What’s All The Hype About Unlocked Cell Phones in the U.S.?

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U.S. finally legalizes the market of unlocked cell phones for cell phone consumers.

What is an “unlocked” cell phone?

Until just now, unlocked cell phones have been virtually unheard of in the United States, and practically unobtainable.  Even if you were brave enough to get an unlocked phone and a SIM card to make it work, it was unlikely you would even find a service provider willing to let you use these phones.  Most carriers in the U.S. have traditionally only offered a limited number of specific phones for which they provide cell phone service to consumers.  Finally however, this has changed in the United States, thanks to legislation aimed at allowing consumers the freedom to utilize unlocked phones and companies such as Wireless Management Group (WMG), prices are about to plunder and the choices available to you in the way of models and brands will be virtually endless.  We are entering the next big wave in the retail cell phone and cell phone service industries, and it’s going to be far from what you likely every conceived up until now. 

What’s the advantage of an unlocked cell phone?

Bottom line: you’ll pay less for service on your phone and won’t have to hassle with signing up for any contracts.

The reason unlocked phones make sense now is pretty simple.  It’s the obvious choice now in the U.S. because the big wireless carriers here in this country have finally been abandoning the subsidized smartphone model they’ve operated with and the daunting two-year contract that goes with it. Finally, companies will have to earn your loyalty, rather than being able to sit back and literally do as they please once you’ve signed on the dotted line and they have the security that it would take a lot for you to actually pay the fees and go through the hassles of switching to another provider.  Instead of spending $200 up front for a new iPhone, you’re now just charged the actual, non subsidized price of $650, with the option to pay in monthly installments becoming commonplace. To make up the difference,  the cost of wireless service is less than it would be on a contract.  This is certainly long overdue… and clearly advantageous to consumers.

Besides lower costs on the phones you love and reduced monthly service plan pricing, you’ll also enjoy freedom from the hassles of contracts.  Up until now, we’ve all become accustomed to being forced into a minimum two-year contract when signing up for service.  No matter which carrier you looked into, they all forced you to commit to these lengthy terms before you even knew how their service was going to work out for you where you lived and traveled.  Thankfully, this is now another thing of the past that will soon only be a distant memory when telling our children about “back in my day…” as they listen in disbelief of our horrible cell phone realities.

But it’s not just the customers who benefit from these drastic changes.  Carriers also like the non-subsidy system because they can use it to push more frequent upgrades, which translates into a healthier bottom line. All of the major carriers allow customers to trade in their old phones partway through the payment cycle, getting a new phone and starting the cycle anew, so everybody wins in this scenario.

Is the service quality the same?

Even better!  Unlocked phones run on GSM networks, which means users can have complete coverage wherever they are in the world, at anytime, as long as they purchase and install a local SIM card. And, there are no roaming charges.  

This preludes yet another major shift about to be seen in the cell phone game: customization options from not only the phones we desire, but as far as to the service itself.  For instance, sooner than later you’ll have the luxury of “renting” as little as a day worth of service from a carrier when it benefits you.  For example, let’s say you know you have to travel to a different city (or even country) and a carrier other than your usual one is known to have far better service there, you can reap this benefit while away on business and return to your preferred carrier as if nothing ever changed when you return home.

Companies like T-Mobile started these changes into motion a couple of years ago and companies like the California-based retailer WMG,have taken things to a new level with striking momentum and are projected to be the prime movers in this upcoming generation of wireless service.  Nearly all of us have come to rely on cell phones and new players in the market are promising big things, and will likely see huge rewards by learning from the mistakes of the former major players of the industry.

The Rise of Prepaid Service and What It Means for the U.S. Wireless Market

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Long gone are the days when mobile phone users had to enter into binding two-year contracts in order to obtain wireless services. While many users do still choose to go this route, more and more are opting for prepaid services instead because of both greater flexibility and more affordable costs.

New Options for Users

In the early days of mobile phones, contract plans were pretty much the only option users had available to them. That is no longer the case. Many of the major players in the industry, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, now offer prepaid options. In addition, there are a growing number of other networks that offer their services strictly on a prepaid basis.

While the prepaid model has long enjoyed a strong foothold in countries like Australia and the U.K., it has only begun to catch on in the U.S. A major contributor to this growing trend is the increasing price-consciousness of many Americans, particularly Millennials. Younger buyers are more inclined than their predecessors to seek out more affordable rates for their wireless services.

Greater Flexibility in Wireless Services

In recent years, the availability and functionality of prepaid wireless carriers has grown by leaps and bounds to the point where their wireless offerings are virtually indistinguishable from those offered by the major carriers. In addition, the availability of popular phones in unlocked versions lets prepaid users choose any phone they like rather than being stuck with a limited range of options that a particular network offers.

Another key feature of prepaid wireless that users love is the ability to pay only for the services that they actually use. Rather than purchasing an expensive contract plan with an exorbitant amount of data, users can purchase smaller amounts and then purchase more when they run out. This can save them a lot of money on unused data or calls in the long run as they no longer need to pay for data that disappears at the end of the month, only to start over again the following month.

Get In Now!

It is unlikely that this trend towards prepaid services will abate any time soon, so wireless retailers need to take notice. Here at Wireless Management Group, we are at the forefront of the prepaid wireless industry and are rapidly expanding throughout the country. Now is the time to get involved with this growing opportunity, so get in touch with us today to learn more about our franchise opportunities.

 

What is Unlocked Phone?

It has only been in the recent years that “unlocked” cell phones are getting more attention and consumers are learning exactly what they are. Well, at least here in North America. Unlocked phones are standard everywhere else in the world like Europe and Asia. So if you buy a phone there, you might wonder why they are more expensive than the ones in the US. It’s because these phones aren’t subsidized like the phones are here by carriers who require you to sign up for a 2-year contract. You don’t really think the carriers are giving you a $650 iPhone for $200 are you? They’re just simply spreading the cost of the phone over 2 years with the contract, which for some people is worth it. But you end up paying more for the phone in the long run.
Here are seven solid reasons why you should go unlocked.

1. Easily switch between networks
We’ve all been there – I hate (insert carrier), their coverage in (insert location) sucks! Well, with unlocked phones, you can easily switch networks while traveling or if you end up moving to another location where one carrier’s coverage is better than the other, you won’t have to choose between dealing with poor reception and early termination fees. Isn’t that refreshing? Not having to be locked into a contract?

2. Use the phone anywhere in the world that uses a GSM network
We mentioned above that you can easily switch between networks, but did you know that you can easily switch between networks internationally? That’s right! Hopping over to Europe or Asia for a vacation? No worries, because your unlocked phone can be used on any network in Europe or Asia that is on a GSM network (which pretty much is every network). Or, perhaps your kid decided to backpack around the world for a few months. Well, an unlocked phone is the device to have him or her travel with, especially if you want to stalk keep track of where they are to make sure they aren’t doing anything stupid are safe and sound.

It’s much easier to stay connected now and all you have to do is buy a local SIM card (from a convenience store or those street stands), pop it in and away you go – without paying ludicrous international roaming fees, which we’ll get to in the next point.

3. Save money in the long run
First off, since you can switch among any GSM networks, roaming fees and rates would be virtually non-existent since you’ll be using a local SIM. Even with an international plan through AT&T or Verizon can set you back quite a bit depending on how much calling and texting you do, not to mention data (unless you’re lucky enough to find Wi-Fi). This means, the only person who is paying for long distance is the person calling the local number, no double long distance fees!

Second, going unlocked allows you to shop around for the best plan anytime you want, so if there is a deal, then you can just switch since you won’t be under a contract. So in the long run, you can actually save money on plans, even though you may have to fork over more for the phone in the beginning.

4. Customize your phone for YOUR needs
One word – Bloatware. Now, when you buy a phone that has 16GB of storage, you will actually have that much space (or darn close to it) without all the carrier apps pre-installed onto the phone that you can’t uninstall. Choose the apps that you want without restrictions and customize the phone to suit you. If you’re tech savvy, you can do really cool things with an unlocked phone – like install custom ROMs, remove ads, attach a video game controller and more!

5. More phones to choose from
Each network or carrier has their own phones that you can only use with their network, but by going unlocked, you are opening the door to a world of more phone choices with other brands (like NUU Mobile) at a lower cost (but similar specs). In addition, with lower cost phones, you can also change phones more frequently without breaking the bank as new updates and technologies get introduced. Great for those who always want the latest and greatest technologies.

6. Receive software updates quicker
A lot times Google, let’s just say, will release a software update, but it takes the carrier awhile to push that out. Why? Well, carriers need to test their devices with every version of a new Android OS along with those extra carrier apps (aka bloatware), so that takes A LOT of time. Unlocked phones however, aren’t tied to any specific carrier, so they can get updates directly from the manufacturer. So if you’re still stuck with KitKat, you know why. To get more information on the Android update process, check out the NUU Mobile “Confused by the Android update process? You’re not alone.”, blog post.

7. Dual SIM phones
Tired of carrying two phones, one for business and one for personal? Or perhaps you travel between two regions regularly and have one SIM for each. For whatever reason you may want to have multiple numbers (and perhaps multiple contact lists), dual SIM phones help you keep that in one place, so you’re not searching for one phone over another and wondering which phone is ringing. You also don’t have to remember to switch SIM cards and risk the chance of losing such a small card. Besides, keeping track of one phone is better than two…now where did I leave the white phone…

Are there other benefits to unlocked phones? Share it with us – we’d love to hear your reasons why you went unlocked!