Eight Dollars a Month

The New York Times has an article about prepaid cell phone plans.  Mostly it’s a PR peice triggered by the roll out of MetroPCS in New York (and Boston).  The article is pretty worthless.  But the chart is pretty good.

It’s interesting how a decade ago the demographics of the  discriminatory  pricing was  primarily  done by targeting different buyer groups via branding.  T-mobile’s prepaid was targeted to poor urban youth, for example.  That’s not me, and I had trouble even finding somebody to sell it to me.  These days the virtual mobile phone operators do that, more so than the majors.  Page Plus Cellular is a good example, and they sell mostly thru small urban store fronts.

When I bought the t-mobile service all those years ago I was routing around their  discriminatory  filters.  They, of course, would prefer that I not be able to do that.  The rise of text messaging and data services is making that easier.  Three services (text, voice, data) makes for a rich pallet for market segmentation.  I love Adam’s term for industries that depend on these practices: confusopolies.

One thought on “Eight Dollars a Month

  1. James

    Another market where this happens is SSL certificates – Comodo and Geotrust have their cheap brands, RapidSSL and PositiveSSL, who are in turn even cheap if you buy from a reseller. I got a 3 year non-chained RapidSSL cert from NameCheap for $39, vs $249/yr for the cheapest GeoTrust, and $69/yr from the RapidSSL website.

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