Ronan Dunne, Verizon EVP and CEO of its consumer group (pictured), told an analyst event he wants to expand the operator’s prepaid business beyond its traditional customer base, shedding light on an embattled bid for MVNO Tracfone.
At an event hosted by investment bank Oppenheimer, Dunne highlighted an opportunity to turn prepay tariffs into a viable alternative to post-paid, moving away from a current strategy common among US operators to segment customers by payment type.
Dunne explained US operators tend to push consumers with low credit scores onto prepaid plans, a contrast to Europe where customers see the tariffs as a way to enhance “choice and control”.
The executive believes the US market is changing, as operators attract more affluent customers to prepaid plans with “a more personalised, very often digitally-oriented, millennial-oriented proposition”.
Verizon’s Visible prepaid brand is a prime example: it has no physical stores, with customers handling their accounts online and receiving devices through the post.
A $6.3 billion deal to acquire Tracfone from America Movil forms part of Verizon’s prepaid growth plan. The brand had just over 20 million subscribers at the end of Q2.
The Communications Workers of America union and 17 attorney generals urged the Federal Communications Commission to impose conditions on the deal to allay concerns Verizon would reduce options for subscribers subsidised by the US government’s Lifeline programme.
Verizon claims it submitted more than 20,000 pages of documents supporting the acquisition. The operator recently wrote to the FCC asking it to expedite approval.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back