Sprint launches competitor to Mobi PCS
A division of Sprint Nextel Corp. is launching a new unlimited flat-rate wireless service here to compete with local carrier Mobi PCS.
Irvine, Calif.-based Boost Mobile today is leaping into the low-cost local and nationwide long distance flat-rate wireless service, stirring up more competition for Mobi, the only local wireless carrier in the state, which prides itself on the same strategy.
The company will match Mobi's "no contracts or credit checks" mantra and is offering one month of free service for new subscribers. Prices for unlimited talk are set at $35, $40 for unlimited talk and text messaging and $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web access with no activation fees. By comparison, Mobi offers similar services for $46, $50 and $55 per month, respectively.
The service will run on Sprint's network statewide with a fixed monthly price for calling from within large areas of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.
The company entered the Hawaii market in 2005 with traditional pay-by-minute prepaid service. As of Dec. 31, Boost Mobile had 4.6 million customers nationwide.
Hawaii residents can opt to expand their home calling area to include Northern California, Southern California and Las Vegas for an additional $5 per month. Roaming outside the home area costs 15 cents a minute.
"This will be similar to Mobi, but more affordable and the coverage area will be much greater," said Andy Colley, Boost's public relations director.
Renee Awana, Mobi vice president of marketing, said that in just over two years, Mobi has secured tens of thousands of Hawaii customers and has more than 11 retail locations and 70 dealers statewide.
Awana wouldn't say whether Mobi would match the new rival's pricing, but added that it would continue to offer value to customers.
"While many other carriers now offer unlimited versions of wireless service, Mobi's key strengths remain our local focus and commitment to Hawaii," Awana said.
The other major carriers this week announcing unlimited plans for $99 per month include Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. However, those plans differ from Mobi or Boost in that customers are still required to be on a traditional contract.
The new service by Boost is available at about 50 wireless dealer retail locations and Sprint and Radio Shack stores in Hawaii.