With Sprint pushing hard to shore up subscriber numbers, one of the main ways it’s been doing so is by allowing new virtual operators onto its network within the past 18 months, which has given rise to such brands as Ting, Voyager Mobile and Prepayd Wireless along with older brands such as Kajeet.
Now, the carrier’s own Prepaid Group looks set to unveil what it first allowed with MVNOs recently, with Boost Mobile officially supporting BYOSD service within the next few weeks. Third-party and exclusive dealers are being instructed on the now official offering, after years of using backdoor methods to activate Sprint-branded devices on the service. Officially, the service will support 15 Sprint phones and devices, but which specific models are being allowed is being kept under wraps, most likely to avoid a rush of defections from Sprint postpaid to Boost Mobile.
What can be confirmed at the moment is that the current rules for BYOSD on MVNOs will apply to Boost Mobile’s own roll out, such as no iPhone as well as limiting select BlackBerry models from activation, as Boost Mobile carriers its own branded BlackBerry hardware. Currently, there is no official timeframe for launch, but it is expected to launch before the end of the calendar year and in time for the holiday season rush.
As for the terms and conditions, that’s where things get cloudy and spell out Sprint’s own arbitrary limitations being put into place for the program:
Activation may require payment of activation fee. Only select non-Boost branded or configured devices are eligible for activation. Service limitations: Only voice, data, and SMS text messaging services are available while activated on Boost; other services including but not limited to MMS and/or other non-Boost specific or configured applications may not function or be available. Other restrictions and exclusions apply. See store representative or in-store materials for details.
With Sprint finally making BYOD official on Boost Mobile after years of backdoor device activation by third-party dealers, will the official support actually make a difference in subscribers, or will it be limited to the same crowd that spearheaded the practice to begin with?