Phone subsidies: Are they just bad loans in disguise?

Free Mobile has launched a new front in its war with France’s incumbent operators. It’s taking SFR to court over the handset subsidies it charges, claiming they amount to usurious loans that consumers wind up paying back in the form of hidden fees in their contracts,

Apple’s iPhone goes pre-paid with Cricket’s $55 plan

Cricket Wireless will offer two Apple iPhone handset models with monthly pre-paid plans beginning on June 22. The iPhone 4 and 4S will cost $399 and $499 respectively, without a contract, using Cricket’s $55 plan, advertised as unlimited voice minutes, text messages and data usage.

T-Mobile Wants to Be the “Target” of Carriers

T-Mobile is making changes to help redefine itself amidst tough competition above from three larger carriers in the U.S. and below from national prepaid providers and smaller regional carriers. It’s not the Saks of cellular, but not a Sears either. So who, then, is T-Mobile?

T-Mobile Tweaks Pre-Paid Phone and Data Plans

On Monday of next week, T-Mobile will introduce new prepaid plans for handsets and data devices. Also launching next week is T-Mobile’s first prepaid 3G mobile broadband dongle, the Jet Prepaid USB Stick, which can be used with plans by the day, week or month.

Clearwire Sics Rover Prepaid Broadband on Competitors

Amid upcoming competition from next-generation networks, Clearwire is adding prepaid options for its WiMAX service. Although the national network is expected to cover 120 million by the end of 2010, it has cost billions and only attracted 1.7 million customers. Will prepaid speed up WiMAX adoption?

Clearwire to Launch Pre-Paid WiMAX Service

Clearwire is expected to announce a pay-as-you-go option for its Clear WiMAX service on Monday according to a form filed with the SEC yesterday. With competitors launching next-generation data networks, Clearwire’s “first to market” advantage is fast going away, so it’s gunning for more customers now.

Virgin Mobile Heats Up Prepaid Mobile Broadband Wars

In a bid to grab new customers, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile USA is now offering prepaid unlimited mobile broadband service for $40 per month with no contract. That compares to Verizon’s new prepaid plan at twice the price with a 5 GB limit over 30 days.

Prepaid Phones Get Smart With Android

Boost Mobile today said it would offer the Motorola i1, the first Android phone for the prepaid market in the U.S., a move that makes prepaid plans more compelling from a device perspective. This could continue the prepaid growth spurt the market is currently enjoying.

Why You Should Consider Paying Your Early Termination Fee

Mobile consumers are increasingly looking to cut costs by moving to bargain-basement unlimited prepaid plans. One consumer advocacy group says that getting out of your postpaid plan and moving to prepaid may be cheaper than you think.