How Did the Prepaid Carriers Stack Up?

Prepaid wireless carriers have gotten a lot of attention in recent months because of the ailing economy, which has helped them as consumers seek out cheaper cellphone plans.

Now that most of the biggest ones in the U.S. have reported their first quarter results, how did they perform? We looked at six–Boost Mobile, Sprint’s (S) prepaid unit; Leap Wireless (LEAP); MetroPCS (PCS); T-Mobile; Tracfone, the U.S. prepaid unit of America Movil; and Virgin Mobile USA (VM), which posted earnings earlier today.

Of those, Tracfone remains the biggest in terms of subscribers, ending the first quarter with 11.8 million. MetroPCS and Boost added the most net new subscribers, gaining about 684,000 and 674,000, respectively.

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