Boost Mobile is growing in popularity, both in the US and Australia, but is the network any good? Let’s investigate…
What is Boost Mobile?
Boost Mobile was founded over 20 years ago. The company started life in Australia and was founded by Peter Adderton. Since then, the network has changed hands multiple times and has been owned by a few different companies.
Boost Mobile is a US / Australia-based carrier that specializes in wireless mobile data, call, and text plans. It also sells phones. Boost Mobile offers a range of data packages, all of which include free music streaming allowances, and unlimited calls and texts.
The company’s USP is undercutting its bigger competitors when it comes to price. A phone from Boost Mobile will cost less than one from one of the market’s bigger players.
Case in point: Boost Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE deal is $100 cheaper than buying the Galaxy S20 FE direct from Samsung. You can pick it up for $599.99 – down from $699.99.
Boost Mobile also claims to have 99% coverage in the USA too – so there shouldn’t be any issues with coverage and reception.
Who Owns Boost Mobile?
As of 2020, Boost Mobile runs on Telstra’s mobile network in Australia. In the US it is operated by Dish Wireless LLC and uses T-Mobile’s network for wireless services. In this respect, Boost Mobile is an MVNO: it doesn’t have its own network infrastructure and instead “leases” T-Mobile’s infrastructure.
This is how Tesco Mobile, GiffGaff, and Asda Mobile operate in the UK.
This means Boost Mobile has less overhead than bigger networks like Verizon and T-Mobile which have to manage expensive networks of masts and cell towers across the length and breadth of the United States. This is why MVNOs usually have better prices than bigger, more well-known networks like Verizon and T-Mobile.
Boost Mobile has headquarters in Australia and the United States, the two countries where the network is active. Boost Mobile is not available in the UK and/or Europe.
What Phones Does Boost Mobile Have?
Boost Mobile has a pretty decent selection of phones. You have all the new iPhone 12 models, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, and a bunch of cheaper Android-based options like the LG Stylo 6, Samsung Galaxy A21, and the LG Tribute Monarch.
You also have the latest flagships from Samsung, including the Galaxy S20 as well as older iPhone models like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 which can be had for less than $200 on select plans. Basically, Boost Mobile has phones ranging in price from $79 to $1399.
Hell, it even has a T9 keyboard phone in the form of the Coolpad Snap which you can pick up for just $29.99. On top of this, Boost regularly runs significant discounts on its phones. At the time of writing, I counted 19 discounted cellphones in its current line-up. And it’s not even Black Friday yet…
What About 5G?
Yes, Boost Mobile does support 5G and 5G phones. You can currently buy all of Apple’s new iPhone 12 phones via Boost Mobile, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 FE – both of which are 5G phones too.
Here’s a statement from the Boost Mobile blog on its 5G deployment:
Boost will leverage our 2.5 GHz spectrum and we will deploy a radio technology called Massive MIMO, which is capable of delivering much greater capacity than current LTE systems. The combination of these tools will allow Boost to offer significantly faster speeds, increased network capacity and an overall better experience than before for our wireless customers.
Please note: you WILL need a 5G-capable phone to access Boost Mobile’s 5G network. You will also need to be in an area that is covered too. The rollout of 5G is now picking up pace, though, so most areas – by the close of 2021 – should be supported. Even rural parts of the USA.
Boost Mobile Customer Service – Is It Any Good?
As with any service, customer service is always extremely important. Being able to easily communicate with a network to discuss your plan, or any problems you’re having with it, is very important to the vast majority of customers.
According to TrustPilot, Boost Mobile has an average rating of 1.9 out of 5, indicating that the vast majority of Boost Mobile users are not happy with the company’s current level of customer service. You can read all the reviews here and see what the majority of complaints are about.
How does Boost Mobile’s customer service compare to other carriers? Here’s a breakdown of the average TrustPilot rating for the US’ biggest carriers:
- T-Mobile – 1.5/5
- Verizon – 2.0/5
- AT&T – 1.2/5
As you can see, none of the US’ biggest carriers have particularly good customer service ratings. AT&T is the worst, following by T-Mobile and then Boost Mobile. Verizon has the best customer support rating (2.0/5) but even that is pretty bad – it’s less than 50%.
Boost Mobile Payment Options
If you sign up for Boost Mobile, you have three methods for making payments: cash, credit card, or debit card. Furthermore, you can pay online, in stores, or on the phone. All major credit and debit cards are supported.
Here’s how Boost Mobile’s different payment options work:
3 Ways to pay online:
- Auto Re-BoostSM– Free (no charge):
- This is the easiest way to keep your service working without interruption. Set up Auto Re-Boost by logging in to My Account. Then click on ‘Payments’ and ‘Enroll in Auto Re-Boost’ from the menu on the right. Select Auto Re-Boost and enter your debit or credit card information.
- Visit My Account to make a one-time payment – Free (no charge):
- Sign in to My Account and click on the ‘Re-Boost Now’ button. From there, you can use a debit or credit card to make a one-time payment or redeem a Re-Boost® card.
- Add money to a friend or family member’s account – Free (no charge):
- Go to give a gift. You’ll need your friend or family member’s Boost Mobile phone number and a credit/debit card or Re-Boost card. You can instantly add $10 to $99 to their account.
- 3 Ways to pay by phone:
Pay through the Boost Zone app – Free (no charge):
- Open the Boost Zone app and click ‘Pay Next Month.’ Use your debit card, credit card or Re-Boost card to add funds.
- Dial #ADD (#233) – Free (no charge):
- Dial #ADD and follow the voice prompts to pay with your credit/debit card or redeem a Re-Boost card.
- Call Boost to add funds to an eligible Boost Mobile Account
How To Activate Boost Mobile Account
Activating your Boost Mobile phone is super-simple. Just visit this link, select the New Customer option, and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need to have you ESN number on hand for this bit, so don’t forget that.
Boost Mobile Activation PIN
Each new Boost Mobile phone comes with an activation PIN inside the box. You will need to PIN to verify the phone is yours when you set up and activate the device.
If you lose your Boost Mobile PIN, there is a $10 one-time reactivation fee for a new PIN, so make sure you keep the PIN nice and safe.
Boost Mobile “Bring Your Phone” Plans
If you already have a phone and you want to switch to Boost Mobile, you have free access to all of Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans.
Before you join the network, however, there are a few things you’ll need: 1) your phone’s IMEI number, 2) ensure the phone is not locked to another carrier, 3) know the exact size SIM card your phone takes.
Once you know all of these things, you can switch over to Boost Mobile. Just pick the prepaid plan you want, wait for the SIM to arrive in the post, and then activite the SIM via Boost Mobile’s activation page. Simple, right?
Once you have a Boost Mobile prepaid plan setup, you can manage it via My Boost – this is Boost Mobile’s user area, where you can see bills, manage your plan, and check for offers and updates.
Boost Mobile Prepaid Plans – What’s Available
As of the time of writing, Boost Mobile has a range of prepaid plans that range in price from $60 per month down to $10 per month. Here’s a full breakdown of Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans:
Go Unlimited Plans
- $50 Per Month
- Unlimited Data, Calls & Texts
- Unlimited SD Streaming†
- Orange Check Icon
- 12GB Mobile Hotspot
- Orange Check Icon
- Add a Line for ONLY $30/mo
- $60 Per Month
- Unlimited Data, Talk & Text
- Unlimited HD Streaming*
- 30GB Mobile Hotspot
- Add a Line for ONLY $40/mo
Boost Mobile also runs a bunch of Family Plans that range in price from $35 per month to $10 per month. Click here to view all the latest prepaid plans.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.