Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Coming Rate War

In the last couple of months, I've noticed a lot of people talking about monthly wireless rates. And they've gone up as more and more people sign up not just for their monthly talk time rates but also a data plan as folks snatch up mobile devices and smartphones.

Right now, we're looking at around $75 and up. Some mobile warriors will argue that it's more like $70 but keep in mind that the wireless providers don't tell us about the variety of taxes. However, I get the sense that in these harsh economic times, these monthly rates are about to change.

And in a good way. It's my belief that with a shrinking pool of subscribers, economic uncertainty, parity in services and devices (okay, this point is very arguable), and a change mobile society, wireless providers like Verizon and ATT in the US are going to have to go that extra mile to get people to sign up or extend their contracts.

My advice to mobile warriors - hold for a couple of months. Not only do I believe these rates should go down a bit, we might see additional flexibility from all quarters as competition for you heat up.

And we are also expect a plethora of Android devices, Palm Pre, and the next generation iPhone to come around June. I'm sure others are like to get in on the act with Windows Mobile devices. And this may also help everyone in terms of their checkbooks. As more mobile device makers offer certain models exclusively for specific models, they are competing with one another as well.

So wait until June. Maybe even July. Look to save on the cost of the mobile devices as well as monthly rates. We'll know this summer if our assessment is correct or not.

Note: The market leaders like Blackberry and Windows Mobile will obviously offer great selection and prices. While the iPhone and Pre may appear more "shiny", Onxo believes mobile warriors should be looking at all the devices to see which best suit their needs.

Another note: Wireless providers likes to lock folks up for two-year contracts. I think they may be flexible enough to offer 1-year lockups. And to make things interesting, 3-year plans are also possible. Instead of paying $199 for a two-year contract, ATT can offer the iPhone for free if you sign up for 3-years.

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