Boost Mobile has officially announced the forthcoming implementation of a new throttling policy ahead of the expected announcement and launch of its first 4G LTE smartphones next month. The new policy, which goes into effect on January 20th consists of the following rules and mirrors the current policy in place on Virgin Mobile for dual-mode smartphones:
Starting on or about 1/20/13, Monthly Unlimited plans will offer 2.5GB/month of full speed network data but will slow to 3G speeds of 256kbps for continued data use after 2.5GB. Customers that go over the 2.5GB threshold may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media. Data speeds will restore to full 3G/4G speeds when a customer’s new monthly plan begins.
The new policy is expected to coincide with the launch of the forthcoming ZTE Aurora and HTC Kingdom II smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, which would make them the first Boost Mobile smartphones with LTE support, following the rollout of WiMax-enabled smartphones earlier this year on the prepaid service. Both phones are expected to be announced during CES next month.
With Sprint looking to speed up LTE adoption in order to drive usage and revenue, pushing LTE towards prepaid so quickly is seen as the best way to drive customer usage outside of more expensive post paid agreements.
Despite the push for LTE on pre-paid, Sprint has yet to formally confirm its plans for the aforementioned devices and how it will handle current customers still on WiMax smartphones, as prepaid smartphones with WiMax access are only a few months old in terms of availability and many customers are now wary about the status of the current WiMax network in terms of availability as Sprint rushes to roll out LTE, leaving WiMax as an also ran.
However, Sprint still has to address the lagging availability of LTE access compared to AT&T and Verizon despite rolling out new markets and cities as quickly as possible, and the Clearwire purchase is key to that, owing to the beleaguered ISP’s money and network buildout issues, issues that may be addressed with the preliminary approval for Clearwire to be completely purchased by Sprint, with the purchase expected to be complete in the middle of next year.