Boost Mobile is ratcheting up the prepaid wars, saying customers can save up to $695 a year by switching to its $50 unlimited monthly plan when compared with T-Mobile’s $99.99/month prepaid unlimited plan.
Boost goes further to say customers can save up to $42 a year compared to Cricket’s $45 unlimited regional plan and up to $144 per year compared with MetroPCS’ $45 per month unlimited nationwide plan.
Boost’s price comparisons are significant as competition heats up among no-contract carriers. Last week, it was widely reported that nationwide carrier T-Mobile USA is testing a $50 prepaid unlimited calling plan in San Francisco. T-Mobile added more prepaid customers in the fourth quarter than postpaid.
Meanwhile, Boost, a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, continues to update its ad campaign entitled, “Unwronged,” aimed at attracting postpaid customers, but some wonder whether it will succeed in broadening the carrier’s customer base. The TV spots for the campaign depict situations that people would consider “wrong” and suggest the Boost Unlimited plan as a way for customer to get “unwronged.”
The new edgy TV spots are geared toward Boost’s usual youthful customer base and highlight the additional fees and taxes included on monthly postpaid bills. Boost’s $50 unlimited plan includes unlimited talk, text, Web and walkie-talkie services with no “hidden charges.”
The underlying message of “Unwronged” is that with Boost Mobile, consumers will not be subject to hidden fees, shoddy networks, credit checks, contracts or flimsy handsets, states the company’s Web site.
While the new ads are aggressive and might signal Sprint’s renewed emphasis on its prepaid division, the spots look very different than your conventional postpaid ads. Walter Piecyk, analyst at Pali Research, wonders whether the ads will connect with a more diverse customer base. “The question is whether [Boost] will expand their marketing to a broader base in a way that may be inconsistent with the current brand?” he says.
Piecyk says that on the whole, the prepaid market looks strong and noted that he is interested to see how Boost manages its image as an increasing number of customers, young and old, seek better value and predictability in their monthly cell phone bills.