As the critical holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive, the Consumer Technology Association said that smartphones stand at the top of Americans' list of most-wanted tech products, beating out TVs, tablets and laptops. And wireless players continue to work to stimulate that demand, with AT&T's Cricket Wireless and América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, offering new discounts today.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, added around 13,000 total customers in the third quarter, ending with 25.726 million total subscribers. "Our brands Straight Talk, SafeLink and our new brand Total Wireless have shown solid growth whereas our legacy brands registered client disconnections," América Móvil said, indicating that the TracFone, Telcel America and Net10 brands are underperforming in the market as a result of more intense competition.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it duped millions of consumers by advertising unlimited data service and then throttling customers' speeds or cutting their service off entirely when they exceeded certain data allotments. The FTC said TracFone did not properly disclose its throttling practices.
Sprint's Virgin Mobile prepaid brand today announced it will offer low-cost talk and text plans exclusively through Walmart. The new plans, from Virgin's payLo brand, are geared toward the low end of the prepaid market.
América Móvil's U.S. TracFone unit banked on its acquisition of 1.4 million subscribers from Page Plus Cellular in the first quarter for the vast majority of its customer growth. Absent the deal, TracFone added 452,000 customers organically in the quarter, weaker than in the year-ago period.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, returned to a brisk pace of subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 after growth stalled in the third quarter. However, the company was unable to meet the subscriber growth it showed in the fourth quarter of 2012.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, reported just 5,000 net subscriber additions in the third quarter, compared to 302,000 in the year-ago period. The carrier's figures also come on top of its 192,000 net subscriber losses in the second quarter, which were pinned on a company-wide effort within the parent firm to shut off the service of inactive users.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO TracFone Wireless brought some clarity to its data throttling policies for its Straight Talk and Net10 brands, explaining that it will throttle subscribers down to 2G speeds after they use 2.5 GB of data.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO TracFone Wireless recently launched its new "Trac 'N' Save" digital coupon and wallet program, which the company said provides "the best deals, discounts and promotions from trusted partners" to its roughly 23 million customers.
Net10, a brand of América Móvil's U.S. MVNO TracFone Wireless, is bringing back unlimited data plans to customers who use a SIM card for AT&T Mobility's network, a TracFone spokesman confirmed to FierceWirless.