Boost Mobile has announced it’s own phone – called the Celero5G – and when customers purchase it (for $279) it will include a year of free service.
Boost has been losing subscribers every quarter since Dish took over, not to mention all the (legal) issues between Dish and former parent T-Mobile. And then there’s the 3G network issue, which is still scheduled to end in about 3 months. (According to EVP Stephen Stokols, there are still “millions” of 3G customers.)
So, you can understand an aggressive pre-order promotion, which helps both existing and new users. The new phone costs $279, but any pre-order between now and Oct. 31 comes with 12 months of Boost’s $50 unlimited plan, which would be worth $600.
The phone will be available at retail “later this fall,” the company says.
The Celero uses a MediaTek chipset, Stokols says, and it has a 6.52-inch screen, four cameras, a 4,000mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
Boost has had phone issues since LG pulled out of the phone market. LG was a major Boost supplier and then the chipset shortage didn’t help. Boost hasn’t been able to get enough phones to supply its customers, and has pushed BYOD.
“It’s been tough to get enough devices to meet demand,” Stokols says. “Over half of [Boost’s] phones were coming from LG. Coupled with the chip shortage, we haven’t been able to meet organic demand.”
Not to mention that many of the phones it is getting in stock do not support Dish’s new network bands. The first batch of Celero devices work on T-Mobile’s network, but future batches will also work on AT&T’s and Dish’s networks, Stokols says.
By ordering its own phones, “it gives us a lot more leverage,” he says. “We can control the quantities more because it’s us ordering them in big volumes; you’re not beholden to an OEM who’s serving multiple masters.”
Custom phones such as the Celero5G will let Boost slide its customers between T-Mobile, AT&T, and Dish’s networks, although that’s going to be a long process.
“For three to five years, [we are] probably having all three networks,” Stokols says. “Then in eight to nine years, they’ll be all on our network. [Before then] the plan is not to get off T-Mobile altogether; they’ve got a good network.”
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