Boost unveils first exclusive 5G phone

Dish’s Boost Mobile is touting the affordability of its first exclusive 5G device, the Celero5G, which the company said fills a gap in the market by offering an affordable 5G option at a price point less than $300.

Boost Mobile already offers a number of 5G-capable devices, including Motorola, Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone models. The Celero5G is its first exclusive 5G device. The smartphone will be available later this fall, Boost Mobile said, and it is taking online pre-orders now. Boost said that through October 31st, both new and existing customers can get the device as well as 12 months of unlimited talk, text and data (you get bumped down to slower network speeds after using 35 GB) and a free phone case, for $279.

“Subscribers have told us loud and clear: they want speed, cool features, and a fair price. The Celero5G is built to make 5G affordable,” said Stephen Stokols, head of Boost Mobile.

“With LG leaving the mobile device market and creating seismic shifts in the supplier landscape, we saw an opportunity,” a Boost Mobile spokesperson told The Verge. “The departure of LG left a significant hole in the Boost lineup. Celero5G is the response to fill that hole.”

 According to a Boost Mobile press release, features of the new smartphone include a 6.52-inch screen; four cameras, including triple rear cameras; 4GB RAM/ 64GB ROM memory that can be boosted with an SD card; and a 4,000 mAh battery with 15W fast-charging, which supports up to 36 hours of battery life.

Boost Mobile’s ability to get its customers to upgrade their devices is particularly crucial right now, as it faces down a deadline of January 2022 when T-Mobile US plans to shut down the legacy CDMA Sprint network which is still used by many of Boost’s customers. Boost has signed a new $5 billion, 10-year network services agreement with AT&T, cementing its move away from T-Mo’s network — even though a seven-year network access agreement for Boost was a key part of the arrangements with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission that allowed the Sprint/T-Mobile US merger to proceed. Boost has protested the CDMA network turn-down, and the U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly indicated “grave concerns” about that shut-down, which means it has to rapidly migrate millions of customers to new devices to make sure that they continue to have access to a network once the old Sprint CDMA network is taken offline.

As of June of this year, Boost had nearly 8.9 million customers — mostly Boost subscribers, but Dish has added to its customer base through the purchases of other MVNOs such as Republic Wireless, Ting Mobile and most recently, Los Angeles-based Gen Mobile.

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