Mobile phones are as much a part of Americans’ everyday lives as driving cars, drinking coffee or watching television. The technology of mobile phones has advanced rapidly since the devices first started to see mass adoption in the late 1990s, and paying a monthly cellular phone bill is now just a normal expense of living in the developed world.
All of this convenience comes at a cost, though. As the sophistication and capabilities of mobile phones have risen, so has the price to use them. Today’s consumers are looking for ways to have quality wireless service without paying more than is necessary. This is has led to an increase in demand for a once much smaller division of wireless device options: prepaid mobile phones.
The Prepaid Revolution
Prepaid phones are no longer just for people who can’t afford a higher-priced plan, or who can’t pass a credit check. Most of the prepaid phones available today with much smaller access fees than those offered by major carriers are just as quality as the more expensive versions. In fact, prepaid mobile phones are more common than you probably realized. In 2011, prepaid phones accounted for 27 percent of all mobile phones purchased and that percentage has risen even more since. Of the prepaid phones purchased in 2011, 35 percent were smartphones. Consumers are beginning to realize that they do not have to be locked into a contract in order to enjoy a cutting-edge, quality phone – and that they can actually save a lot of money by going the prepaid route.
Understanding Prepaid Mobile Phones
Unlike big-name wireless carriers that work inside the networks that they built, prepaid mobile phones work on those already-built networks. This process of essentially drawing off the strength of other wireless networks is called a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or MVNO. The network you access for use of your prepaid mobile phone will vary based on the kind you choose. For your prepaid mobile device to work properly, you must plan to use it in an area that is available based on the MVNO you select.
Going with a trusted prepaid mobile phone company is essential to never sacrificing quality for a better price. You want to be sure that you are going to be able to make the calls, place the texts, and have internet access in all the places you’d like with the MVNO you pick. Some credible names in mobile prepaid wireless phones include Net10 Wireless and Simple Mobile.
There are three ways to use
prepaid mobile phones:
- Limited plans. This gives users a set amount of data, calling minutes, and texts to use each month and the rate is steady.
- Unlimited plans. Prepaid mobile users can opt to pay a higher rate to use as many texts, voice minutes and as much data as they want without ever worrying about overage charges (like the larger, contract-based wireless companies impose).
- Pay-as-you-go plans. Consumers can also pay for only the amount of minutes, data and texts they use.
In all three cases, the prepaid mobile phone user is saving money on the actual access charges and can pick the plan that best fits his or her mobile phone needs.
What Prepaid Mobile Means for the Future
As more and more consumers opt out of contract-based, expensive wireless providers, prepaid mobile phones will continue to grow in popularity. The technology exists to make prepaid wireless the norm and for consumers to stop spending so much on the old-fashioned way of obtaining cellular access. Expect to see more mobile phone users switching to prepaid plans in the next few years and for contract-based options to eventually become obsolete.
Do you use a prepaid mobile device? Which one do you use or would you recommend?