With budges getting tighter by the minute, people are often looking for more affordable ways to make ends meet, even as they try to stay connected in a digitally dominated world. That’s part of the reason why prepaid cell phones and no-contract phones are becoming a more attractive option, with some saying that a full “10% of American mobile customers have left traditional contracts and are going for cheaper plans.”
Companies like Virgin Mobile, FreedomPop, Cricket Wireless, Net10, Strait Talk, and GoPhone Lease Network are working with companies like Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to provide lower-cost options for folks who want the full functionality of cutting-edge technology, but have financial constraints or want to stay within a fixed budget. The emergence of Over-The-Top (OTT) technologies that allow people to access content online and through internet-connected devices is also making it easier for customers to enjoy greater products and pricing options.
As people make the move to prepaid devices, it’s important that consumers remain aware of options to protect their data, privacy, and security. A recent article in The Christian Science Monitor explained that “how we get online matters. When people cannot afford their own broadband connection, or a private computer loaded with security software, the have little control over what can be loaded onto their machine, or what data leaves without permission.” To counter some of the dangers inherent to purchasing less expensive, or lower quality technology, “Major carriers offer inexpensive Android devices with the latest operating system (Lollipop, at the time of writing) from hardware manufacturers with a good reputation for updating devices promptly. For less than $50 you can get a prepaid device, and avoid credit checks that would otherwise require you to surrender your social security number.”
The move toward prepaid devices marks an important market that allows people to stay connected in safe and affordable ways.