Verizon’s Simple Mobile is once again at the top of the Wave7 Research prepaid wireless dealer survey. This is the 29th time in a row Simple Mobile has come in first place in the survey.
The survey was conducted in February and March of 2022, of reps of 30 independent multi-carrier prepaid dealers in a wide range of markets. The survey included small towns as well as larger towns and cities across the United States.
Prepaid Dealer Survey Results
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.
|Prepaid Carrier||Presence among 30 dealers||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||Also-ran|
|US Cellular, AirVoice, and Gen Mobile other were also mentioned by one dealer each as also-rans.|
Note: Interviews occurred in February and March. Most interviews were conducted by phone.
Wave7 Research named Ultra Mobile as the second-place winner, with 17 mentions and 13 dealers, lifting it to an overall top three placement in the survey. H2O Wireless came in third place with a presence of 16 of 30 stores and a top three ranking with 10 of the 30 stores. AT&T Prepaid and Verizon Prepaid both made very good showings, placing 4th and 5th respectively. US Cellular was mentioned for the first time in the 1Q22 survey, as a dealer in Nebraska has launched US Cellular activations.
AT&T Prepaid has fallen somewhat from its second-place showing in 4Q21 but had only lost one dealer, while other prepaid carriers gained dealers outpacing the wireless giant.
The Wave7 Research Momentum Award was given to Ultra Mobile, which took second place in the survey overall. The MVNO had 17 mentions with 13 mentions being among the top three, up from a total of 13 mentions and nine rankings in 4Q21. Although the exact reasons for this uptick in popularity are not clear, some dealers were reporting significant porting from certain AT&T MVNOs. Ultra Mobile has also offered a $24.99 add-a-line to its $49 per month unlimited plan which may have helped its positioning.
The survey losers were Net10 and Boost, both of which have large drops in presence. Net10 dropped from 11 mentions and six mentions as being among the top three, to just six mentions and two mentions in 1Q22. The MVNO has been a low-priority brand for Tracfone and its future is unclear under Verizon management.
Boost fell in the survey from 10 mentions in 4Q21 to just eight mentions in 1Q22. Also, Boost dropped down from 10 top three mentions in 4Q21 to seven mentions in 1Q22. Although, unclear why there was a slip in mentions, one California dealer did say their store was no longer activating Boost but was activating Simple Mobile, Ultra Mobile, and H2O.
Verizon remains the dominant force in the prepaid channel. Seven of the 18 brands mentioned during 1Q22 were Verizon-owned brands. Simple Mobile simply outperforms every other MVNO in the channel.
“While there were gainers and losers in the survey, on the whole, the results were largely similar to surveys in 2021. This survey will be a barometer of changes as Verizon asserts its will over TracFone brands.” – Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research