Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of service offer to cellular customers and the main difference is how customers are billed. Postpay customers are billed after their usage and many will have signed up to a contract, at least in the past, although going forward these are changing. Prepay customers pay for their usage before they make a call or access the Internet. Because the service provider trusts that a postpay customer will pay the bill after the use, there is often a credit check performed before a contract may be signed. Typically, postpay customer money would go a little further as in exchange for the customer being locked in for a period of time, the carrier would offer a better deal. Conversely, the flexibility afforded by the prepay option – because there is no agreement signed, no credit check and no early fees should the customer decide to go to another carrier – typically means that a given amount of money usually doesn’t go quite so far. Different carriers have different deals available, depending on the exact needs of the customer, but for many people the complete flexibility afforded by prepay means it is their preferred way to pay for regular service. All four of North America’s national carriers – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless, offer both postpay and prepay deals, plus many own smaller prepay specialist businesses.
North America’s Uncarrier, T-Mobile US, is rumored to be preparing to revise its Simply Prepay plans, improving the offering for customers. We’ve seen an image posted to Reddit highlighting the new Simply Prepaid plans, said to be released on the 24 January. Pricing for the new plans starts at $25 a month and the plans include the mobile hotspot functionality, visual voicemail, domestic roaming and Data Maximizer. Plans costing $40 or more come with unlimited music streaming, and the most prepaid data that may be bought is 10 GB. Currently, $40 pays for unlimited talk, text and data, but only the first 1 GB is LTE data speeds. T-Mobile US offer a $50 (for 3 GB) and $60 (for 5 GB) of prepaid plans: the rumored new T-Mobile US plans provide for both cheaper plans and for those that include more data.