One prepaid Boost Mobile store promotes upcoming postpaid Boost Infinite brand

One prepaid Boost Mobile store promotes upcoming postpaid Boost Infinite brand
Back in December, Dish Network introduced a limited beta of its Boost Infinite service. This is a postpaid plan that charged an "exclusive early access" price of $25 per line per month for Unlimited talk, text, and data for life. During any billing cycle, subscribers exceeding 30GB of data consumption could have their data speeds reduced and there are no perks or additional services that are part of this plan. After some delays, Dish has said that Boost Infinite will be up and running later this year.

Dish wants its Boost Infinite service to work with the Apple iPhone

As we mentioned the other day, Dish has yet to secure the availability of the iPhone for Boost Infinite and Dish's 5G network that the service will employ. Yes, Boost Mobile sells the iPhone but Boost Infinite will use Dish Network's stand-alone (SA) 5G network (more on this later).

Dish Chairman Charles Ergen has said that the iPhone has a huge market share in the U.S. and that it would be difficult to run a profitable postpaid business in the States without offering the iPhone. Ergen, Dish Network's chairman, has admitted that Dish hasn't been as aggressive in marketing Boost since it knows that the economics of the business will pick up when it can offer Boost customers its own 5G network and postpaid plans.

That's the difference between the two Boost brands. Boost Mobile is a prepaid provider with subscribers paying for service in advance. Typically there is no contract and prepaid subscribers can come and go explaining the sectors high churn rate. Postpaid, which is what Boost Infinite will offer, locks consumers in with a contract often tied to the financing of a new phone. Postpaid subscribers use the wireless service first and pay later.

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 sell Boost Infinite in one Boost Mobile store as a store-within-a-store concept." Wave7 Principal Jeff Moore says that he has been told by sources that a broader launch will be taking place in the coming months.

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Moore also pointed out that prepaid and postpaid wireless services thrive in different neighborhoods. In blue-collar areas, prepaid plans do well while in more monied regions postpaid plans are more in demand. Moore feels that the Boost name, synonymous with prepaid service for years, should not be used for a postpaid service like Boost Infinite. "In my opinion," he stated, "Boost Infinite needs a presence in higher-end neighborhoods with a totally separate brand and I would leave Boost out of it, but it’s not my decision."

Moore added that for branding "you really need 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 several brands thanks to its purchase of TracFone. Sprint had kept its prepaid Boost Mobile service separate from its Sprint postpaid offerings. "Some degrees of separation there, I think, are 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 take on high-end retailer Nordstrom, "you could call it Kmart Elite and try to compete with Nordstrom, but that would be a horrible idea. If it were me, I’d go with 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 dealer locations and is already sold through Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. The Wall Street Journal also reported yesterday that Dish is in talks with Amazon to sell wireless plans through the online retailer. Still, a Dish spokesman told the Journal that it does "not have any type of distribution plan or partnership with Amazon at this time."

Dish currently has about 8 million wireless subscribers, mostly prepaid subscribers who are Boost Mobile customers. That is down 7% from the 8.6 million subscribers Dish had a year before. Those subscribers use AT&T and T-Mobile's wireless networks through the Boost Mobile name. For Boost Infinite, Dish is building a stand-alone (SA) 5G network that uses a 5G core. That compares to other 5G networks that rely on a 4G LTE core since the 5G technology was built over an existing LTE network.

In the U.S., only T-Mobile is currently using a completed stand-alone 5G network. Such networks are cheaper for carriers to run but most importantly, they deliver better experiences and faster data speeds for consumers.

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