Home - , , - Boost Mobile Now Allowing Customers to Disable the 600 Kbps Video Throttle

Boost Mobile Now Allowing Customers to Disable the 600 Kbps Video Throttle

Sprint's Boost Mobile is now giving users the option to stream videos at full speed. For at least the last two years Boost has been throttling video streaming to 600 Kbps. The 600 Kbps throttle is still the default but now users on current Boost Mobile plans can turn off the throttling by selecting a new EnhancedStream option in the My Account section of the Boost Mobile website.

Boost has a page on their site explaining the new option. It includes the scary graphic above showing how long 10 GB of data will last at various bitrates. According to Boost, at the throttled 600 Kbps rate, which Boost calls SmartStream, 10 GB is good for 37 hours of video. On the other hand, if you are using Enhanced streaming and you manage to find a 12 Mbps stream, your 10 GB will be gone in just 1.9 hours.

By default streaming services like NetFlix and YouTube detect the speed of your connection and adjust the quality to the highest that your connection can support. So enabling EnhancedStream should cause video apps to deliver higher quality video and that will result in higher data consumption.

In reality watching videos on a phone or tablet is unlikely to consume over 5 GB per hour as Boost's graphic suggests. That's because mobile streaming apps can't actually keep a 12 Mbps pipe full. Here are some numbers from mobile broadband provider Karma's blog detailing the estimated data consumption by the NetFlix and YouTube mobile apps:

NetFlix:
  • Low quality: 300 MB/hour
  • Medium quality: 700 MB/hour
  • High quality: 1 GB/hour SD, 2.8 GB HD
By default NetFlix uses the Auto playback quality setting that chooses the highest quality your connection and device can support. But you can choose whether you want NetFlix to use auto, low, medium or high quality by going to your Netflix Your Account setting's My Profile > Playback settings section. The playback quality setting is only available on the NetFlix website and changing the quality settings there applies to all devices. It's not possible to use one setting for your phone and another for a set-top box like a Roku player that's connected to your wired broadband account

YouTube:
  • 240p: 96 MB/hour
  • 360p: 156 MB/hour
  • 480p: 240 MB/hour
  • 720p: 444 MB/hour
  • 1080p: 744 MB/hour
The YouTube app lets you restrict HD (720p) and greater playback to WiFi. Go to Settings > General and check Limit mobile data usage to limit playback to 480p or less on cellular connections.

About the only way to use up 10 GB in less than two hours is by using your phone as a hotspot to drive a PC, Smart TV or Roku player and use it to watch videos in NetFlix's Ultra HD mode which uses  up to 7 GB/hour. The NetFlix mobile apps don't support Ultra HD.

EnhancedStream current only seems to be available to Boost Mobile subscribers. Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid customers' video playback is still throttled to 600 Kbps.

Source Boost Mobile

Related:
Thanks to Net Neutrality, Sprint No Longer Throttling the Top 5% of Users
MetroPCS and Cricket Customers Can Slash Their Payment in Half at Boost Mobile
Prepaid Operator Profile: Boost Mobile

19 comments:

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  1. Pffft! For only 5 more dollars per month you can get truly unlimited data with MetroPCS. Sprint has to make a better offering than what they have in order to make any kind of dent in the marketplace.

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    1. Ssshhhh you know someone is going to say oh the coverage sucks for metro pcs.

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    2. Metro speeds really sucks in my city. I rather have 10gb of high speed (18mbps ave) with Boost than really slow unlimited with Metro.

      Delete
  2. MetroPCS has a $35/mo "truly unlimited" (not throttled) data plan?

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  3. I didn't know Sprint throttled video streaming on it's prepaid brands. I thought Tracfone was the only one with this shady business practice. Are there any more companies that do this?

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  4. "Ssshhhh you know someone is going to say oh the coverage sucks for metro pcs."

    It does. but coverage "sucks" for Sprint also, which makes this comparison actually very solid.

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  5. where is this menu on the boost website, i dont see any menu of " enhanced stream " on boost website in my account

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    Replies
    1. Are you on a current Boost plan? EnhancedStream is not available on grandfathered plans. It's probably on the Plan & Addons tab of My Account.

      Delete
    2. I am on 1/2 rate plan, ported from cricket. I dont see anymenu for " enhanced stream ".

      Delete
  6. This plus the half off plans for Cricket users makes me consider switching. Only problem is having to buy phones. Looks like the Volt 2 is coming out AFTER the switching promotion ends :( Any other phones that they sell really don't interest me (either too expensive or too basic) Looks like I'll stick with Cricket.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully, Cricket will match this soon.

      And at least if you stay and don't to to Boost, won't lose coverage.

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    2. Cricket will not match Boost's offer AT&T likes the profit from Cricket and they will not do a lot of promotions. So customers will pay for the coverage whether they need it or not.

      Delete
    3. I actually mis-read the release date for the Volt 2 to be JULY 29th, but it's June 29th. So it looks like that phone will be out before the half off promotion ends.... hmmm.

      Delete
    4. Cricket has done some great promotions already. I suppose they will do more unless there has been a sudden change.

      "So customers will pay for the coverage whether they need it or not."

      Mostly, compared to any Sprint plan. they end up paying a lot less for a lot more coverage. Which they will find out they "need" if they leave their front yards.

      Delete
  7. Thank goodness in nyc metro pcs works just fine and no need for any other company

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  8. Interesting stuff on bandwidth requirements. I've been wondering how much bandwidth FaceTime Audio on iPhones uses? Specifically, whether it is under 128kbs.

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  9. I'm on a Slash your Plan in Half plan and I don't see anything resembling Enhanced Stream under the Plan & Addons tab of My Account. Customer service, including two supervisors, claim it doesn't exist.
    I would be very grateful if someone could tell me how to deactivate the video throttling. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The page used to be at www.boostmobile.com/enhancedstream/ but Boost took that page down and redirected requests for it to www.boostmobile.com/shop/plans/databoost/
      It appears the enhanced stream option is no longer available.

      Delete
  10. The link in the article points directly to Boost's homepage. I would love to have the correct link so I could point customer service to it.

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