Boost Mobile, which shook up the prepaid world with the first $50/month unlimited plan back in 2006, has done it again. This time it's a new Talk & Text Unlimited Plan With Shrinkage that will give patient customers unlimited voice and messaging for a mere $30/month.
The new plan doesn't include any data and is only available with three Boost Mobile phones; the $79.99 Sanyo Innuendo QWERTY clamshell, $59.99 Motorola Theory QWERTY candybar and the $79.99 LG Rumor Reflex touchscreen QWERTY slider (clockwise from above left in the image). The plan costs $45/month initially, but the price drops by $5 a month for every six on time top-ups. The maximum discount is $15 which makes the plan $30/month after 18 timely monthly payments .
The new plan is a special promotion. To get it customers must sign up at a Boost Mobile retail location between March 29th and May 31st.
Prepaid smartphones and data are getting all the buzz but there are still a lot of users just want talk and text at the lowest price possible. There is clearly a market for unlimited talk and messaging without data plans. Red Pocket, Jolt, Pure TalkUSA and H20, which are all AT&T MVNOs, have unlimited talk and text plans for about $40/month. Red Pocket's even includes 10 MB of data. Air Voice, another AT&T MVNO, has a $35/month 5000 minutes, 10,000 text plan that is as good as unlimited for many users. Verizon MVNO Page Plus probably has the best deal with a $39.95/month unlimited plan that includes 20 MB of data (soon to be increased to 100 MB).
Boost's promotion initially costs $5/month more than the others. The break even point comes after 18 months. But from then on you are saving a very significant $10/month for as long as you stay on the plan.
It's not a bad deal for those who can live with the limitations, which include much less overall coverage than with the AT&T and Verzion MVNOs and the limited selection of handsets.
The prepaid business is extremely competitive and monthly plan prices have been dropping. Kudos to Boost for setting a new low price target. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of Boost's competitors cutting their prices to match Boost's new offer.