A prepaid Boost Mobile store promotes the upcoming Boost Infinite postpaid brand
In December, Dish Network introduced a limited beta version of its Boost Infinite service. This is a postpaid plan that charged an “exclusive early access” price of $25 per line per month for lifetime unlimited calls, texts and data. During any billing cycle, subscribers exceeding 30 GB of data usage may see their data speeds reduced and there are no additional benefits or services that are part of this plan. After some delays, Dish said Boost Infinite will go live later this year.
Dish wants its Boost Infinite service to work with Apple’s iPhone
Dish President Charles Ergen said the iPhone has a huge market share in the United States and it would be difficult to run a profitable postpaid business in the United States without offering the iPhone. Ergen, president of Dish Network, admitted that Dish hasn’t been as aggressive in marketing Boost because he knows the company’s economy will pick up when it can offer Boost customers its own 5G network and postpaid plans.
This is the difference between the two Boost brands. Boost Mobile is a prepaid provider with subscribers paying for the service in advance. Typically, there are no contracts and prepaid subscribers can come and go, explaining the high churn rate in the industry. Postpaid, which Boost Infinite will offer, locks consumers in with a contract often tied to financing a new phone. Postpaid subscribers use wireless service first and pay later.
Boost Mobile in Aurora, Colorado promotes Boost Infinite. Image Credit Wave7 Research
According to Fierce Wireless, analysts working for Wave7 Research recently spotted a Boost Infinite display at a Boost Mobile store in Aurora, Colorado. The service is being sold there on a trial basis, and a Dish spokesperson said, “Currently, we are selling Boost Infinite in a Boost Mobile store as a store-in-store concept.” Wave7 director Jeff Moore said sources have told him a wider launch will take place in the coming months.
Moore also pointed out that prepaid and postpaid wireless services are thriving in different neighborhoods. In blue-collar areas, prepaid plans work well, while in more affluent areas, postpaid plans are more in demand. Moore believes the Boost name, which has been synonymous with prepaid service for years, shouldn’t be used for a postpaid service like Boost Infinite. “In my opinion,” he said, “Boost Infinite needs a presence in high-end neighborhoods with a totally separate brand and I would leave Boost out of that, but that’s not my decision. .”
Moore added that for branding “you really have to separate the postpaid brand from the prepaid brand.” He pointed out that AT&T has Cricket for prepaid subscribers, T-Mobile has Metro by T-Mobile for prepaid customers, and Verizon has multiple brands through its purchase of TracFone. Sprint had separated its Boost Mobile prepaid service from its Sprint postpaid offerings. “Some degrees of separation there, I think, is important,” Moore said.
Dish adds two more retail partners for Boost Mobile
Comparing Dish Network’s naming plan with retail stores, Moore said that if Kmart wanted to go after high-end retailer Nordstrom, “you could call it Kmart Elite and try to compete with Nordstrom, but that would be horrible idea. If it was me, I would choose Dish Wireless as my postpaid brand and not Boost Infinite, but [they] didn’t ask me.”
Earlier this week, Dish added two new retail partners for Boost Mobile, Dollar General and Kroger, which adds 20,000 new doors for Boost. The brand has 4,500 outlets and is already sold through Walmart, Target and Best Buy. The Wall Street Journal also reported yesterday that Dish was in talks with Amazon to sell wireless plans through the online retailer. Still, a spokesperson for Dish told the Journal that it “doesn’t have any type of distribution plan or partnership with Amazon at this time.” Dish currently has around 8 million wireless subscribers, mostly prepaid subscribers who are Boost Mobile customers. That’s a 7% drop from the 8.6 million subscribers Dish had a year prior. These subscribers use the wireless networks of AT&T and T-Mobile under the name Boost Mobile. For Boost Infinite, Dish is building a standalone 5G network (SA) that uses a 5G core. This compares to other 5G networks that rely on a 4G LTE core since 5G technology was built on top of an existing LTE network.
In the United States, only T-Mobile currently uses a full standalone 5G network. These networks are cheaper for carriers to operate, but more importantly, they deliver better experiences and faster data speeds for consumers.