Mobile Week In Review

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Week In Review

Consumer Cellular revamps rate plans.

Consumer Cellular, the nations’ largest MVNO behind the cable giants’ MVNO-based services, recently simplified its extensive list of rate plan options. The senior market centric MVNO previously offered six different rate plans ranging from 1GB to Unlimited (throttled after 40 GB) cellular data that range in price from $25 to $40 per month. The new scheme offers three tiers to choose from: a 1GB plan at $20/month, a 10GB plan at $35/month and an Unlimited plan (throttled after 50 GB) at $50/month. Incidentally, these updated prices include a $5 monthly discount for customers on autopay and e-billing.

The Circana Take:

  • Consumer Cellular’s updated rate plan scheme is spot on, considering its target audience’s cellular data consumption habits. According to Circana Connected Intelligence’s Data Consumption report, consumers aged between 55 and 64 consume almost half of an average smartphone user (11 GB/month vs 18 GB/month), while the 65+ age group consumption is a third of an average user’s monthly consumption. By eliminating the 20 GB option, Consumer Cellular’s heavy data users (existing and potential new customers) will be inclined to upgrade to the Unlimited option, which should offer better margins for the company as most customers’ usage will remain under the 50 GB/month throttle threshold.

Mint Mobile to expand data buckets

Ryan Reynolds’ popular MVNO service is getting ready to streamline its rate plans, which all soon will include more data allotments for new customers signing up for the data bucket plans. The 4 GB/month ($15) entry-level rate plan goes up to 5 GB/month, while the mid-tier 15 GB/month ($20), 20 GB/month ($25) and 35 GB/month ($40) rate plans all get an extra 5 GB boost per month. The previous 35 GB (now 40 GB) plan will enjoy the same 5 GB/month boost for the mobile hotspot feature (up from 5 GB to 10 GB). Notably, the new rate plans also applies to existing accounts, meaning all current Mint Mobile customers will soon be seeing their data allotments getting bigger.

The Circana Take:

  • Two weeks ago, we wrote a short piece on T-Mobile’s planned acquisition of Mint Mobile and commented on the benefits of operating under a network operator parent’s umbrella. The T-Mobile take-over is not going to happen overnight as the official approval process is always cumbersome, but T-Mobile’s future commitment must have been a liberating factor during the financial assessment of these rate plans as Mint Mobile will not have to worry about the wholesale costs of heavy users’ going overboard with their consumption once the MVNO is under the wings of T-Mobile.
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