Boost Mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that serves the United States. Targeted squarely at the younger demographic interested in hip hop music, baggy jeans, and the like, Boost Mobile may not feature as prominently in people's minds when it comes to choosing a cellular service provider as Cingular or Verizon, but it is still a very viable option, especially for those of you who are fans of real-time chat via the innovative Push-to-Talk walkie-talkie service?
Boost Mobile Walkie-Talkie: Where You At?
Boost Mobile's tag line is "Where You At?", reminding people that the company's biggest selling point is its walkie-talkie service (sometimes referred to as "Chirp"). Boost Mobile operates on the Sprint-Nextel network, more specifically making use of the iDEN technology implemented by Nextel. As iDEN was developed and marketed by Motorola, each and every one of Boost Mobile's iDEN phones is produced by the big M. The company has also expanded to use conventional CDMA phones too.
While the Nextel walkie-talkie service is marketed at corporate business users who need to keep in touch with their entire team at the same time (the group-based walkie-talkie service features quite prominently on the hit television series The Apprentice with Donald Trump), Boost Mobile is much more youth-oriented, and as such, their slogan is very "hip" sounding: "Where You At?" Friends can keep in touch all across the city, better organizing meets at the skate park, movie theatre, shopping mall, or wherever their lives may lead them.
Unlike the Family Radio Service (FRS)-based walkie-talkies which connect directly with one another, the Boost Mobile walkie-talkie service operates over a cellular network. It is still a "half-duplex" system, in which only one person can transmit at a time while several other people can listen, but what this means is that the individuals involved do not need to be physically close to one another.
Cell Phones Offered
At this time, Boost Mobile offers several different handsets. All of the iDEN phones (with the PTT walkie-talkie service) are manufactured by Motorola, but the CDMA phones come from several different companies.
Here is a brief run-down of some of their currently available cell phones:
- Motorola i570 is a rugged flip phone with full PTT capabilities. In this way, it's a good fit for construction workers and other people who need a tougher handset. Expect comfortable controls, good call quality, and a small external display.
- BlackBerry 8330 is an entry-level smartphone from Research in Motion. This BlackBerry Curve has a full QWERTY keyboard, trackball navigation, integrated 2.0-megapixel camera, and built-in BlackBerry Maps.
- Sanyo Incognito combines two form factors in one! In its closed form, it looks like a regular candybar phone, but it can open like a book to reveal a secondary display and a QWERTY keyboard. The touch pad interface is quite unique as well.
Boost Mobile Cell Plans
Boost Mobile offers its plans without contracts, using a "dependable nationwide network." There are three different plan options at the time this article was written, but check with your local Boost retailer for the most current information.
- Monthly Unlimited: Want a simple plan where you don't have to worry about overages. The $50 a month "unlimited" plan may best suit your needs. As its name implies, this price plan offers unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited web for a single price.
- Minute Pay As You Go: Does your usage change from month to month? Maybe you want to save some money by keeping your calling to a minimum? Then the prepaid option is perhaps a better fit. With Pay As You Go, you are charged 10 cents per minute of talk. Text messages, both sent and received, are also charged at 10 cents each.
- BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited: Since BlackBerry devices offer more functionality than standard phones, the unlimited plan from Boost for BlackBerry devices is a little more expensive. At $60 a month, this plan includes unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited web, as well as unlimited email.