Simple Mobile is again the top-selling prepaid brand in the latest survey of independent dealers conducted by Wave7 Research. Wave7 Research has performed the survey for 26 straight quarters dating back to 2015. In May and early June, the research firm queried 30 independent multi-carrier prepaid dealers by phone around the USA in a wide variety of markets. Simple Mobile came out on top for the 26th straight time. H2O Wireless finished in second place, as it did in the first quarter of 2021. However, H2O Wireless was only found in 19 of the 30 dealers surveyed, as opposed to quarter 1 where it was sold in 21 of the 30 dealers surveyed. Full results of the survey are down below.
Note: The "number of dealers" column indicates the number of dealers selling the brand. The "1st place" column denotes the number of dealers reporting the brand as their top seller, while "2nd place" etc., means the number of dealers reporting that as their second best selling brand.
|Provider||Number of Dealers||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||Also-Ran|
There was one mention each as an also-ran of Red Pocket, Gen Mobile, TracFone, and AirVoice. There was also a mention of Spectrum as the #3 seller at a St. Louis dealer, although it is unclear whether the dealer had Spectrum landline or Spectrum Mobile services in mind. Both Spectrum Mobile and landline services are available through dealers.
Aside from Simple Mobile and H2O Wireless, AT&T Prepaid and Ultra Mobile can also be considered big winners. AT&T Prepaid was found at 19 dealers, up from 13 in quarter 1. The brand lacked a presence in multi-carrier dealer channels in early Wave7 Research surveys. However, in 2019 AT&T began to push its prepaid brand hard into the channel, and its effects have become increasingly apparent.
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Ultra Mobile also increased its dealer presence and was available in 12 dealer stores, up from 10 in quarter 1. Ultra Mobile was a top-3 seller in 4 dealers during quarter 1, but that number increased substantially in quarter 2 rising to 10. Wave7 Research noted that there was positive commentary provided by dealers in regards to the support that both Simple Mobile and Ultra Mobile provide to the dealers. Louie Attard, Analyst at Wave7 Research indicated to BestMVNO that brands that supported their dealers the most were receiving the most activations.
“Dealer reps in May concentrated more of their activations to MVNOs that were supportive with the highest quality of dealer service.” -- Wave7 Research Analyst Louie Attard
A representative from Ultra Mobile told BestMVNO earlier this year that they planned to re-energize the Ultra Mobile brand. And that seems to be happening. Ultra Mobile updated its wireless plans in late February to include more data. The company is also more focused on its multi-month plan offerings.
Wave7 Research labeled Lycamobile, EasyGo and GoSmart Mobile as its survey losers. Lycamobile was only mentioned by 6 of 30 dealers surveyed. This was down from 7 in 1Q21, and from 15 in quarter 3 of 2020. There were complaints by dealers in the current quarter about the support or lack thereof that Lycamobile is providing to its dealers.
EasyGo was for the first time not mentioned as being activated. EasyGo has been rather dormant as a brand. Its parent company, Telrite, has not improved the brand's plans in several years and has not spent any money on marketing it. Telrite seems to have instead elected to focus on growing its H2O Wireless brand which offers essentially all the same features as EasyGo but with better plans and pricing.
GoSmart Mobile slipped to be available at only 4 dealers, compared to 5 in the previous quarter's survey. It's a surprise to me that the brand is still around at all, given they only sell 3G wireless access and we're now in a 5G networked world.
Full results of the previous quarter's survey can be found here.