Sprint's Boost Mobile has notified its dealers that beginning tomorrow May 6, three new monthly plans will be available. All three plans include unlimited voice minutes, messaging and data but differ in the amount of included high-speed data:
- $40/month - 500MB of high-speed data
- $50/month - 2.5GB of high-speed data
- $60/month - 5GB of high-speed data
The new plans also do not included Boost's signature "Shrinkage" feature which reduces plan costs by $5/month for every six on time payments. According to Boost, the old Shinkage plans, which include 2.5GB of high-speed data, will still be available to new and existing customers "until further notice", which sounds like Shrinkage's future is uncertain at best.
The new plans support iPhones, Android phones, feature phones and BlackBerrys, except for the old BlackBerry 8330, which can only be used with the old $45 and $60 BlackBerry Shrinkage Plans.
Boost's plan changes appear to be both a reaction to and a carbon copy of AT&T's Aio (soon to be New Cricket) $40 and higher plans, with the exact same price points, high-speed data allotments and 128kbps throttled speeds. The Boost plans are also identical to T-Mobile's MetroPCS plans, except that Metro's $60 plan includes unlimited, unthrottled data. Boost is also missing one popular plan choice that both MetroPCS and Aio offer, a $25/month unlimited talk and text, no data plan.
I feel these changes will hurt rather than help Boost, particularly if Shrinkage plans are discontinued. Compared with Aio and MetroPCS, Boost has no $25 talk and text plan, slower data speeds, no BYOP and no family plan style group discount. Boost's network footprint is much smaller than Aio's and also smaller than MetroPCS' if you include Metro's fairly extensive voice and text roaming coverage. Shrinkage is a gimmick but one that sells well. The promise of unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB of high-speed data for just $40 after 18 months is a great sales incentive and loyalty booster. Without Shrinkage, the new plans offer less value than the competition.
Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: Boost Mobile