As expected, Sprint's Boost Mobile unveiled new Data Boost promotional plans today that double the included high speed data and are $5/month cheaper than the Boost's equivalent regular plans.
The new Data Boost plans are only available until Nov. 3, but customers who switch to one before that date get to keep them indefinitely provided then keep their account active and don't change plans. Current customers can switch to one of the new plans using the My Account page on the Boost Website.
- $35/month: unlimited talk, text and data with the first 1GB at high speeds
- $45/month: unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5GB at high speeds
- $55/month: unlimited talk, text and data with the first 10GB at high speeds
As always with Boost, streaming video is throttled to "3G" speeds which on the Sprint network probably means 3.1 Mbps at most. After the high speed data allowance is used up, data speeds (including streaming media) are throttled to just 128 Kbps.
I expect that Boost's new promotion will trigger a round of price cutting by the competition, especially T-Mobile's MetroPCS. Even before the new Boost plans were leaked, Metro was rumored to be bringing back the 4 lines for $100 promotion as well as increasing the amount of high speed data from 500MB to 1GB on the $40 plan and from 2.5GB to 3Gb on the $50 plan. I wouldn't be surprised to see MetroPCS go even further to match or even beat Boost's offer. Eventually I expect all four major operators to be drawn into a new round of price cutting.
While good for user in the short run, the new prepaid price war is going to be hard on the MVNOs who will be hard pressed to match their network operator partner's own plans. MVNOs have been responsible for much of the value and innovation in the prepaid industry. If MVNOs can't survive, prices will ultimately rise and consumers will lose. Hopefully the operators will cut their wholesale prices to allow the MVNOs to compete.