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T-Mobile Trying to Keep Hold of Prepaid Market

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New unlimited prepaid plan

In what looks like an attempt to maintain its hold on the United States prepaid wireless market, T-Mobile (TMUS) has introduced a new unlimited prepaid data plan to appeal to a broader customer base and fight competition.

The new plan costs $50 per month, making it competitive with other operators’ offers. Verizon (VZ) offers an unlimited prepaid plan that costs $65 per month with autopay, while AT&T (T) sells unlimited prepaid plans that typically cost $65–$85 per month. However, it is running a promotion that lets customers save $20 on their monthly bill for a limited duration.

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T-Mobile outpaced in prepaid gains

Among the top four US mobile operators, T-Mobile boasts the largest prepaid customer base. Its had 21 million prepaid customers at the end of the third quarter. However, T-Mobile added just 35,000 prepaid subscribers in the quarter, while AT&T added 481,000.

Verizon and Sprint (S) lost 96,000 and 14,000 prepaid customers in the third quarter, respectively, and United States Cellular (USM) added 1,000.

A $659 billion prepaid opportunity

The prepaid wireless market presents an enormous commercial opportunity for operators. The global prepaid wireless service market is expanding by 4.3% annually and is poised to hit $659.1 billion by 2026, according to Transparency Market Research. T-Mobile generated $2.4 billion in revenue from its prepaid business in the third quarter, almost flat from a year earlier.

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