Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
2 min read

Editor's note: Because evaluating wireless coverage requires experience with the network in a wide variety of physical locations, CNET does not rate wireless carriers. We can, however, tell you everything you need to know about the major carriers. We invite your feedback and ratings in our user opinions section--the more input we get from around the U.S., the better our users can evaluate coverage at a national level.

Boost Mobile is an MVNO that is wholly owned by Sprint Nextel. It serves 4 million customers in 49 states. Though originally it marketed its service toward a young, urban audience, Boost is now geared toward all budget-minded consumers and serves as the prepaid resource for Sprint Nextel customers. As such, it does not require contracts or credit checks. The primary monthly plan offers unlimited calling, messaging, and Web browsing, but customers also can pay by the minute or by the day. The carrier offers CDMA and iDEN phones, the latter of which feature push-to-talk services. Originally launched in both New Zealand and Australia in 2001, Boost USA launched in 2003.

Things you should know:

  • iDEN international coverage is limited to a small portion of Baja California, Mexico. CDMA international coverage also is limited.
  • Boost offers a monthly plan with unlimited voice calls, PTT, and Web browsing. You can also pay for voice calling by the day or by the minute. Exact services will vary by plan but PTT is available for all iDEN customers.
  • Boost does not charge activation fees nor does it require contracts or credit checks.
  • Boost does not charge roaming fees for travel in its coverage area.
  • Boost offers Motorola iDEN phones that are similar to those used by Nextel. CDMA models vary.
  • Boost uses Sprint Nextel's network.
  • Fast facts:

  • Subscribers: 4 million
  • Coverage: Boost's iDEN coverage is nationwide except for Alaska. CDMA coverage extends to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As with all carriers, reception will vary due to location.
  • Technology: iDEN; CDMA
  • 3G network: No
  • Streaming video service: No
  • Music download service: No
  • Push-to-talk: Yes
  • Prepay plans: Yes
  • Family plans: No