Mobile Week in Review

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Week In Review

Verizon bundles Netflix and Max

Verizon last week announced that it will begin offering MyPlan customers the option to buy a bundle of the ad-supported versions of Netflix and Max video content services for $10/month. These services are priced at $9.99 and $6.99, respectively, thus Verizon My Plan customers will receive a monthly savings of $7. Verizon’s My Plan service plan was released back in May as the carrier attempted to aggregate and simplify its once complex rate plan structure. The MyPlan service starts at as lows as $75/month (for three lines) and allows customers a-la-carte content options including Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus, Apple One subscription, and Walmart Plus membership for $10/month each. The new Netflix-Max bundle joins this extensive list. 

The Circana Take:

  • The addition of the new Netflix-Max bundle to Verizon’s a-la-carte $10/month content list solidifies Verizon’s lead in terms of the breadth of the content library offered by any other mobile carrier. On the other hand, despite the simplicity of the service and pricing structure, the per service fee theme may be a turn off for many U.S. customers who are accustomed to receiving these content subscriptions free of charge from their mobile carriers. According to the Connected Intelligence Mobility survey, 18% of potential switchers cite the lack of “free” video subscription offerings by their current provider as a motivator for seeking alternative service providers. 

Helium Mobile goes nationwide

Nova Labs, the founder of the crypto-centric mobile service Helium Mobile, announced that the company now offers a no-strings attached nationwide mobile service for $20/month. Helium Mobile is known for its crypto-generating Decentralized Wireless (DeWi) service, offering members/customers its own MOBILE crypto token in return for creating hotspot coverage using one of Helium’s outdoor or indoor routers that sell for $449 or $249. The new plan, however, is a typical MVNO offering running on the T-Mobile network, and it comes with 30 GB of high-speed data at $20/month. Helium Mobile is a BYOD-only service provider; thus, it does not sell any subsidized mobile phones to customers. 

The Circana Take:

  • Helium Mobile enjoyed good publicity during the bull crypto market when valuations of alt coins/tokens were going off the roof regardless of the value proposition. The company’s new $20/month unlimited plan (throttled after 30 GB) is quite aggressive considering that low-cost T-Mobile MVNOs like Mint Mobile offer only 15 GB of high-speed data at the same price (and with three-month commitment), but Helium is likely using the service component as loss leader to lure new comers into joining the Helium Mobile community and expand its hotspot coverage to recuperate the wireless wholesale costs. 
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