-Mobile brands and MVNOs good showing as well.