Page Plus Cellular today officially increased its popular $39.99 Unlimited Talk n’ Text plan to 100 MB of data. The plan includes unlimited voice and text messages, and previously included 20 MB of data.
Many PhoneNews.com readers are aware that Page Plus Cellular is one of the only prepaid networks that both uses Verizon Wireless for service, and in addition allows activation of Verizon Wireless 3G devices. The MVNO supports most CDMA Verizon Wireless smartphones, with the exceptions of BlackBerry and iPhone.
In fact, Verizon Wireless’s superior coverage may be one of the key features holding up Page Plus Cellular. While Page Plus was the first to innovate $50 and $60 unlimited voice-and-text plans, the MVNO now faces a different competitive landscape. MVNO rivals TracFone and Simple Mobile both now agressively compete in this arena. TracFone leverages its Straight Talk and Net10 brands to offer competitive price points across AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. In fact, TracFone’s recent developments now permit AT&T and T-Mobile locked devices, including iPhone, to be activated on their $45/month unlimited plans. TracFone also offers Sprint Android devices, and Simple Mobile has been touting its “SIM Revolution” on T-Mobile’s network.
Page Plus Cellular’s pricing arguably is not competitive anymore, but there are several areas that the tech-savvy miss in that analysis. Page Plus has always made its mainstay customer the economically disadvantaged… that’s PC-speak for the poor. The tech-savvy revolution of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was somewhat of a surprise to Page Plus management, who mostly expected traffic from poor customers looking for a way to cut costs, and keep using their Verizon feature phone.
In those markets, Page Plus remains competitive. The carrier now offers a cheap, $12/month plan that offers 250 voice minutes. And, Page Plus has also flexed a bit in the data-hungry department, offering is current $55 unlimited voice-and-text plan with 1 GB of data. That plan appeals the most to customers who want a prepaid smartphone, but have no other options than Verizon Wireless coverage.
It’s not clear what Page Plus’s next move will be. Verizon and Page Plus do not allow LTE devices on the network, though some have managed to activate them by hacking phones to disable the LTE portion. It’s possible that in the face of AT&T and T-Mobile agreesively permitting SIM-locked devices onto TracFone’s MVNO networks, that Verizon may allow the same on Page Plus LTE. However, considering Page Plus’s core audience remains economically unable to purchase LTE phones in large part, it isn’t likely to happen any time soon.
Article has been corrected to state the proper Page Plus plan. While the price-point listed in the article was correct, the name of the plan mentioned was not. We apologize for the inconvenience.