Re: Monopoly = Artificial Scarcity
I believe that TracFone and some of it's subsiduaries such as PagePlus Cellular are MVNOs on the Verizon network
(I know a couple of people who switched from +$60/month contracts with Verizon to $12/month PAYG contracts with Page Plus, because they were relatively light users, and 250 minutes a month was all they needed, but nobody had ever told them that it was even possible to get a low cost plan until they heard about Page Plus. AT&T and Verizon have very effective marketing campaigns that constantly go on about "Friends and Family" plans that can work out as "as little as" $30/month per device, as long as you have 5 or 6 devices in the plan, but that first device is going to cost $60-$80 per month.
Of course those "Friends and Family" plans create enormous drag when it comes to switching providers - all 5 or 6 people in the plan have to pay for a new phone at the same time to switch, or everyone's bill goes up a little bit if one person drops out. Abusive marketing at it's very best).