Two noteworthy happenings on the mobile front: the first is that Boost Mobile (the prepaid division of Sprint) announced the introduction of the Motorola i290 handset. Priced at $50 without a contract or credit check, this phone can be used with the new Boost Mobile “Monthly Unlimited” plans that offers unlimited anytime nationwide calling, along with text messaging, wireless Web and walkie-talkie services for $50 a month.
The lightweight phone is the latest addition to Boost Mobile’s line-up of handsets for 2009. “People are really feeling the economic pinch right now and are looking for products and services that will offer them value, financial flexibility and control,” said Neil Lindsay, vice president of marketing, Boost Mobile. “Both the i290 and the Monthly Unlimited plan are the perfect choice for consumers who want a phone and service plan that delivers all the necessary communication tools without burning a hole through their wallet.”
So if the recession has you down and you’re looking for an affordable pre-paid phone option to save some money, the Boost option is one to consider.
Home-based workers take note: Verizon Wireless is now offering the Verizon Wireless Network Extender, which is basically a mini-cell site manufactured by Samsung. This little box can route Verizon Wireless calls through a home broadband Internet connection and provide coverage in an area up to 5,000 square feet. At $249.99 this is a bit pricey, but considering there are no fees, the one time cost might be a good option for improving spotty mobile phone coverage.
Obviously this sounds like it is for those in rural or at least suburban areas, because you certainly wouldn’t want to be providing cellular service to the neighborhood. But for those who rely on their mobile handsets to stay connected, and have reliable broadband, this could be a good solution if the coverage is far from ideal. It is worth noting however that the Network Extender does not support EV-Do speeds and services at this time.
Additionally, Verizon has announced that it will introduce the new Verizon Hub on February 1; a new touch screen home phone system designed to replace current phones. This new device is designed for bridging landline and wireless systems and will run on any broadband connection whether supplied by Verizon FiOS or DSL, or other high-speed service provider, including cable.
While designed for home use, it sounds like it could be ideal for home based workers (like me), as well. It can help manage communication, contacts and calendars all from one screen.
“The Verizon Hub reinvents the home phone system that’s been centered on your kitchen counter for years. We’re bringing huge new functionality to a common household device that will unlock its true potential. And in the process, Verizon Wireless is updating the tools busy families can use to manage their lives,” said Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless. “The Verizon Hub is going to change the way you think about what you want and need your home phone to do. Whether you’re thinking about getting rid of your home phone or can’t live without it, now is the time to try out the Verizon Hub.”