Over the last year, the Boost Mobile brand has become known to be synonymous with change. Since being taken over by DISH, Boost Mobile can't seem to go more than a few months without making some sort of major alterations. In mid-2020, fresh off its takeover by DISH, Boost Mobile's truly unlimited high-speed data plans were eliminated and replaced by flagship plans containing just 35GB of high-speed data before throttling to 2G data speeds. With that change, Boost Mobile also announced that it would be releasing a new customer loyalty plan called Shrink-It. The Shrink-It plan was priced out of the gate at $45/month for 15GB of high-speed data but after 3-months of on-time payments the plan price dropped to $40/month, and after 6-months the price of the plan dropped to $35. The Shrink-It plan lasted just under one year. Boost elected to discontinue Shrink-It in June of 2021.
In August of 2020, DISH announced that it had purchased Ting's assets including its customer base from Tucows. And late in the third quarter of 2020, DISH appointed Stephen Stokols, the founder of Freedompop, to be Boost Mobile's Executive Vice President. Stokols promised major changes ahead and to work to make Boost Mobile a disruptor brand.
The year 2021 has indeed seen a flurry of changes from Boost Mobile. Last month, BestMVNO reported that Boost Mobile was bringing back taxes and fees, and discontinuing its $10 plan with 1GB of data. The frequently asked questions portion of Boost Mobile's website was updated at that time to say taxes and fees would cost extra with plans. Boost Mobile later rescinded that and the FAQs once again say taxes and fees are included with all plans.
A few months back, Boost Mobile also announced a partnership with DraftKings. The relationship allows Boost Mobile subscribers to bet on sports in select Boost Mobile stores in states where that's legal and to play fantasy sports.
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In May, DISH issued a press release stating that Boost Mobile would soon offer telehealth services through a partnership with K Health. Boost's $60 flagship 35GB plan now includes the service, and subscribers on other plans can add it to their plans for $7.99/month.
As of June 1st, Boost Mobile discontinued new activations on the Sprint network, making T-Mobile the only option for new customers. But that brings us to Boost's latest change. Just days ago, DISH announced that it signed an agreement with AT&T to make AT&T the primary network service partner for DISH MVNO customers including Boost Mobile. A recent prepaid report issued by the firm Wave7 Research states that the new relationship with AT&T was formed to eventually replace T-Mobile as a network partner, not supplement that relationship. Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research notes that DISH is currently sending out "sampler platters" to customers consisting of a mix of AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH SIMs while many customers still remain on the Sprint network.
Upcoming headline: Dish and @boostmobile send out a SIM sampler platter. Mix of @ATT, @TMobile, and @dish, with a hint of Sprint. This works okay for sampling different kinds of cheese, but will cause confusion for customers and for reps. https://t.co/esJcLbAqGp
— Jeff Moore (@wave7jeff) July 19, 2021
Data Only Hotspot Plan Returns
Last year, Boost Mobile discontinued its data only hotspot plan. However, the plan was brought back in stores for select customers in May of 2021 to take advantage of the government's EBB program which is designed to help low-income families stay connected with free wireless internet service. Wave7 Research observed in early July, Boost Mobile brought the plan back making it available to anyone who wants it and it is now highlighted on Boost Mobile's website. The hotspot plan costs $50/month for 35GB of high-speed data. It requires the purchase of a $49.99 Coolpad Stream hotspot that allows up to 15 devices to connect to it at a time.
Boost Re-entering Target Stores?
Moore says that bigger changes are still ahead for Boost Mobile. His research firm notes that DISH is likely to relaunch Boost Mobile at Target stores and is also considering launching at Kroger stores. While refill cards are still available for purchase at Target, Boost Mobile stopped selling its branded phones at the store in 2018.
“Boost is going through its adolescence. There is massive change. It is easy to forecast near-term turbulence. It remains to be seen what Boost will look like once maturity is reached. Like any adolescence, Boost could go either way.” --Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research
Wave7 Research also notes that with all the changes at Boost Mobile, the company has opted to halt all TV advertising. Boost Mobile has not aired a TV commercial since April.