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Another Nail in the Boost iDEN Coffin - Phone Sales and Activations Ending Soon

Inside Sprint Now, a blog by a Sprint customer care employee, is reporting that as of this Friday, May 18th, iDEN phones will no longer be available from Sprint.com, telesales, customer care and the Sprint Wireless Advantage Club. The article doesn't mention boostmobile.com but it includes the statement that "After Friday, the only place to purchase an iDEN device will be a 3rd Party retail store that carries Boost Mobile devices." which makes it sound like iDEN phones will be gone from boostmobile.com after May 18th too.

The Inside Sprint Now post contains a scan of a frequently asked questions document that's going out to Boost retailers. The document repeats much of what we have already heard about "surplus" iDEN towers being shut down now through early July as well as the total shutdown of the iDEN network midyear 2013. But it also includes several new nuggets of information


  • After July 10, 2012 Boost will no longer activate new Boost accounts. Existing Boost iDEN subscribers will still be able to switch between iDEN phones until service is shut down in the middle of next year.
  • Boost dealers selling iDEN phones should warn customers that the iDEN network is projected to be shut down in mid-2013. If the customer is not a "heavy" walkie-talkie user, the dealer should suggest that they switch to a CDMA phone.
  • There may be offers at a latter date to encourage users to switch to a CDMA phone.
  • The document acknowledges that there are no Boost CDMA push to talk (PTT - Walkie Talkie) phones and suggest steering PTT users to an Android CDMA phone running one of the "multiple walkie-talkie apps in the Google Play Store".
My take is that it looks like the iDEN shutdown is proceeding on schedule. Boost needs be doing all they can to discourage customers from buying iDEN phones and warn them that iDEN will be shut down in a year. Ceasing sales of iDEN phones on boostmobile.com is a good good. Hopefully dealers, including online sites, that continue to sell iDEN phones will warn customers about the shutdown.

I'm concerned that there are still no Boost CDMA PTT phones available. I'm stating to worry that Boost isn't going to release a CDMA PTT phone at all. 

The Android app solution is not a good substitute for dedicated PTT phones. None of the current Android walkie talkie apps can connect with iDEN PTT phones or with the CDMA Direct Connect phones either. Sprint is promising to release an inter-operable Android PTT app soon, but says it will only work on "select" Android phones. How well it will work and if it will work on Boost Android phones is unknown. Plus an Android PTT app does nothing for Boost iDEN pay as you go users as Android phones are not allowed on pay as you go.  iDEN's time has passed and it needs to be gone to make room for modern technologies but Boost iDEN users should not lose PTT regardless of whether they are on Unlimited or pay as you go,

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9 comments:

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  1. Boost iden is the ONLY good PTT prepaid option out there. With that gone, there will be nothing on the prepaid end of things though apps like Palringo might fill the gap.

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  2. I don't care, I like the CDMA network & 3G ... and soon Boost will have 4G

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  3. Boost will get a sprint push to talk app on the android market that will work with nextels ptt phones unlike tkle or other apps that dont work.

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  4. Last October Boost increased their Paygo rates from 10 cents to 20 cents per minute, but existing customers could keep the grandfathered 10 cents/minute rate as long as they kept their account active without plan changes.

    According to Boost, switching from iDEN to CDMA is a plan change and you would loose the grandfathered 10 cents/minute rate. But what happens when iDEN goes dark all together and they force you to switch?

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    1. Perhaps the policy has changed but I've seen reports of Boost letting grandfathered PayGo customers switching from iDEN to CDMA keep their 10¢/minute etc. rate. It required the customer support representative to do a manual override.

      You might have gotten a misinformed CS rep. I'd try calling back and escalating to a supervisor until you find one who will let you keep your old rate.

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  5. Android phone sucks 4G&3g services sucks .*( .boost mobile fifty dollar plan works better then any phone services especially if you don't qualify for contract not everyone has perfect credit score where they can walk in a store & walk out with expensive phone like HTC EVO or the galaxy phone you see that y boost should not let sprint greedy as convince them to turn off the IDE tower for walkie talkie service it going to cause mayham for true honest boost mobile customer please boost do something

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  6. I paid $431 including tax.I have had the phone about 17 months.The phone will be deactivated shortly.In the meantime Boost has increased my bill $10 a month .I was told this is for iden customers that have not switched to cdma.cdma does not work in my area.Anyone with a similar problem please e-mail helenz@zhlaw.com

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    1. Yes that happened to me i have the Boost Motorola i1 with the shrink plan ..was down to $40 a month ..now back to $50 cause of not switching...A wait and see rule will be applied...dont jump on offers yet wait till crunch time comes and a flood of phones will come on market

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  7. The average cellphone user changes phones every 16 months.
    Sprint is giving Boost iDen users another 6-7 months of life. Tech life of most cellphones is 24 months.
    By June of next year, Boost may have the Direct Connect CDMA phones to sell.
    Sprint has been talking about shutting down the NEXTEL/iDen network since late 2010, more than two years ago.

    DC phones on Sprint on 2-year contract sell for as little as $50 and $35/month plus tx.
    AT&T sells Push-To-Talk phones, +$5/month on a plan, or $30 PTT-only unlimited.
    It seems as though there are plenty of options.

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