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Called flocking to prepaid -- about one in three US cellphone owners are now opting to pay as they go.
The total number of prepaid subscription shot past 100 million as of June 2012.
Up 12% from the previous twelve months.
The cost of prepaid cell phones is sometimes less than half of that -- traditional build -- service.
And now some high end providers are offering Smartphones with.
Unlimited Internet tax and running capabilities.
And take a look at shares of companies that offer prepaid services as we move along and his.
Might even be better than -- as you -- a new carrier that uses Y five for calling and texting you name it -- this terrorists as well.
Cheap cheap cheap let's talk to Walt Mossberg about it this week's all things digital -- the personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal who joins us to tell us what republic wireless is offering how -- -- -- Hi guys I -- Well you you actually don't have to Wear the Postal Service out of clothing line to benefit.
The first thing I want and that is why it is clear that out there -- positive following also an earlier story thank you while friends right I you know I watch I want -- -- age this is this is a prepaid type thing it's.
No contract month to month and but that's not really the main story here the main story is nineteen dollars is.
Radically low for unlimited -- Voice and texting.
On and and actual android Smart bomb.
And -- as you pointed out they do it by eight holding their cost down.
By doing it over why -- they have figured out and I think you know anecdotally I think this is right.
If people are in Wi-Fi coverage.
Four large parts of their days at work at home.
-- You know Starbucks or McDonald's or wherever they are and this phone.
Is is engineered.
And their service in the cloud is engineered so that.
That -- alert the means -- application not some separate half.
I'm defaults to trying to make the call over -- If it can't if you're not -- Wi-Fi range of the Wi-Fi is too slow or something that it has a back up they have bought.
Wholesale minutes from sprint I don't know.
How many people know but sprint does a fairly big business in this and they will place the call over -- so you're never not going to be a lawmaker phone call.
For -- text but.
They're banking on the idea that 60%.
70% whatever it is had their peak of their folks.
Are going to be doing this over Wi-Fi.
And that is what allows them to -- the nineteen dollars a month.
-- that calling is not saying analysts and it's Chlumsky right right there there are number but there -- a number of catches and and dancer that touches.
In that they're trying to -- -- but they're number downsides.
First -- there is no seamless handoff.
So prisons in my testing present -- Starbucks I made a phone call.
Pat was somebody who knew I was testing and I deliberately walked out of the Starbucks.
After I got a couple of hundred feet away you know -- -- I want a way.
And instead of automatically seamlessly switching -- to -- what it does is it.
Hangs up that call.
It does remember the number and it will read dial it without you have me do it manually on sprint.
No credit there's a delay and it's annoying -- -- in rupture called there working on it they say they will have it down.
To a point where it feels pretty seamless by the summer that the -- thing is the phone itself the -- is is a mediocre.
It is an android Smartphone -- a mediocre model it's a Motorola but certainly not the best Motorola.
And it runs an old version of android.
It seems to me like you know it depends who you arm which is always the case in these situations but if you're somebody -- sales on the phone all the time maybe this is not for you.
But if -- like YouTube bus on and off -- -- includes in this but if you don't like speaking on the phone.
Two people unreadable whatever the reason might get half and use it mostly for texting which I gotta have a lot of phone conversations either text or use -- I didn't dig dig it and I talked.
-- you -- today you're the one.
Now tell you want to thank -- -- out there restraining order she don't call Jonas I think the do you do you do it while you do make some phone calls like partly and -- -- -- so what do you do our channel on the Internet right.
That's right for normal person.
-- with kind of a typical pattern of of usage on the phone I mean you know he could run apps.
Wi-Fi obviously works very well for that.
You know this is -- if you're on a budget lots people look there -- a lot of people can't afford a cellphone in the first place -- and by the way I should mention that's another downside.
Part of their economic model is they charge 250 dollars -- this phone up front.
They have just just yesterday introduced a new plan.
An alternate plan we only pay 99 for the -- but the monthly fee is 2920.
And is still a bargain but it's not nineteen right.
You know I honestly think they've got there on to something here.
The a whole different way of challenging the big carriers and and by the way when I talked about the phone being mediocre.
They also are promising in the summer to bring out much better phones -- that are engineered to use this.
Walt it was awesome see you as always thank you for being here and I promise to stop calling you and I -- yeah.
No not more call -- Marco thanks won't.
Fine thank you Bob I will say one thing that is that has one thing we share we do not like talk and.
Well what a lot of people like Austin you know to be serious a lot of people who like that's -- classless -- -- much we're -- much were Internet and let us know listen but us more competition we're abnormal ones.
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