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Streak Snapped! Ultra Mobile Wins Wave7 Research Prepaid Dealer Survey

Multi-Carrier Wireless Dealer Store (Pic via Wave7 Research)
Multi-Carrier Wireless Dealer Store (Pic via Wave7 Research)
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For the first time since its inception, the Wave7 Research quarterly prepaid dealer survey has a new winner. Ultra Mobile won the 1Q24 survey, breaking Simple Mobile’s record of 36 consecutive wins since the survey's debut in 1Q15.

Ultra Mobile was found in 19 of 30 dealers surveyed up from 17 in the previous quarter. Simple Mobile's survey drop was sizeable. The brand was carried by 18 dealers down from 23 in the last quarter, but not all is lost. Eleven dealers reported Verizon-owned Simple Mobile as their stores' number-one selling brand, a number far exceeding all other brands in the survey. The next closest competitor was Verizon Prepaid, a top seller in five dealer stores. Survey winner Ultra Mobile was a top seller in just three dealer stores.

Wave7 Research noted that the sample set of dealers was somewhat different compared to previous surveys including dealers visited in March in Oklahoma. One Oklahoma dealer explicitly stated that his store had dropped Simple Mobile from its shelves. A reason for disguarding the brand was not given. Wave7 Research warns that Simple Mobile's 2nd place finish may not be replicated in upcoming surveys.

Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research commented to BestMVNO: “It’s true that the streak of Simple Mobile winning 36 surveys in a row is over.  Certainly, some dealers have told Wave7 Research that they have discontinued sales of Simple Mobile.  However, two cautionary notes are in order.  First, Simple Mobile was far more likely to be mentioned as the top seller.  Second, this is only one survey.  I’ll be interested in seeing which carrier wins the 2Q24 survey.” 

1Q24 Prepaid Dealer Full Survey Results

The latest survey was conducted in February and March 2024. Representatives from 30 independent multi-carrier prepaid dealers in a variety of markets around the USA were interviewed. The full results of the survey are detailed below.

Note: The "number of dealers" column indicates the number of dealers out of 30 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.

Top Selling Prepaid Brands In 1Q24 Wave7 Research Survey Of 30 Independent Dealers
ProviderNumber of Dealers1st Place2nd Place3rd PlaceAlso-Ran
Ultra Mobile193637
Simple Mobile1811241
H2O Wireless182348
Verizon Prepaid175463
AT&T Prepaid132535
Gen Mobile131 0210
T-Mobile Prepaid122424
Lyca Mobile101315
Boost Mobile73211
Cricket Wireless1 01 01
UScellular1 0 0 01

Wave7 Research Momentum Award Winner

Not only did Ultra Mobile win the dealer survey, but Wave7 Research also gave the brand its Momentum Award. Nine dealers mentioned Ultra Mobile as either their number one or number two seller, up from five in the 4Q23 survey.

It's not entirely clear what drove Ultra Mobile's success during the quarter but the MVNO did run a "Tax Season Saving$" offer which continues through 4/30. The offer gives customers a free month of service upon buying and activating a 3-month plan in stores.

Survey Loser

Cricket Wireless earned the dubious distinction of being the survey loser. Only two reps mentioned Cricket being sold in their stores, down from five in the 4Q23 survey. Only one rep mentioned Cricket as being a top three seller, down from three in the previous survey.

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