A recent prepaid report sent out by the firm Wave7 Research to its subscribers revealed that more than 10% of Boost Mobile dealer activations are now for bring your own device (BYOD) customers. Growth has been skyrocketing in that segment. This is a far cry from 6-months ago when less than 1% of their activations were due to BYOD customers.
Boost Mobile long supported bring your own device (BYOD) but in an extremely limited and restrictive capacity. However, when the provider gained access to the T-Mobile network a little over 6-months ago, those restrictive policies began to be lifted thereby paving the way for explosive growth. Prior to DISH's Boost Mobile acquisition, only a tiny amount of BYOD phones could be used and activated on the network. But many more phones are now deemed compatible.
It's worth noting that Boost has also gotten more aggressive with its BYOD offerings. In September, an in-store only BYOD promotion was launched offering new customers double data for 3-months on a couple of plans. The highly competitive offer likely helped to contribute to the growth in BYOD activations that dealers are seeing. Subscribers can get a plan with 2GB of data for $10/month or 4GB of data for $15/month. They are great deals for low usage customers. Boost recently made the offers available online.
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Family Switchers On The Decline
The Wave7 Research report also noted that since being taken over by DISH dealers are seeing a decline in the number of customers porting to family plans. The declines have been attributed to the end of offers such as "4 unlimited lines for $100," and "4 unlimited lines for $120." While Boost removed such offers, competing brands like Metro by T-Mobile and Cricket Wireless still have similar deals in place.
The replacement of truly unlimited high-speed data plans with plans that have high-speed data capped at 35GB is also said to have contributed to the decline as is Boost's new focus on BYOD customers. The provider now calls its 35GB data plans "unlimited."
In July, Boost stopped offering free phones to unlimited family plan switchers. That move also likely had a huge and detrimental impact on family plan switcher signups. Boost has since reversed course and once again allows free phones to unlimited family plan switchers.
Loss Of Unlimited Plans Also Contributed To Subscriber Losses
DISH recently reported its third-quarter 2020 financial results. The company said it lost 212,000 Boost Mobile subscribers during the period. The removal of truly unlimited high-speed data plans was a driving factor in the subscriber losses but had to be done to help increase profitability. On page 102 of DISH's 10Q filing they stated "We are working to ensure that the customers we acquire and retain are profitable under our MVNO economics. As an example, certain subscribers that use high amounts of data, may be profitable for an MNO, but are not profitable under an MVNO." DISH's total wireless subscriber count now stands at 9.42 million which includes the over 200,000 subscribers DISH acquired when it purchased Ting Mobile assets from Tucows and the roughly 9.2 million subscribers it now has under Boost Mobile.
“Boost continues to be a feisty urban prepaid competitor. That said, we’re seeing an uptick in BYO switchers amid a decline in families switching to unlimited plans. This is driven by the economics of being an MVNO.” - Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research