So much for the Virgin mobile/Boost cdma merger...
Looks like it's not going to happen. Simple as that. As we see on Boost cdma side, Sprint is simply integrating both variants into a more closely unified combined brand identity. (Now there is ONE unlimited plan for both and a paygo plan that has been only iden is now available for cdma side too).
The disparity between iden and cdma is going to both simplify and create confusion for new users ("What do you mean I can't use my Boost phone on Boost?")
Looks like Sprint Prepaid chief Schulman thought that the similarities between Boost cdma and iden as a brand were more important then their technological differences . Same reason why he kept VM separate from Boost cdma though their technologies are way more compatibile then Boost iden is with either.
Boost CDMA Boost IDEn ex Verizon Unlimited by Boost CDMA
You may be right but it is still early in the game. I believe Boost CDMA was hung out by discontinuing phones, removing almost all signs of its existance on the website, and the articles about it being phased out. But BCDMA users found ways around the limitations or just did not move on to other carriers. To my knowledge BCDMA has still not been expanded beyond the original 13 states. That may be the next step. Lets hope there is a plan and we will all benefit by it.
Have you SEEN what is going on with Boost cdma? They are doing things that's never been done before in a national prepaid carrier like their $60 unlimited Blackberry plan (yeah, Metro has one but they're not really, truly a national player till they merge with Cricket). They also cut the taxes out, introduced new Sanyo cdma phones and now allow every area code, not just the lucky 13. If you look at their website, they've integrated the two sides, iden and cdma into ONE image. I can see users getting confused but I guess brand awareness was more a priority here then unifiying technologies (VM and BMCDMA). We've seen more action for Bmcdma in two weeks then the last full year. However,
Boost cdma shrank from one million strong to around 300,000 users in less then one year. Sprint simply didn't know what they were doing . And they hired a new combined prepaid services divison leader, Daniel Schulman , ex CEO of Virgin Mobile. Apparently, he had a different vision for Boost cdma then his predecessors did. He became the Sprint prepaid leader in transition after Boost started hanging the cdma side out to dry and I guess his different view was to revive it for its longer term potential and ride the coattails of the very strong Boost brand identity, whether iden or cdma.
Funny though how the ex leader of Virgin Mobile hasn't done anything with his old outfit even though he now has the clout to do so. Hopefully he hasn't forgotten his roots. VM needs him and Sprint's help more then ever with all the new competition coming up (Straight Talk, Net10 Unlimited, etc).
Boost is going to do well under him. He is continuing the momentum his predecessor Matt Carter (now Head of Sprint 4G) started by reviving Cdma Boost to allow them to compete in the developing prepaid smartphone market (35 cents a day for unlimited 3G cdma web? Unprecedented). But how VM will do, we have yet to see any real action in phones, plans, CS quality, anything else that VM is weak in.
Could be he simply has his hands full with Bmcdma's relaunch right now.
Virgin Mobile is in the process of liquidating all of their inventory of older VM phones. In addition, they are also in the middle of transitioning their current postpaid subscribers into Sprint. Both of these things will allow for a New VM rebranding campaign in the very near future. There are also new Sprint Pre-paid wireless service brands that will be launched this year: including a low cost value brand. It is Virgin Mobiles executive team now operating Sprint's prepaid services AND this will benefit the Virgin Mobile brand by having a greater budget to work with for improved marketing than was previously possible. VM will also now benefit by having access to a myriad of devices that were previously unavailable to VM subscribers because of the VM contractual constraints with Sprint. 2010 will be a banner year for PrePaid Wireless Services and Sprint will probably outperform their competitors with their in-house multiple brand approach. Contrary to popular belief, unlimited service plans and smart phones are not for everyone. It is a fantastic development that these devices are now being offered on pre-paid service but there are still the majority of subscribers that just want a simple phone. Hopefully Schulman and the VM crew will not forget about this segment of subscribers and will introduce higher quality basic devices than what were previously available on VM as well. http://techpulse360.com/2009/10/28/s...r-smartphones/
It now looks like Boost was the recipient of the Blackberry that Sprint was going to make available on a prepaid basis. Maybe Virgin Mobile will be the division offering the new prepaid HTC and Palm devices that they made reference to in the article. This First quarter of 2010 will reveal VM's new line up.
Schulman has indicated that data and better devices are the areas where VM will generate the greatest profits, and that there will be device/product differentiations between Virgin and Boost. The focus at VM will continue to be on the more profitable Hybrid subscriber instead of the low profit paygo subscriber as Schulman has repeatedly indicated. "I do think this hybrid space, these monthly plans with no contract are a big opportunity, and I am willing to sacrifice quantity of gross adds to make sure that we go after these high-quality consumers."
Read more: http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/...#ixzz0cp5QoTnO
More Sprint prepaid brands? I guess they're going to be Tracfone 2. I received a VM users survey asking what kind of name would be good for a prepaid wireless company, called "Rejoice". I told them that it would make a good Christian or religious based mvno name. They did have an interesting idea. If it's not a full minute, it gets rounded DOWN, not up like the rest of the industry.
More brands are fine, but they should be pumping up what they have now. VM can simply cut rates, introduce new plans , new devices and be a NEW VM, rather then all these new brands. Sprint is finally unifying Boost iden and cdma , why they need to segment the market further with other new brands if introduced is beyond me.
VM itself is already supposed to be a value brand. Yet its unlimited talk is the same as Tmobile Flexpay Even More Plus levels. Boost and Net10 both beat it in paygo.
Slash the basic rate to 10 cents a minute or less, introduce rounding down instead of up, fire the lousy CS and replace them with cross trained US based Sprint prepaid division CS, introduce new handsets, introduce unlimited data, lower per text, per minute and per meg rates overall, stop the overcharging issue and relaunch VM as a rebirth and allow a painless no penalty transition for the 4.5 million customers on it now and VM will do great. Oh yeah, and throw in mobile to mobile to all the other Sprint prepaid and postpaid brands like Boost does.
Ignore the existing four and and a half million VM base and it will slowly become the existing four million, existing three and a half million and so on.
They should just work on their own backyard first (VM) rather then worrying about other areas (unlaunched new Sprint prepaid brands). Whatever happens, I wish VM luck. They are still one of the biggest prepaid brands in the US alongside Tracfone/Net10/Straight Talk and Boost Mobile along with the prepaid arms of the other Big Four carriers (Tmobile, Verizon, Att).