Posts filed under ‘Sprint’
In a move that could launch a price war, Boost Mobile, the MVNO running on Sprint’s smaller Nextel network, is launching a USD50 per month unlimited mobile package from 22 January. The offering includes unlimited calls and texts and will be in direct competition with Leap Wireless International and MetroPCS Communications, which both have similarly priced packages. Boost claims after some taxes and other charges are taken into account it will be cheaper than Leap and MetroPCS and substantially cheaper than Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which both offer unlimited voice services for USD99 a month. The service will even be available without a contract, with Boost targeting consumers who use their phones mostly for voice calls and texting rather than accessing the internet because Nextel’s iDen network has slow mobile internet speeds. Boost currently covers a potential customer base of 274 million people, while Leap and MetroPCS plan to have coverage of about 200 million people between them by 2010.
A few years ago, if someone asked what sort of cell phone you had, your response would probably be to name a network, like Sprint or Cingular. Wireless carriers so completely controlled the business, especially in the U.S., that many manufacturers weren’t even allowed to put their brand names on handsets. Now this relationship is changing in ways that will reduce the power of carriers and, with luck, increase consumers’ choices.
The relationship started to shift when people began using phones for more than voice calls and text messages. As browsers and e-mail systems became important, it mattered more whether you had a Palm Treo or a BlackBerry than whether your phone ran on the Verizon Wireless or AT&T network. Then along came Apple‘s iPhone to rewrite the rules completely.