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Prepay to grow faster than postpay in 2009?

Just this past Friday, we discussed how the best way to start saving on your cell phone bill is to go prepaid. This is something we’ve been talking about for a while, given the state of the economy. The prepaid movement seems to be coming around, with T-Mobile adding more prepaid than postpaid subscribers in the third quarter. Now we get word that Boost Mobile predicts that prepaid grow more than postpaid in 2009. Now wouldn’t that be something?

The exact figures, as estimated by Boost, are a 14 percent growth rate for prepaid compared to a 4 percent growth for postpaid. This is not only because of consumers choosing a lesser commitment, but because carriers wish to “manage their credit risk in the current environment.” So the credit crunch has extended to the telecommunications industry.

The shift isn’t just for Boost, but for the entire industry. From the above-linked Advertising Age article:

Meanwhile, consumers are trying to squeeze more out of their plans. Virgin Mobile said there was more activity in its Sugar Mama program, which lets subscribers earn free minutes in exchange for their time viewing ads. No-contract plans offering some type of free minutes from the likes of T-Mobile, Boost, MetroPCS and Leap Wireless are gaining ground.

Verizon recently added an offering that takes a page from prepay: a no-contract, month-to-month plan that lets subscribers come and go as they please.

“Two years ago, there was no hybrid,” said Ranjan Mishra, a senior partner at ESS Analysis, which consults for telecommunications companies. “Now the wireless prepay is going through an evolution.”

We’ll be here to cover the evolution every step of the way.