As a result of increasing wireless bills, a new survey found that two out of every three people who sign up for new wireless service in the U.S. opt to go prepaid instead of being locked into a lengthy and costly contract.
The survey was conducted by the New Millennium Research Council, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, who found that roughly 65 percent of the 4.2 million net subscribers added by U.S. phone carriers in Q4 2009 were prepaid. In addition, prepaid providers grew 17% in Q4 2009 to 54.4 million subscribers, up from 46.3 million the previous year.
There were 285 million total wireless subscribers in the U.S. at the end of 2009, with one out of five now using prepaid phones, bringing prepaid users to 20% of the total wireless market, up from 18% at the end of 2009.
While the recession has no doubt played its part in the surge in prepaid subscribers, another key aspect is the type of plans offered by prepaid carriers- namely the “all-you-can-eat” unlimited tiers for $30-$45 per month. Through the eyes of consumers, going prepaid makes much more sense, especially for the average mobile user.