Boost Mobile is a wireless telecommunications brand that was formed in 2000, by an Australian entrepreneur. The prepaid wireless service currently operates in Australia and the United States under the Spring network. It is considered a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) because Boost Mobile does not have its own network, but rather borrows Sprint’s signal.
While prepaid plans can save you a ton of money, especially if you use your cell phone infrequently, MVNO’s are not considered as reliable as major carriers and also have limited data. This especially applies to Boost Mobile since it operates off Sprint, which is considered by many to have the weakest coverage of the “Big Four” (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile).
Boost Mobile is marketed as a “pay as you go” wireless service. Unlike major networks that require a contract with harsh penalties if you back out of the agreement early, Boost Mobile has no obligations. It is also far cheaper than major carriers as you will pay a fraction of what you would compared to Verizon or AT&T.
For a “budget” provider Boost Mobile has a surprisingly quality lineup of phones including a series of iPhones and Androids to select from. You can also get a outstanding deal on pre-owned phones. Phone financing is available for loyal customers through the BoostUp program.
The steps to get established with Boost Mobile is rather painless. Customers shop for a new or pre-owned phone, or have the option of using an existing phone and switching to Boost Mobile. Once you have a phone, customers may select from a variety of plans depending on if you need a single or multiple lines. Once the phone and SIM kit arrives in the mail, Boost Mobile provides the steps to activate your phone.
Boost Mobile advertises that it covers 99 percent of the United States with voice roaming. However, Sprint (the network Boost Mobile uses) has routinely performed the worst in terms of speed and reliability in performance metrics published by RootMetrics, Ookla, Tom’s Guide and OpenSignal.
One excellent feature of Boost Mobile is that it offers unlimited music streaming on the most popular apps such as Pandora, Spotify and iHeart Radio. If you like to use your phone as your primary music listening device, this is a great value.
While Sprint and Boost Mobile technically use the same network, users of Boost Mobile will pay half the cost compared to Sprint’s Unlimited Premium plan. However, those numbers are a little convoluted as Sprint’s budget option — their Basic Unlimited plan — is actually slightly cheaper than Boost Mobile’s $35 p/ month deal.
So what’s the catch? Boost Mobile provides twice as much hotspot data, yet everything else is essentially the same as Sprint’s budget option. However, with Boost Mobile your data is going to get depriorizited when competing with Sprint users in the same area. What that means is you should brace for slower speeds when you are in rural or busy public places where multiple individuals are competing for service.
The $35 p/ month plan is the cheapest Boost Mobile has to offer with 3GB of 4G LTE. Customers may bump up to unlimited data, talk and text for a reasonable $50 p/ month with unlimited gigs and 8GB hotspot. Boost Mobile delivers $20 in savings each month when you add another line to any unlimited plan. HD video streaming is also available for an extra cost.
Boost Mobile makes a lot of sense if you do not plan on using a lot of data. Their basic, $35 p/ month plan is of good value, with unlimited talk and text as well as 3GB of data. Combined with the unlimited music streaming service and it provides users who use their phones infrequently to moderately with a viable option.
The base plan is $5 more than MetroPCS’ cheapest plan, yet has more features than its pay as you go competitor. They also provide above average customer service and lots of deals on new or pre-owned phones to save extra cash.
At times it feels like Boost Mobile hasn’t made up its mind in what it wants to be. The company advertises itself as being a budget option yet their basic plan is actually slightly more than what Sprint offers with their cheapest option.
When you consider that it’s an MVNO that will take second fiddle to Sprint users in the same coverage area, not to mention that Sprint is already regarded as slower than AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in key performance metrics — and you got a good, but not great value.
As long as you don’t need the fastest performance, Boost Mobile is still a good middle of the road phone plan. It is not outrageously priced, and for what you pay you also get a fair number of features including a ton of hotspot gigs as well as unlimited music streaming.