The no-contract, prepaid wireless market in Europe is huge. Prepaid is pretty much how everyone over there rolls. In the US, prepaid and no-contract wireless carriers are the exception to incumbent carriers that levy multi-year contracts on their customers. But, how do these contract-free carriers measure up to industry averages? JD Power has just released their latest statistics on prepaid wireless carriers in the US for 2009.
At the top of the list is NET10. We’ve never heard of NET10, but with a score of 774 out of a possible 1,000 points, it’s clear that this lesser-known carrier is at the top of its game. NET10 excelled in performance and reliability, cost of service and account management rankings. ConsumerAffairs.com says they’ve only received nine complaints regarding NET10 over the past year. In comparison, TracFone customers submitted 148 complaints. TracFone also performed above average in JD Power’s rankings, alongside Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Alltel and T-Mobile.
The non-contract wireless market is continuing to change. Sprint’s recent acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA shows that even big players in the contract market are recognizing the need to tap the prepaid segment. If things continue to grow this way, the US wireless landscape could mirror Europe in time. Fingers crossed.