Sprint is shutting down the legacy iDEN network nationwide on June 30, 2013. The shutdown affects Boost Mobile users who have an iDEN Push to Talk (Walkie Talkie) phone like the Motorola i856 or Motorola i1. IDEN users who do not switch to a CDMA phone before June 30 will lose their service and their phone number.
Since last fall Boost has been offering free and reduced priced phones to migrating iDEN users. That offer was scheduled to end April 30. According to a message sent to independent Boost dealers, the free phone offer has been extended until June 30 and includes additional phone models.
Starting May 1st, migrating users can have their choice of the Samsung Factor, Kyocera Coast, Samsung Array, Sanyo Innuendo, Kyocera Milano, LG Rumor Reflex, BlackBerry 9310, Kyocera Hydro, Samsung Galaxy Prevail and Samsung Transform Ultra for free, subject to availability. The user will have to pay sales tax on the full retail price of the phone. The Factor, Array, Prevail and Transform Ultra weren't included in the pre-May 1 offer.
If you want a better phone, Boost will give IDEN users $100 off the the price of the Samsung Galaxy Rush, ZTE Warp Sequent, ZTE Force, LG Marquee, LG Venice or the Samsung Galaxy SII (both colors). This is a big improvement over the old offer which only included a $100 discount on the Venice and Marquee. As with the original offer, the user must pay sales tax on the full retail price.
The free and discounted phone offer is only available at independent, authorized Boost dealers, not online or at national retailers like Radio Shack, BestBuy, Target or WalMart. You can use the dealer locator in the top right corner of the boostmobile.com web site find your nearest Boost Mobile authorized dealer.
If you can't be bothered to go to a store, Boost will send you a free CDMA phone if you call them. However, you don't get a choice of phones that way and most users report getting an older refurbished feature phone.
Besides the fact that your iDEN phone will stop working June 30, there's another reason to switch, lower plan prices. Switching to CDMA will remove the $10/month surcharge that Boost slapped on iDEN monthly plans last November. Pay as you go users will pay a little less on CDMA too, 20¢ per minute or message instead of 25¢.
Boost is also giving iDEN users who switch to CDMA a $25-$30 account credit for their old iDEN phone. Visit buyback.boostmobile.com/bst/ to view details of the buyback offer and to get a prpeaid shipping label for sending your phone back.