In mobile, postpaid connections rise while prepaid declines

Over the last year, postpaid mobile subscriptions have been booming, while prepaid — once the strongest area of mobile growth in the U.S. — has been slowly dropping off, according to communications market researcher ShareTracker.

According to ShareTracker, postpaid net additions among the mobile carriers has increased 156 percent between 2013 and 2014. Postpaid used to mean contracts, but today it’s any manner of plan where you pay after your billing cycle. Meanwhile prepaid — service where you buy voice, SMS and data ahead of time  — saw an average decline of 35 percent, ShareTracker found.

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As you might expect, prepaid and postpaid tend to track the U.S. economy. During the recession, prepaid growth jumped dramatically, but now that the economy has recovered, postpaid is returning to growth.