Prepaid on the Rise in One of the Least Expected Markets: The United States

Subscribe To Read This Insight

3Q 2014 | IN-1020103

A Surprising Market for Prepaid: The United States


The first prepaid mobile phone service, labeled Mimo, was launched by TMN in Portugal in September 1995. It has been a remarkable innovation that has radically expanded mobile phone adoption. Prior to that date, mobile phones were arranged exclusively in the form of postpaid billing contracts. It has been a huge boon to a number of markets, especially emerging markets, where credit cards and tenancy agreements may be thin on the ground. Indeed, the success and popularity of prepaid have not been limited to emerging markets. For example, Italy has been an enthusiastic supporter of prepaid. At present, prepaid ratios in Italy stand at 78%. One market that has been largely disinterested in prepaid has been the United States. But that is starting to change. As of the end of June 2014, prepaid stood at 15.9% of total subscriptions, compared to 13.6% in June 2012. ABI Research anticipates it growing to 22% by the end of 2019.

You must be a subscriber to view this ABI Insight.
To find out more about subscribing contact a representative about purchasing options.