The new Boost Mobile network, called Boost Infinite, will launch this fall and a source within the company tells us we expect prices to be “materially lower than the big 3”, indicating that the new network will try to hurt Verizon, AT&T and T Mobile.
The company has made no official comment on pricing or launch, except to reiterate that an announcement and offer will come in the fall. The new network, owned by satellite provider Dish Network, has launched a website (opens in new tab) to collect information from interested potential customers.
Dish Network acquired the Boost Mobile brand along with part of the network’s wireless spectrum as part of a multilateral agreement during the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. As part of the deal, Dish is expected to open Boost to new business by “mid-2022”. The network will work on a combination of AT&T and T-Mobile network with the help of Dish Network’s own wireless spectrum. Dish has already demonstrated its networking capabilities in Las Vegas, where operates a 5G network.
The Dish Network version of Boost Mobile has seen a number of setbacks since the project’s inception. Dish had always planned on migrating Boost to their new technology, from the old network that Sprint was using to run the brand. While this was happening, the new T-Mobile/Sprint shut down the older network sooner than Dish predicted.
In addition to the new network backbone, Dish indicated that it has some new ideas on how to sell wireless plans. There have been indications that users who pay monthly for data may be credited in some way for data they do not use. Executives used terms like “Web 3.0” and “digital currency”, leading our friends from The Verge to complete (opens in new tab) that Boost will credit you with cryptocurrency in some way. This sounds more like executives pitching bizarre ideas to garner publicity, but let’s wait and see how the actual plans work out.
Analysis: Hungry for competition
In addition to the excitement of the new technology, it will be refreshing for the US market to once again see competition from a fourth wireless carrier. There is little differentiation between pricing and contract options across US mobile operators, and prices are often excessive. It’s a relief to hear a Dish executive even discreetly declare that Dish’s Boost Mobile will compete on price.
I’m also interested in hearing new ideas on how to handle pricing and customer data, even if those ideas seem strange for now. Is it foolish for an operator executive to suggest paying subscribers back with cryptocurrency? Well let me see the encryption first. If Boost wants to sell me an NFT of my next Samsung Galaxy phone, I’ll pass.
What is not silly is respecting customers who pay for unlimited data. At the moment, when a carrier talks about the Unlimited service, they casually leave out the inevitable limitations. At T-Mobile, I’m unlimited until I’m no more, and then the 5G part of my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G becomes useless when T-Mobile strangles me. It’s refreshing to hear an operator talk about giving back to unlimited subscribers rather than taking away.