It was only last year that many of the major U.S. mobile phone service providers eventually settled on a rate of $99.99 per month for unlimited, nationwide voice calls. This has been a boon for heavy users of mobile phones as it has brought down the cost of their monthly phone bills. But folks who also use their phones for data access usually have to pay an additional fee for that service. A few smaller service providers, such as MetroPCS and Cricket, are able to undercut the big companies by offering nationwide, unlimited voice calls at about half of what the major providers charge; but unless you live in and plan to use your phone in one of the very limited areas that MetroPCS and Cricket have coverage in, these less expensive plans will be of no use to you.
Heavy mobile phone users in search of a bargain need not despair, however, as Boost Mobile is gearing up to offer its own pre-paid, unlimited, nationwide calling plan for only $50 per month. And unlike MetroPCS and Cricket, Boost Mobile has a much wider availability as it uses Sprint's Nextel National Network, which Boost Mobile claims is supported in 15,800 U.S. cities (Boost Mobile is owned by Sprint).
Not only does Boost Mobile's new calling plan offer unlimited nationwide calling, but the $50 per month fee also includes unlimited nationwide texting, data, and even walkie-talkie service. As it will be a pre-paid service, there is no contract and there are no sign-up fees. Boost Mobile currently offers an unlimited calling plan for $50, but this plan does not include unlimited text or data, which are extra. Additionally, Boost Mobile's current unlimited plan uses Boost's CDMA network, which has a much smaller coverage area than its iDEN-based Nextel network. Boost Mobile has stated that it will continue to support those customers who choose to remain on the older, CDMA-based, unlimited plan.
The new plan officially kicks off on January 22, and customers can sign up online, over the phone, or by going to a Boost Mobile store. Current Boost Mobile customers can transfer their service over to the new plan as well; but might they might need to purchase a new phone if the one they currently have isn't compatible with the Nextel network.
This plan might be a potential boon to heavy mobile-phone users who are looking to save some money. It also might be the shot in the arm Sprint needs as well to help bring its sagging revenues back up--Sprint has been steadily losing customers to its competitors, such as Verizon and AT&T, recently. Then there is also the issue of quality of service. In our experience, we have found that the quality of a mobile phone service differs from region to region. Just because your phone works great in San Francisco, is no guarantee that it will work well in New York. Before switching any mobile phone provider it is wise to do some research on what other customers in the regions you plan to use your phone have to say about the quality of service.