YOU ARE AT:Analyst AngleKagan: Visible is a new wireless service from Verizon

Kagan: Visible is a new wireless service from Verizon

Visible is a new wireless brand using a great wireless network, but I’ll bet you never heard of them before. Well, if you are a young adult, you will very likely be hearing about Visible as they are getting busy marketing on social networks. So, who is Visible? They are a brand-new wireless service provider, and they are owned by Verizon which means they use the Verizon Wireless network.

There is plenty to unwind about this new wireless brand. So, let’s get to it.

If Visible was not owned by Verizon, they would be considered an MVNO like Comcast Xfinity Mobile, Charter Spectrum Mobile or Altice Mobile. However, because they are owned by Verizon, this will be known as a Verizon brand similar to the way Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and uses the AT&T Mobility network.

Visible by Verizon is similar to Cricket Wireless by AT&T

There are quite a few brands that are similar to this. Brands that are owned and operated by the four major wireless networks, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint. All these companies are similar in that they advertise, and market and ask you to visit them at one of their stores or sign up online.

What makes Visible different, is they have no stores. You shop and buy online. They do this because they think the younger user group, they are targeting prefer to do business that way. We’ll have to wait and see if they are right, but this is a very interesting concept right now. A first.

So, let’s talk about the reasons to consider Visible.

One, you shop online. You go to their web site and buy online. They ship you a SIM card and you stick it in your iPhone to get started with the service. Pretty easy. Today they only serve the iPhone that you bring.

Two, they use the Verizon Wireless network, which is a good quality network. One of the top two wireless carriers along with AT&T Mobility.

Three, they are lower cost than Verizon Wireless. You can get one SIM card for unlimited voice, text and data at up to 5 Mbps for $40 per month. Verizon would charge close to $100 for something similar. Good for users looking to pay less.

They do not yet offer family plans, so if you want two lines you must get two accounts. This will likely change, but that’s how it is today.

Four, you must bring your own iPhone. They send you a SIM, not a smartphone.

I expect two things will happen next. One, they will start to sell service for Androids, and two, they will start to sell actual smartphones like iPhones and Androids. But they are not doing so yet. It may be coming pretty quickly though.

Why Visible is online only

Not having a store is a completely new business model, different from other wireless carriers. Other carriers give the customer a choice, visit a store or shop online. Visible is only online. Interesting.

The reason they have chosen to use this model is the customer group they are focusing on. They are targeting the young customer. Those who don’t like to go shopping. Those who would prefer to do business online and not deal with other people.

While I think this will make this customer very happy, it does not address the entire marketplace. It’s just one slice of the marketplace. So, based on that I would expect to see Verizon doing some other new things as well.

Visible could strengthen Verizon Wireless weak areas

Visible has a difficult road to hoe. They both want the customer to understand it uses the Verizon Wireless network. And they also want the customer to know they are not doing business with Verizon Wireless. Instead they are doing business with a younger and newer idea.

The reason there is a need for Visible is Verizon Wireless has a strong brand relationship with older users but are weak with the younger user group. They have tried many different angles over many years and still struggle with this group.

They hope Visible will help them bridge that gap. If successful, I think Visible could help Verizon reach younger customers. One question I have is, will this solve the problem or just one slice of the problem? Will there be other Visible type ideas Verizon Wireless puts out into the marketplace? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Verizon Wireless has a great network, but their marketing has been relatively weak, especially to this user group. They have a solid relationship with their core user base, which is older customers. The younger customer group thinks and acts differently, and Verizon has had trouble bridging the gap.

Can Visible help Verizon Wireless strengthen relationship with young users?

I think Visible could be a real game changer for Verizon. It’s good to see they understand they have a weak link in their otherwise strong chain and are being creative with new ideas to get stronger.

Bottom line, I think this is a good idea for Verizon. It gives customers a chance to use the Verizon Wireless network, at a lower price, with easier credit and so on. It will give them a chance to more successfully reach a group of users they have been struggling with.

So, will Visible be successful? That’s the question. It’s too early to tell. With no stores and no advertising, we’ll have to wait and see. They will be using social networks to reach out to the marketplace. I am hopeful.

So now we wait and see how successful Visible will be going forward. Here’s hoping they hit the bullseye! I’ll be watching Visible and writing more about them as time goes by and I learn more. Stay tuned.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Jeff Kaganhttp://jeffkagan.com
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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