Sprint's recently announced promotion for its Boost Mobile prepaid brand to cut the bill in half of customers who switch from T-Mobile US' MetroPCS and AT&T Mobility's Cricket prepaid brands represents a "race to the bottom" in wireless pricing, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.
T-Mobile US said that as of Friday, 190,000 customers on its MetroPCS prepaid brand still had phones connecting to MetroPCS' legacy network, which was turned off on Sunday as T-Mobile completed the final market shutdowns in Dallas, Miami and New York City.
Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid brand is looking to steal customers from T-Mobile US' MetroPCS and AT&T Mobility's Cricket prepaid brand by offering via a promotion to cut those customers' service bills in half if they switch to Boost.
Sprint is giving its prepaid customers who sign up through its Sprint Prepaid brand at Best Buy rollover data that does not expire. Additionally, Sprint announced a new mobile TV service for its Boost Mobile prepaid brand.
T-Mobile US and Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid brand are unveiling dueling sets of promotions aimed at the prepaid market just ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer.
A high-level AT&T executive said that the company is seeing momentum around its Cricket prepaid brand, which it took control of from Leap Communications in a $1.2 billion deal that closed in March 2014. According to John Stephens, senior executive vice president and CFO of AT&T, Cricket now has about 5 million subscribers.
AT&T Mobility is letting some of its GoPhone prepaid customers access the carrier's "Rollover Data" program. AT&T started offering rollover data to its customers on its Mobile Share Value shared data plans in late January.
T-Mobile US plans to shut off the legacy CDMA network of its MetroPCS prepaid brand on June 21, earlier than expected. The carrier still needs to shut down the CDMA network in three major markets.
AT&T Mobility's Cricket prepaid brand is making a handful of changes to its offerings and plans, including introducing a new device financing program and a new switching credit. The company is also eliminating a high-end promotional plan that had offered customers 20 GB of data for as low as $55 per month.
The two main disruptors in 2015 will be Sprint and T-Mobile, as they are specifically targeting AT&T and Verizon's postpaid bases. There may be shifts throughout the year and of course volatility is expected when the next iPhone version is introduced. For 2015 carrier competition remains healthy.