Boost Mobile - $50 for unlimited phone, text, web & PTT

Boost Mobile, a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) running on Sprint's Nextel network, has dropped a mobile pricing bomb. As of January 21, the carrier will offer a $50 per month plan that includes unlimited national calling, text messaging, wireless Web and walkie-talkie services with a national calling area for $50 a month. More interesting perhaps is that the carrier promises that they'll be no hidden fees, no activation fees, and they'll be paying for taxes, wherever you live, out of their own pocket.

Up until now, Boost has been primarily known as the inexpensive but also-ran operator with the fairly annoying hipster ad campaign. But the company hopes this shift on fees could differentiate them from competitors like MetroPCS and Cricket, who they've been battling in the prepaid market.

"Wireless consumers know there s a lot of wrong out there activation fees, overage charges and extra costs for services like voicemail and roaming. Unlike some other prepaid services, our new flat-rate plan will not include any of these charges; what you see is what you get," said Matt Carter, president of Boost Mobile.

Of course you will pay sales tax on the phones and service, as there's no way Boost could get around that. You'll also obviously pay for additional services like GPS or content like ringtones. It's also important to note that the Internet access involved here is sluggish WAP (wireless application protocol) Internet over the iDen network.

Still, a $50, unlimited no contract plan is probably going to appeal to a lot of people, particularly those impacted by the struggling economy. It should be interesting to see if the network can handle the sudden influx of new customers.
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by Ben Pike