The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. It appears Microcell Telecommunications isn’t rolling over and playing dead, despite warnings that defaulting on debt covenants is a real possibility. The Montreal-based wireless operator has unveiled a new pre-paid pricing strategy in hopes of garnering more revenue from current pre-paid subscribers. On August 9, the company announced its new 15 cents/minute pre-paid pricing plan. The strategy appears to break new ground in terms of pre-paid pricing in North America and is intended to help lengthen Microcell’s financial leash. But instead it bites off the hand that feeds it by cutting the duration of the pre-paid vouchers in half or more. A $15-voucher is now only good for 15 days, while a $25-voucher is valid for only 30 days. Not too long ago, pre-paid subscribers could buy a $25-voucher with a 90-day validity period. To top it all off, Microcell is moving to per-minute billing for pre-paid airtime next month. Instead of trying to follow suit with the other players in moving to per-minute billing for post-paid subscribers, who are less likely to notice the change, Microcell is targeting those customers who are most likely to notice. Now this isn’t a bad strategy, if the company isn’t trying to increase its pre-paid subscriber base. However, that’s the one thing Microcell seems to have been good at lately with the entire net additions for Q1 being pre-paid and three-quarters of net additions in Q2 going in this direction. At the same time, if growing its overall base and really challenging the three larger players for market share is part of the future, the company has got it all wrong. Microcell should go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that is radical and aggressive – one that will convince subscribers of the other players to switch to Microcell. Gouging loyal pre-paid subscribers in an industry where switching is as easy as dropping into your closest Radio Shack outlet doesn’t seem to be logical. Think big, Microcell.