Home - , , , - Boost Mobile Enables Free Domestic Roaming on More Phones

Boost Mobile Enables Free Domestic Roaming on More Phones

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In January, Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid brand began offering customers who purchased select phones at Walmart 50 minutes of no extra cost domestic voice roaming per month. Boost has now extended the free roaming perk to users whose phones did not come from Walmart.

Unfortunately, roaming is still limited to customers with specific phones and plans. To use roaming you must be using one of the following phones;

ALCATEL ONETOUCH Fling, ALCATEL ONETOUCH Conquest, ALCATEL ONETOUCH Elevate, HTC Desire 626s, Huawei Union, LG G Stylo, LG Tribute 2, LG Tribute 5, LG Volt 2, LG Tribute 2, Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE, Samsung Galaxy J3, ZTE Speed and ZTE Prestige.

I'm surprised that none of Boost's flagship phones like the iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6 are allowed to roam. The flagships are offered on Sprint's postpaid plans which include roaming so they clearly have the hardware and software needed to roam. The lack of roaming support foe them on Boost seems to be an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction that's likely to annoy some of Boost's best customers.

In addition to the phone requirement you must also be on one of Boost's current monthly plans:

  • $35/month 2 GB Growing Data Plan
  • $45/month 5 GB Growing Data Plan
  • $60/month Unlimited Plan
  • $35 Monthly Family plan with 1.5GB High Speed Data
  • $45 Monthly Family Plan with 5GB High Speed Data 
Only voice and text roaming is included, data and SMS and MMS messaging are is not available while roaming. I'm surprised by the lack of text roaming. SMS uses very little bandwidth and reportedly costs carriers next to nothing. Boost competitors T-Mobile Prepaid, MetroPCS, Verizon Prepaid and PagePlus include unlimited SMS text roaming with all plans.

Update 3/9/15: According to a Boost Mobile spokesperson, unlimited SMS and MMS roaming is included provided the customer has not used up their 50 minutes of voice roaming in the current month.

In other Boost Mobile news, the $2 and $3 Boost Daily Plans have been discontinued. These plans were targeted at customers who were too broke to pay for a full month of service on their plan expiration date. Customers could visit a Boost Store and restore their service for a few days using what little cash they had. It was a lousy deal. The $2 plan was only available with feature phones and the $3 plan, which offered the same unlimited talk, text and data as the $60/month plan, for $90/month was basically a 50% tax on the poor. Customers currently on a daily plan are grandfathered can stay on it indefinitely but daily plans can no longer be switched to or activated. 

In place of the daily plans, Boost is now giving monthly plan users who miss a plan payment up to 60 days of free incoming calls and texts.

Source: Boost Mobile

18 comments:

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  1. Too bad Boost won't let you BYOP. I'd sure like to try out the $60 plan with my Nexus 6, but I can't.

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    1. Go to a Boost store and ask. They fund a way for the sign up commission if your phone has the bands....

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  2. Boost does seem to be going out of its way to discourage people from joining it, Mark (just like with all those deals you can only get by going to the very rare and hardly open Boost stores, instead of online anywhere 24/7).

    And once you go through all those hurdles put in place to harass and discourage new customers.... what do you get for your effort? The fourth-place network, only half as good as AT&T and Verizon, and definitely running behind even T-Mobile these days. Occasional coverage in a sea of 0 bars.

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    1. I'll be honest, where I leave, Boost Network is superior to T-Mobile. AT&T is slightly better, but Much more expensive. And Boost stores in my market are open (usually) Till 7 or 8pm.

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  3. The statement about people being broke or poor was harsh. I'm not a boost subscriber but those plans worked for some people Who aren't able to afford higher plans like we can.

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  4. According to an email I received from Boost customer support, SMS is included with roaming:

    "Please be advised that roaming service includes:

    - 50 minutes of domestic voice roaming per month
    - Texting to domestic locations
    - SMS texting
    - Voicemail - you may check your voicemail while roaming; however,voicemail message will not be delivered. These types of notifications require data roaming which is not available.

    However, the following services are NOT available while roaming:

    - International texts
    - MMS
    - Data roaming
    - Data Roaming add-ons
    - Domestic Roaming and International Roaming are not compatible at this
    time.
    - Customers with a plan that includes domestic roaming will not be able to add an international roaming bolt-on. You must switch to a plan that is compatible.
    - Star (*) and pound (#) key dialing
    - AIRAVE device coverage

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  5. Who cares Sprint?

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  6. The CS response contradicts Boost own Domestic Roaming support page, Domestic Roaming | Boost Mobile which says:
    "Q. Can I call, text and surf the web when I’m roaming?"
    "A. Select Boost Mobile monthly plans automatically include 50 minutes of domestic voice minutes while roaming each month. Domestic text (SMS) and data roaming is not provided; neither is international roaming."

    I guess we won't really know if roaming texts work or not until someone tries it!

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    1. Mine will start on the 16th, so I'll let you know. I was unable to upgrade my plan ($35) online (for the next billing cycle), even though they say you can. I had to contact support and they set it up within 24hrs. This could just be because it's new and the website hasn't caught up yet.

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  7. I'm unclear about Boost's BYOP policy. Does anyone know where I can find a complete list of phones Boost will activate?

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  8. https://www.boostmobile.com/#!/support/faq/phones-devices/activate-a-sprint-phone/

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  9. Hi, this is Danielle from Boost Mobile. I wanted to clarify one point in the article… SMS and MMS messaging is available and unlimited while roaming but only for the duration of the time the customer has the 50 minutes of domestic voice roaming.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Danielle, I've updated the post to reflect the availability of SMS and MMS while roaming.

      FYI, the Domestic Roaming FAQ on the Boost site still states that "Domestic text (SMS) and data roaming is not provided..."

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    2. Just confirming SMS does work while roaming. Their Roaming FAQ is still incorrect, including the part where they say "The symbol for roaming is the same for all devices – it’s a triangle symbol next to the signal strength icon on the top of your device and it will appear while you are roaming." On the Stylo, the symbol is an "R" next to the signal strength icon.

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  10. I hope Boost continues to offer these new plans and features. I have the LG Stylo, $25/month after auto-pay and Boost dealz, includes 2GB data (growing to 5GB after 18 months), unlimited music/radio streaming, free hotspot, and now limited Verizon roaming. Boost dealz is a little annoying, but not too bad.
    Luckily I have Spring Spark in my area so it's very fast LTE.

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  11. Got a in service Sprint Galaxy S3 onto Boost 2 weeks ago in a Boost store in NY. Took 20 minutes.
    Now $30 / month w auto pay for 2 GB LTE.
    every 3 months data increases .5 GB until in 18 mos it is 5 GB.
    My friend was paying over $70 month w Sprint.
    Same network and LTE.

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  12. Danielle I appreciate Boost providing information to the forums. Could you pass on to the powers that be the huge demand from potential Boost customers wanting to bring Sprint and Sprint compatible phones to Boost. For example, Nexus phones etc.

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  13. So if you're on the family plans you wouldn't be allowed roaming? To not allow roaming on their new family plans especially as limited as this is- would look to be a good way to lose (or never gain) multiple lines at once. Why would BOOST deny roaming on any plan?

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