Boost Mobile appears happy with an earlier go selling Cox prepaid home internet service at its retail stores in a few markets, as distribution has expanded more broadly to all Boost store locations within the cable operator’s footprint.
In December Boost Mobile, the Dish-owned prepaid brand, started selling Cox’s Straight Up Internet service in select stores in Las Vegas and Phoenix while mulling a wider push. A February Wave7 Research report flagged that the effort had expanded, which Boost Mobile’s Jay Miglionico confirmed.
“Following the success of Straight Up Internet from Cox Communications in the Las Vegas and Phoenix markets, Boost Mobile's national storewide launch within Cox's footprint began in mid-January," Miglionico, VP of Sales & Distribution at Boost Mobile, told Fierce via email.
As the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator, Cox serves around 6.5 million customers across 18 states.
With more than 4,500 stores, according to Wave7, Boost Mobile has a much larger retail footprint versus Cox’s roughly 130 stores – although clearly not all Boost stores fall within the cable operator’s footprint.
Wave7’s Jeff Moore visited a Boost location in the Cox market of Topeka last month, where he observed heavy signage including 7-foot-tall standing display (seen below), door and other displays promoting the Cox prepaid internet service.
Moore said he thinks store reps and Boost retail dealers like the arrangement because it adds another service to sell in their repertoire, meaning another way to make money. It mirrors an arrangement Boost has had with Comcast’s Xfinity since at least 2017 to sell the cable company’s prepaid internet at retail stores in footprint – one Moore believes also has gone well.
“For Xfinity, they get more activations and for Boost dealers they get more revenue, so it’s sort of a win-win situation,” he said.
With nearly five years of selling Xfinity prepaid internet under its belt and now the expansion of Cox’s Straight Up store-wide distribution, Moore said it almost seems like cable prepaid solutions have become part of the Boost Mobile retail strategy and questioned if Charter too could enter the mix.
He acknowledged there hasn't been any indicator Charter would but reasoned that if they’re seeing competitors like Cox and Comcast doing well the thinking could be “maybe we should try something like this,” adding that “it would be a logical thing to do.”
Cable operators are making more of a move on the wireless front, which in addition to Comcast and Charter MVNOs offering mobile service, include more recent happenings such as Wide Open West announcing a wireless service in partnership with MVNO aggregator Reach Mobile and Cox removing a legal hurdle for its own wireless ambitions after winning an MVNO dispute against T-Mobile. But major carriers are also paying more attention to the prepaid space. During an investor conference Tuesday, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis indicated that bringing home internet to prepaid customers – of which Verizon now has the largest base with its TracFone acquisition - could be in the cards via fixed wireless.